Among the 17,000 Olympic athletes who will compete in London this summer, at least three have ties to Elk Grove.
The first is Jamie Nieto, a Team USA track and field high-jumper. Nieto graduated from the Elk Grove Unified School District's in 1994, according to the district.
He competed in the 2004 games, but missed the cut in 2008, the district said in a press release.
"At the time (when I was 16 years old, a junior), I discovered that I had a talent and I had a lot of fun high jumping," Nieto writes. "The traveling was the best part, but I figured that if I keep working hard I should be able to jump 7’0 (2.13) and hopefully get a full scholarship to a University of my choice. Well this did not happen and I could not afford to go to college and my grades were only average."
He went on to Sacramento City College and then received a partial scholarship to Eastern Michigan University.
Nieto is also an actor, and his page on IMDB lists eight appearances.
Redding Native Played Soccer in Elk Grove
A member of the Team USA women's soccer team spent her high school years playing soccer in Elk Grove, even though she didn't live anywhere near the city.
Megan Rapinoe, a midfielder who plays professionally for the Seattle Sounders team with Elk Grove native Stephanie Cox, grew up in Redding and played for the soccer club then known as the Elk Grove Pride. Her twin sister also played for the team.
"That meant piling into the family van on Tuesdays to head for practice and enduring the 2½-hour drive each way on I-5, then doing it all over again on the weekend," ESPN reported.
ESPN says that Rapinoe is poised to be "one of [Team USA's] prime providers."
"Megan was creative, crafty, doing stuff you just didn't see 16-year-olds doing," Danny Cruz, Rapinoe's former coach, told the Sacramento Bee. "She knew how to beat a player, get around a player."
Cox, , is a member of Team USA's women's soccer team, but is not on the starting roster.
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