Northeast Ohio may not have the number of Olympic competitors that states like Utah, Colorado or California have, but the athletes that hail from this area are some of the best in their sports. Find out which hometown men and women you should be cheering for when the 2012 London Olympics begin on July 27.
Many of the top sports, including track and field, swimming and gymnastics, don't choose their team until the Olympic trials in late June. We'll likely be adding most athletes to this list after those events.
Athletes are listed in alphabetical order.
Jason Borchik, a Copley Township
native, is a member of the USA Olympic handball team. He attends the US Military Academy at West Point.
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
A graduate of Mantua's Crestwood High School, Franek perfected her skill in the crueling steeplechase event by running through Cuyahoga Valley National Park
and across the low portions of the Cuyahoga River. This summer she is taking her racing ability to London to compete in the 2012 Olympic steeplechase event.
Franek, 25, is a graduate of Penn State University, where she set three school records and won the 2010 NCAA outdoor steeplechase event. Franek currently lives in Oregon, where she is a member of the Oregon Track Club Elite.
Terrell GaushaTerrell Gausha, a graduate of Cleveland's Glenville High School, is the reigning US middleweight boxing champion and is set to represent the USA in the London Olympics. This is the first Olympics for the 24-year-old, two-time national champion.
(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Despite how many Northeast Ohioans still feel about this NBA star leaving Cleveland, the 27-year-old Akron native belongs on this list. Now a member of the NBA champion Miami Heat, LeBron is headed to London to defend the gold medal that he received when the US National Basketball team won in Beijing in 2008. Among his many other accomplishments, James holds an Olympic bronze medal from the 2004 Athens Olympics.
(Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
Kibwe Johnson, a graduate of Ashland University, won the hammer throw competition at the US Track and Field Olympic Trials to secure his trip to London. Johnson, 29, is a two-time Pan American Game medalist. This is his first Olympics.
(Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Though she currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky, 17-year-old Lee Kiefer was born in Cleveland. She's ranked number 1 in the United States in the foil, a fencing event, and number 7 in the world. Kiefer is also the current Pan American Games gold medalist. She will be going to London to compete in the foil event there.
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Ashland University strength and conditioning coach, A.G. Kruger will be going to London to compete in the hammer throw. This is his third Olympics. The 33-year-old finished 27th in Beijing and 32nd in Athens. Kruger, who hails from Iowa, is also a four-time US Outdoor champion.
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This 31-year-old Akron native is currently ranked number one in the world in his weight class for Greco-Roman wrestling. He graduated from Akron's Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy and was four-time Ohio state wrestling champion.
(Getty Images Sport)
Elyria High School alum, Tianna Madison is headed to London to compete in the women's 100m dash. The 32-year-old track and field star was the 2004 USA junior track and field champion as well as the 2005 World Champion and the 2006 World silver medalist.
(Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
This Dayton native is currently ranked #2 in the United States in women's superheavyweight weightlifting. Holley Mangold, who attended Ursuline College
inPepper Pike on a track and field scholarship, is the sister of all-pro NY Jets lineman Nick Mangold
. She's also appeared on a reality show about women's weightlifting. She qualified in the number two position for London, behind Sarah Robles.
(© Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
A native of Westlake
, Margot Shumway is headed to London to compete in the women's double sculls. This is the second Olympic games for the 32-year-old Ohio State graduate. She finished fifth in Beijing in the women's quadruple sculls. Shumway also won gold at the 2011 Pan Am games in the single sculls. Follow Margot's Olympic journey on her mother, Julia's blog "2012 Olympic Hopeful Rower's Mom."