The US Olympic Committee sent me an interesting list today -- a state-by-state chronicle of where the 600 or so Americans competing in the 2008 Beijing Games currently live.
Of course the list is imperfect. For instance, swimmer Margaret Hoelzer came from Alabama, currently trains in Seattle and has her permanent residence in Charlotte (where she used to train). She's counted as one of Alabama's three Olympians. Cullen Jones is listed with the New Jersey contingent, even though he went to N.C. State, spent six years in Raleigh and has lived the last few months in Charlotte.
Nevertheless, the list gives a good snapshot of where the Olympians consider themselves to be from. Want to guess which state is No.1?? It's not even close. California has supplied more than a quarter of the Olympians, with a staggering 174. Texas is a distant second with 44.
North Carolina has 11 on the list. South Carolina has two.
Those 13 Carolinians, according to this official USOC document, are: (From North Carolina): Michael Anti, Winterville NC, rifle shooting; Ricky Berens, Charlotte, swimming; Dremiel Byers, Kings Mountain, Greco-Roman wrestling; Bershawn Jackson, Raleigh, 400 hurdles; Caroline Lind, Greensboro, rowing; Charlie Ogletree, Columbia, N.C., sailing; Travis Padgett, Shelby (and Clemson), 4x100 relay; Chris Paul, Winston-Salem, men's basketball; Alice Schmidt, Chapel Hill, 800 meters; Leigh Smith, Raleigh, javelin and Jesse Williams, Raleigh, high jump.
(From South Carolina): George Hincapie (who used to live in Charlotte), Greenville SC, cycling; Libby Callahan, Columbia, shooting.
11 months ago