The 2012 London Olympics officially began on July 27th, and we’re so excited we can hardly contain ourselves! What we are most amped to see –besides the many medals Team USA is going to sweep this year– are all of the amazing and inspiring women competing to take home the gold. These athletes are super impressive, pushing through intense training sessions, gruelingly long workouts and balancing their personal schedules.
So, here’s to you, ladies of the Team USA! We can’t join you in London, but we will watch you on television and cheer you on through all of your big wins. These are the top women competing in the 2012 London Olympics that make us over here at Vapor Couture hop up and cheer:
She’s the type of daughter every proud Southern papa wishes for: a girl who is not only beautiful, but can shoot those pesky bad boys off the front porch if they ever get out of line.
Corey Codgell discovered her love for guns at age three when her father would take her and her sister outside to shoot. By the time she was in high school and a member of the 4-H club, her future as a competitive riflewoman was sealed. In 2006, her passion for bullets took her all the way to the National Development Team at Fall Selection. That same day, she learned she had qualified for the National Team by coming in third in the open women’s trap competition.
It was no surprise when Corey competed in the 2008 Beijing Games and won the Bronze medal; she has an amazing sense of focus as a competitor. She is so fiercely determined that she never allows outside factors to affect her need to succeed. Corey Cogdell would much rather roll with the punches and accept any new challenge head on, no matter how humbling the experience. A great example is Corey attitude choosing to sleep in a camper just to adapt to the new landscape at the U.S. Olympic training facility in Colorado:
“That was definitely a big sacrifice for me,” she said. “I’m fortunate enough to have some really good family friends that let me borrow their truck and camper, so I’ve been living at the range in a camper for basically the last three weeks. I moved to a hotel for the match.”
At some point, Miss Cogdell finally allowed one tiny distraction to her training in her life; she formed the perfect athletic partnership with Denver Broncos defensive tackle Mitch Unrein. That’s great news for Unrein since Corey Cogdell loves to cook– she even studied Italian cuisine in Europe a few years back!
Cogdell hopes to bring home the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics. We are more than confident this little Alaskan powerhouse has what it takes to make it happen.
Her depth-defying leaps and her intense bar work help her earn the moniker, “The Flying Squirrel.” Sports commentators are calling her “the answer” because she performs so clean and amazingly that her skills could finally take the American Olympic gymnastics team to an undefeated win. If she triumphs in London, she will join the ranks of proud African American women who’ve all returned home with the gold from the Olympics in gymnastics, just like the famous Dominique Dawes.
Gabrielle became an international star when she upstaged world gymnastics champion, Jordyn Weiber, by posting the highest score in the American Cup. She achieved this even after knowing her score would not count because she was only serving as an alternate for another teammate.
At only 16-years-old, this young lady’s tenacity and sweet spirit has made her an international star; she’s already graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, Time and even had her own spread in Seventeen.
Gabrielle grew up in Virginia Beach, VA, where she learned the basic tumbling moves from her big sister who was attending gymnastics school. By age 4, Gabby had taught herself how to do a cartwheel with only one hand and by the time she turned six-years-old, she was taking formal lessons at the studio Gymstrada.
She became so good at her craft that her parents decided to send her to stay with a host family in Des Moines, IA, so she can get professional training from Liang Chow.
In 2011, Gabrielle Douglas joined the World Championship Team in Toyko and won gold. Check her resume of successes: 2010 Covergirl Classic in Chicago, IL; 2011 Bronze Medalist on Uneven Bars; Gold in the Pacific Rim Championships.
But, even with all of those accolades, what makes this cutie so thrilling to watch is her darling personality and big effervescent smile. Good luck to you, Gabby.
There are two great things that come out of Coto de Casa, California: “The Real Housewives of Orange County” and Morgan Beck. Sure, Beck gets noticed for her volleyball skills, but she gets far more attention for her stunning resemblance to famous Israeli supermodel, Bar Rafaeli.
This Orange County-native began playing volleyball in 1999 while still in junior high at Saddleback Valley. She took them to a big win at the Volleyball Festival Championship in 2003 and 2004. She went on to play for San Clemente High School where she established four records as a senior and became a Mizuno High School All-American for her 544 kills and .497 hitting average.
It’s hard to Google Beck without seeing her name showing up on some male-dominated website as one of the hottest sports starts in the world. But, even this beauty has a surprising yet refreshingly fun side to her that she loves to show off her personal blog. When Morgan is not training or posing as a fashion model, she likes to post fun pictures, inspirational quotes and cute little insights into her new life with her new husband, pro men’s volleyball player, Matt Proper.
Our favorite quote from her blog:
“Trust is not about being comfortable. It is about being willing to move beyond your comfort zone when there is absolutely no evidence that you will be supported. Trust is not about looking for evidence that you are doing things right every step of the way as you move toward the end result. Trust is about keeping the end results in mind no matter what steps you have to take to get there, or how bad you feel while you are stepping.”
Scout is the type of young woman who makes you count your blessings. This girl is no stranger to adversity and that is why we are totally rooting for her.
Scout was dropped on the doorstep of an orphanage in Nanjing, China, with only one leg and scars all over her tiny body. The caretakers tried to create a makeshift prosthetic leg for her out of belt straps and masking tape. With each passing day, this little girl sat waiting for a loving family to take her home. Eventually, Scout was put to work feeding the other children and scrubbing the floors.
It wasn’t until a fateful day in 1994 that a couple, Susi and Joe Bassett from Harbor Springs, MI flew to China looking for a child to adopt and found a little one-legged girl practically pleading with her soft brown eyes to go with them.
When Scout made it to the U.S., her new family quickly took her to be fitted with a proper prosthetic leg, but the piece had its limitations. In 2001, the family flew to a Dr. Stan Patterson in Florida who specialized in artificial limbs with athletic abilities. That same doctor would be an important mentor in her life—hours after attaching her leg, Dr. Patterson pushed her to run in a 100- and-200 meter dash for disabled athletes.
Growing up, high school coaches feared taking this little 78 pound, 4”8’ woman off the bench to play any varsity sports, an experience that hurt her dearly. But, in 2006, while attending UCLA, Scout decided to follow her dreams and really start training, pushing herself to become a powerful biker, runner and swimmer. She commissioned two new legs from Dr. Patterson, both were heavy at first. She trained for three months and then entered her first triathlon. Scout, of course, won.
Scout is a three-time silver medalist at ITU Paratriathlon World Championship (2007, 2008, 2010); she’s placed third in the Accenture USA Paratriathalon National Championship and; is a member of the 2010 USA Paratriathlon National Team. Scott still finds time in between her studies and her training to serve as a spokesperson for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.