|Editor's note: Randy Thomas has been a part of Boston College's cross country program for 19 years. He has produced 46 All-America selections, three national junior champions and one Pan-American Games gold medalist. Ask him a question here.|
Four reigning Olympic champions and eight current world champions highlight the Team USA roster nominated to the US Olympic Committee by USA Track and Field. A roster of 126 men and women stand ready to represent the USA on this international stage.
After spending more than a week at the team's training facilities in Birmingham, coaches Andrew Valmon (men) and Amy Deem (women) helped move their athletes into the Olympic village on the eve of the opening ceremonies. While in Birmingham, the athletes had the opportunity to meet with more than 2,000 children who stopped by to check out their training sessions.
Four-time Olympians Aretha Thurmond and Angelo Taylor were selected by their peers to lead the Team USA squad as the men's and women's captains. One of their first tasks as Olympic team captains was to meet with the captains of all US Olympic sports to select the flag bearer for the US delegation in Friday's opening gala, an event that promises to ignite a very exciting two weeks of international competition.
The baton. Will we ever figure it out? - Norm Bayes, Double Oak, Texas
For sure, the US men's and women's 4 x 100-meter relay team has had its share of problems moving the baton around the track. I recently spoke with coaches Valmon and Deem, who are very committed to working out any issues with their relay members' baton exchange techniques. They are very confident that this has been solved and we stand an excellent chance of taking home two gold medals.
In the 100 meters, these guys are so fast, it seems like the smallest of things can affect the outcome. How do they train for consistency?
Consistency in practice is extremely important. A smooth transition from the starting blocks to the third step is critical as it is at this point where the sprinters assume a more upright position as they make their way down the straightaway.