LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 17: Julie Zetlin of United States in action in the Individual All-Around during the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics Olympic Qualification round at North Greenwich Arena on January 17, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
There are a number of DC-area athletes competing in London at the 2012 Olympics and one of the great local stories is that of Julie Zetlin. The Bethesda native will be the only American competing for Team USA in rhythmic gymnastics, going up against the traditional Russian powerhouse which owns the sport. WTOP recently spoke with Zetlin about the intimidating prospect of facing down the Russian team. She's the only competitor from the Western Hemisphere -- only once has someone from the West won a medal in the sport, Canadian Lori Fung in 1984. She told WTOP that she doesn't expect gold but is happy to represent her country and dialed-in for London:
"I just want to go out there and look confident, and show no fear and hit all of my routines," she says. "If I do that, that's already a huge accomplishment, not just for me or the country, but for our side of the world."
Zetlin will have to wait awhile to compete, however, as the rhythmic gymnastics competition will not award medals until the final weekend of the games.