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July 27, 2012
They won't be wearing garnet and gold, but Florida State will be well represented at the 2012 London Olympics. Twelve former Seminoles representing eight different countries have qualified for the Olympic games, which officially begin on Saturday.
The lone Americans are women's pole-vaulter Lacy Janson and sprinter Maurice Mitchell (200m).
A pair of distance runners, Hannah England and Barbara Parker, will compete for Great Britain, Jonathan and Kevin Borlee will compete in the 400-meter sprint for Belgium and the duo of Kimberly Williams (triple jump) and Dorian Scott (shotput) will compete for Jamaica.
Sprinter Kemar Hyman will run in the 100m for the Cayman Islands, distance runner Ciaran O'Lionaird will represent Ireland in the 1500 meters, and decathlete Gonzalo Barroilhet will compete in his second straight Olympics for Chile. Former FSU swimmer Mateo DeAngulo will be the only non-track and field Seminole at the Olympic games as he competes in the 400m freestyle swim for Colombia.
Americans Mitchell and Janson took very different paths to their first Olympic berths. Mitchell, who won the last two NCAA titles in the 200 meters, made Team USA in his first Olympic Trials with a time of 20.14.
"It was a good experience," Mitchell said of the trials. "It was an amazing experience to go out there and actually make my first team coming right out of college at Florida State. I was just really happy with the way I competed and I'm really glad I got a chance to compete with the best guys in the U.S. and prove I was one of the better ones."
For Janson, success at the Olympic level hasn't come quite as easily. The two-time NCAA champion finished 10th at the 2008 Olympic Trials. After watching the Bejing Games on television Janson put together a career year in 2010 as she won the 2010 USA Indoor Championship with a vault of 15 feet, 3 inches.
She qualified for her first Olympics this summer with a vault of 15 feet, 1 inch to finish third. Janson said she has always dreamed of being an Olympian be it when she was younger and involved in gymnastics or early in here high school career when she played volleyball, but ultimately pole vaulting was the sport that will allow her to live out here Olympic dreams.
"Every four years I watch and when the music comes on it gives me the chills," Janson said. "It's been a part of my athletic dreams since I was real young."
Mitchell said he has been dreaming of being a member of Team USA since he was in middle school. He and Janson both said that the fact that their dreams are actually a reality probably won set in until the Opening Ceremonies on Friday.
"Once I get over there and I'm in the village waiting in line to walk out into the Olympic stadium with all those other athletes-I think there 650 US Olympic athletes. I think that's where it really sets in," Janson said. "Here you are, you really are in the Olympics."
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