State Of Olympics

Michael Phelps isn't the only Marylander competing in Athens. Here's a look at 12 other Olymians from around the state.

Athens 2004

August 13, 2004|By PAUL McMULLEN AND CANDUS THOMSON | PAUL McMULLEN AND CANDUS THOMSON,SUN STAFF

Kevin Hall

Sailing, Bowie

Like Lance Armstrong, sailor Kevin Hall is a survivor of testicular cancer. And, like the cyclist, Hall came back from the disease with a vengeance. Hall, 34, sails a solo dinghy in the Finn class and will compete in 11 races beginning tomorrow. The California native moved to Maryland last year to be closer to the cutting-edge sailing technology in Annapolis. In his senior year at Brown in 1990, he was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery to remove a testicle. Two years later, the cancer returned and he had the other testicle removed. After falling just short of making the Olympic team in 1996 in the Laser class and 2000 in the 49er class, Hall changed boats again and dominated the Finn field at the trials in February.

Katie Hoff

Swimming, Abingdon

Hoff is the youngest member of the American delegation. She turned 15 on June 3, two weeks after she turned heads in the swim world with a breakthrough performance in the 400-meter individual medley at the Santa Clara Invitational. Hoff won that event and the 200 IM at the U.S. trials and could be the biggest challenger facing Romania's Yana Klochkova. Hoff held dozens of Virginia state records before her family relocated to Harford County last summer, in part so she could join the North Baltimore Aquatic Club.

Carmelo Anthony

Basketball, Baltimore

One of the NBA's rising stars off a fine rookie season with the Denver Nuggets, Anthony was a late addition to the U.S. men's team that had trouble in some recent exhibitions. His versatility was the main ingredient in Syracuse's 2003 NCAA title. Two years before that, he was a junior at Towson Catholic High.

Courtney Kupets

Gymnastics, Gaithersburg

The night of the Olympics women's all-around gymnastics final will mark one year since Courtney Kupets tore her Achilles' tendon at the world championships. The 18-year-old has made a remarkable comeback, winning her second consecutive national title in June and the trials in July. If she wins the all- around title, she will become only the second U.S. woman to take the gold.

Liz Filter

Sailing, Stevensville

One-third of the U.S. Yngling crew, Filter is the sailor who sits in the middle of the 21-foot boat, trimming the spinnaker, one of the three sails, and operating the speed controls. Filter 39, is a biochemical engineer and a recreational sailor well-known in Annapolis nautical circles. She is part of Team Atkins M-9 the sailors took the name after the low-carb diet company agreed to sponsor their campaign M-9 which has risen in world rankings from No. 11 this time last year to No. 5 now.

Nancy Haberland

Sailing, Annapolis

The one birthday present Nancy Haberland really wants she'll have to get herself. The sailor turns 44 on Monday, about halfway through the Yngling class regatta, where the U.S. crew of Haberland, Liz Filter and skipper Carol Cronin have a strong chance of winning a medal. Haberland will be in the bow, calling tactics and trimming the jib. Haberland took a leave of absence last fall from the Naval Academy, where she teaches sailing to midshipmen, to take part in this Olympic campaign. A late addition to Team Atkins, she had just six months to learn the ropes before the U.S. trials in Florida.

James Carter

Track and field, Baltimore

Since the 2000 Olympics, only one man has gone faster than Carter in the 400-meter hurdles, and he expects to contend for a medal, if not beat Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic. Carter posted a convincing win at the U.S. trials in July. A victory in Athens would cap an inspirational career. Carter had myasthenia gravis as a child and had his thymus removed. He was a versatile talent at Mervo High, which didn't have a track, and made big improvements in 2000, when he finished fourth at the Sydney Olympics. Carter attended Hampton University and still trains there.

Gao Jun

Table tennis, Gaithersburg

In 1992, Gao Jun won a silver medal in women's doubles for China, a powerhouse in table tennis. This time, the 35-year-old would like to win the United States' first medal in the sport. Gao came to the United States when she married in 1994 (she is divorced). Although she has been continuing her studies at the University of Shanghai, Gao hopes to find a job and return.

Joe Jacobi

Canoe/Kayak, Bethesda

A dozen years after winning the gold medal in the two-man whitewater canoe competition, Joe Jacobi is back. Jacobi, 34, is the only member of the current U.S. team M-9 whitewater or flatwater M-9 to have won an Olympic medal. Although Jacobi, a motivational speaker, has moved to Ducktown, Tenn., he and partner Matt Taylor still practice on the Potomac River.

Scott Parsons

Canoe/Kayak, Brookmont

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