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What Does it Take to Be an Olympian?

Posted Date: 7/24/2012

The athleticism required to participate in the Olympic Games captivates international audiences for 17 consecutive days as spectators are amazed at the physical feats the athletes can accomplish. Watching the Olympics, one can’t help but feel a sense of national pride. However, the common chant of “USA… USA… USA…” might change to “Brooklyn… Brooklyn… Brooklyn” as we watch four skilled athletes represent our borough in the games.

But what does it take to ‘be an Olympian?’ What mental and physical skills do these talented athletes possess in order to perform at such a high level? Maimonides physicians weigh in and analyze the extraordinary abilities of our own Olympic-bound Brooklyn athletes. Click on a Brooklyn Olympian to see what it takes to bring home gold:

Deron Williams, U.S.A. Basketball Team

What makes Deron’s journey to the Olympics unique is that, unlike many Olympic events, basketball is a team sport, requiring a special mindset when approaching a compeititon.

Lia Neal, U.S.A. Swim Team

Lia Neal is the youngest Brooklyn Olympian at 17 years old, and will compete as a member of the 100m freestyle relay in London. Competitive swimming takes a lot of commitment and demands the body to be highly efficient.

Nzingha Prescod, U.S.A. Fencing Team

At 19 years old, Nzingha Prescod will be attending her first Olympics this July. Although many spectators pay attention to a fencer’s blade-wielding abilities, elite athletes know that proper footwork and balance are the keys to success.

Justin Gatlin, U.S.A. Track and Field

Justin Gatlin is a world renowned sprinter, and this year he will compete in the 100m sprint and the 4x100m relay, representing the United States at the Olympics for a second time. Sprinting requires full body strength and uses different types of muscle fibers than other forms of running.



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