BETA

Olympics draw LDS athletes

I have prepared and there's nothing else I can do except go out and race. When it comes down to it, it is just a matter of confidence and faith.Lacey Nymeyer, member of U.S. Olympic swim team

Swimming is very fair. You are as good as the clock shows. — Stacey Nymeyer, Lacey Nymeyer's mother

Preparation, confidence and faith paid off for Lacey Nymeyer (see Jan. 26, 2008, Church News) as the clock fairly declared her good enough to make the U.S. Olympic swimming team.

A world-class swimmer, she is one of several LDS athletes to recently qualify for the Olympic Games in Beijing, China, in August. She will be competing in the 100-meter freestyle and 4 x100-meter freestyle relay.

Among other members who have qualified for U.S. Olympic teams are Ryan Millar and Rich Lambourne in volleyball, Jake Gibb in beach volleyball, Josh McAdams and Lindsey Anderson in steeplechase, Melanie Roach in weightlifting and Tairia Flowers in softball. Niklas Arrhenius made the Swedish national team in discus.

Bishop Jerrold J. Hogue of the Kirtland 4th Ward, Kirtland New Mexico Stake, has already completed his participation in the Olympics. A Native American, he carried the Olympic torch on a leg in northwestern China in June, according to President DeWayne M. Whipple of the Kirtland New Mexico Stake.

BHP Billiton, Bishop Hogue's employer, is a sponsor of the Olympics. The mining company is providing the raw materials for the gold, silver and bronze medals that will be awarded in Beijing. A marathon runner, according to President Whipple, Bishop Hogue was selected to represent his company's North American employees in the torch relay.

Members of the U.S. Olympic volleyball team, Millar and Lambourne are rich in experience on the international stage and were teammates on the 1999 BYU national championship team.

Millar competed for the U.S. volleyball team in the Sydney, Australia, 2000 Olympics and also the 2004 Games in Athens, Greece. Lambourne, who served a mission in Japan, was an alternate for the 2004 U.S. Olympic team.

Gibb, who served in the Costa Rica San Jose Mission, broke onto the beach volleyball scene upon his return home at age 21. Now 32, he has enjoyed a successful career on the AVP tour, where he has earned more than half a million dollars.

McAdams, who served in the Thailand Bangkok Mission, finished his BYU career in 2006 by winning the NCAA championship in the 3000-meter steeplechase. He followed that with championships in the 2007 USA Outdoor meet and the 2007 Pan American Games.

Anderson won the silver medal in the trials for the U.S. Olympic team at Eugene, Ore. The former Weber State University athlete from Morgan, Utah, will be the first track and field athlete from the school to compete in the Olympics. She earned All-America honors twice while competing in college.

Roach, 33, and the mother of three who lives in Bonney Lake, Wash., is a seven-time national weightlifting champion. She is the first U.S. woman to lean and jerk twice her body weight, according to her profile on the USA Weightlifting Web site where she is listed as weighing 119 pounds.

The Beijing Games will be the second Olympics for Flowers; she was a member of the gold-medal winning U.S. team at the 2004 Athens Games. The stellar hitter who played college softball for UCLA hit .538 as her national team won the 2003 Pan American Games gold.

Arrhenius, who holds U.S. and Swedish citizenship, served a mission to Sweden. He won the 2007 national championship in the discus while competing at BYU. He is the top-ranked discus thrower in Sweden competing in European meets.

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