Getting la Familia into the 2012 Olympics: Facts and Athletes to Watch

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“Yes! Yes! Yes!”

“Go! Go! Go!”


These are the sounds I wake up to early Sunday morning.  Thinking that something had gone horribly wrong, I jump out of bed, rush downstairs almost trip over the dog as I rush to rescue whichever child has just been horribly injured.  I turn the corner into the living room and the entire family, including the baby, is sitting on the coach with their eyes glued on the TV.

I demand to know why I have been so rudely awakened especially since their is no blood or bruising clearly visible on any one.

Maddy, my tween, answers,”Shhhhhh, Mami, we’re trying to watch the Olympics!”

Since I got “shushed”, I decided I was going to turn this new found obsession into learning moments!  I have spent hours pouring over online information to give them insights on what they are seeing, creating interesting conversations, and focusing on learning about other cultures.  Here are just a few facts I have uncovered as well as athletes to watch that you can share with your familia as well!

Facts on 2012 Olympics: 

  • For the first time, women on the U.S. Olympic team outnumber the men.  There are 269 woman competing and 261 men. (Girl power!)
  • More than half of the U.S. Olympic team will be competing in the Olympics for the first time.  How nervous would you be?
  • 7 members of the U.S. team will be competing in their fifth Olympic games.
  • There are 204 countries competing in the Olympic games.

Facts about teens participating in the Olympics: 

  • Breaking from tradition, the 2012 Olympic torch was lit by seven teenage athletes instead of the previous “athletic celebrity”.
  • There are a number of teenage Olympic phonemes competing!  They are great inspiration for the tweens.
  • Teens to watch for on the U.S. Olympic team:
    • Tom Daley, 18 (Diving)
    • Lily Zhang and Ariel Hsing, both 16 (Table Tennis)
    • Gabby Douglas, 16 (Gymnastics)
    • Alejandra Valencia, 17 (Archery) AND Mexico native!!!
    • MIssy Franklin, 17 (Swimming

Latino U.S. Olympians to Watch: 

  • John Orozco, Puerto Rico (Gymnastics)
  • Sarah Robles, Mexican American (Weightlifting)
  • Leonel “Leo” Manzano, Mexican American (Running)
  • Joseph Diaz Jr., Mexican American (Boxing)
  • Danell Lyva, Cuban American (Gymnastics)
  • Steven Lopez, Nicaraguan American (Tae Kwon Do)
  • Brenda Villa, Mexican American (Water Polo)
  • Marlen Esparza, Mexican American (Boxing)
  • Manuel Huerta, Cuban American (Triatholon)
  • Giuseppe Lanzone, Peruvian American (Rowing)
  • Ryan Lochte, Cuban American (Swimming)

My favorite Olympics related question that we have discussed: “What Olympic sport would you have liked to or would like to play?”.  My tween daughter wants to be a basketball player.  My five year old wants to be a swimmer – he has a lot of work to do since he currently swims with one arm because the other one is holding his nose.  And, most shocking of all, my husband wanted to be a long jumper!  I never knew!




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