Chant, Tigers, Gamecocks compete in 2012 Olympics

It’s a magical moment that happens once every four years, when Coastal, Clemson and South Carolina fans put away their green, orange and garnet and root for the red, white and blue.

Local sports fans have plenty of Olympic athletes with Palmetto State connections to pull for in the 2012 London Summer Games, including several who attended the three in-state schools.

Coastal Carolina’s Amber Campbell, who lives in Myrtle Beach, competes in women’s track and field for Team USA. Now a volunteer assistant coach for throwers at her alma mater, Campbell is one of the school’s most distinguished athletes of all time.

Campbell went from being a good thrower at the collegiate level to one of the best in the women’s weight throw and hammer throw in the country. She owns the third-farthest indoor weight throw in American history.

Campbell has represented Team USA at three World Outdoor Championships (2005, 2009, 2011) and two-time Olympian (2008, 2012). She finished her collegiate career in 2004 and was inducted into the University’s George F. “Buddy” Sasser Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.

Clemson also has a track and field athlete representing Team USA in George Kitchens. As one of the top long jumpers in the world, the former Tiger is making his Olympic debut in London.

South Carolina has two track and field athletes suiting up for Team USA. Lashinda Demus will compete in the women’s hurdles after a disappointing showing in the 2004 Athens Games, while Richardson also competes in the hurdles after missing the 2008 Beijing Games due to injury.

The schools also have athletes competing for their native countries: Clemson junior Marlena Wesh will represent Haiti in the women’s 400 meters, and fellow junior Warren Fraser earned a spot on the Bahamas National Team in the 100 meters. Clemson graduate Patricia Mamona will compete for Portugal in the women’s triple jump.

For South Carolina, a pair of women’s basketball players will suit up for their home countries – Ilona Burgrova of the Czech Republic and Iva Sliskovic of Croatia.

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