Ten South Florida Athletes to Watch in the 2016 Rio Olympics
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Most of the coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games has rightfully focused on how well athletes, their families, and media members will deal with disturbing circumstances and questionable security once they arrive in Brazil. When the Games kick off this Friday, much of the world will be holding its breath.
That being said, it's time we give a little more attention to the athletes, many of whom are from right here in South Florida. One of the greatest parts of the Olympics is hearing the individual stories of triumph and perseverance that led these athletes to represent the United States. Here are just a few of the local heroes who, beginning Friday, will take the biggest sports stage in the world.
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Hometown: Coral Springs
As a 12-year-old in 2007, Lexi Thompson became the youngest golfer to qualify for the U.S. Women's Open. Since becoming the youngest-ever winner of
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Tennis phenom Sloane Stephens turned pro in 2010 and as of last week was ranked 25th in the world. Stephens has won four singles titles on the WTA Tour. During her semifinals run at the 2013 Australian Open, she defeated Serena Williams. Stephens' father, John Stephens, was selected by the New England Patriots in the first round (17th overall) of the 1988 NFL Draft.
Courtesy of Team USA
Brianna Rollins graduated from Miami Northwestern Senior High in 2009 and went on to compete in track and field at Clemson University, from which she graduated in 2013. She burst onto the Rio Olympics radar after defeating reigning Olympic champion Sally Pearson to win the 100-meter hurdles gold medal at the 2013 World Championships. Rollins will compete in the 100-meter hurdles at the Rio Games.
Courtesy of USA/IAAF Championships
Hometown: Pembroke Pines
Arman Hall attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School, where he was named an All-USA
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