Connecticut Olympians to Watch - NBC Connecticut
London 2012

London 2012

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Connecticut Olympians to Watch

Nearly 30 athletes with ties to Connecticut are competing in London.



    Connecticut Olympians to Watch
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    Craig Kinsley, of Fairfield, will throw javelin in the London Olympics.

    More than two dozen athletes with ties to Connecticut are competing in the Olympic Games in London.

    The most well-known of the athletes are the six former UConn players on the U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball team. Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Asjha Jones, Swin Cash, Tina Charles and Maya Moore make up exactly half of the team USA roster. The Huskies have reunited with their former coach, Geno Auriemma, who is the head coach of the women's basketball team this year.

    Connecticut is well represented on the rowing team, with six athletes with ties to the state competing in London. Sarah Trowbridge, of Guilford, and Sara Hendershot, of Simsbury, are the two of the three native Nutmeggers on the U.S. Olympic Rowing team. Nick LaCava, of Weston, began rowing as a member of the Saugatuck Rowing Club in Westport.

    Charlie Cole grew up in New Canaan and began rowing while at New Canaan High School. He also attended Yale. Ken Jurkowski grew up in New Fairfield and still lives there.

    Taylor Ritzel won three NCAA championships while attending Yale. Surprisingly, Ritzel didn't begin rowing until she came to Yale. She credits her mother, who died of cancer two years ago, with getting her started in rowing. Ritzel will dedicate her Olympic race to her mother.

    Peter Graves calls Cincinnati, Ohio home, but he spent four years at Trinity College in Hartford. He was the captain of the men's rowing team at Trinity and was named the 2007 Trinity Senior Male Athlete of the Year.

    Connecticut has its share of sailors in the London Olympics this year.  Rob Crane lives in Darien, and is a long-time member of the Noroton Yacht Club.  He comes from a long line of sailors.  Rob's parents and his grandfather won a Pan Am Games medal.

    Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan will compete in the same 470 boat in London and they both went to school in Connecticut, but not the same school. Clark graduated from Connecticut College in 2005. Lihan attended Yale.

    Another Yale graduate, Stu McNay is headed to London as part of the U.S. Olympic Sailing team. Connecticut College also has another alum sailing for Team USA. Bob Willis, a 2010 Conn College graduate will be competing in windsurfing in London.

    Two Connecticut natives are a part of the U.S. Track & Field team in London. Donn Cabral, a runner competing in the steeplechase, began his running career while at Glastonbury High School. Craig Kinsley is throwing javelin in London. Kinsley grew up in Fairfield and played baseball at Fairfield Prep, but when a broken hand kept him off the baseball diamond his junior year, he took up track & field.

    UConn has another former student competing for the U.S. in London. Melissa Gonzalez was a two-time All American on the Huskies' field hockey team.

    Tina Konyot lists Palm City, Florida as her hometown, but she teaches horse riding and trains for her dressage event at her farm in North Stonington. She comes from family rich with horse riding tradition. Her grandfather rode horses in the center ring of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and was inducted into the Circus Hall of Fame in 1974.

    Not all Olympians with Connecticut ties will be competing for the United States.

    Margaux Farrell, of Woodbridge, is swimming the 4x200 freestyle relay for France. Farrell's mother was a member of the French national swim team. Margaux set several state swimming records while at student at Amity High School.

    Waterbury native Lisa Stublic ran track at Crosby High School. She is competing in the marathon for Croatia during the Olympics in London.

    Daundre Barnaby was a standout track star at Weaver High School in Hartford. Barnaby is running the 400-meter event for team Canada.

    The brother and sister duo of Chinyere and Diguan Pigot are currently enrolled at UConn. Both will be swimming for Suriname.

    Michael O'Keeffe is a native of Christchurch, New Zealand, but he came to Connecticut to play college soccer. O'Keeffe is the starting goalkeeper for Fairfield University.