Polish-born Dagmara Wozniak fenced for the United States in London. She went to Beijing as an alternate to the team that won bronze, but will be starting for the US this go around. Dagmara came to the US as a baby and was raised in New Jersey. The 24 year old has been fencing since the age of nine. She recently earned a bachelors degree in biology from St. Johns University.
Dagmara made it all the way to the quarterfinals in Women's Individual Sabre. She ultimately lost to Russia's Sophia Velikaia who claimed the silver medal.
Judo competitor Kyle Vashkulat was born in Soviet Ukraine and immigrated with his family to the US at the age of 9. He was an overweight kid in Philadelphia and judo helped to get him in shape. By the age of 15, he was a serious competitor and moved to train in Schenectady, New York with an elite coach. He’s currently studying at Schenectady Community College.
Kyle made it to the round of 32 in the men's half heavyweight division where he lost to Sayidov Ramzidden, an Uzbek opponent who made it to the bronze medal round.
British-born Anna Tunnicliffe represented America in her native country in the sport of sailing. She moved to the US with her family at the age of 12 and grew up sailing in Michigan. She’s spent years training in Weymouth, the site of Olympic swimming so she’ll have some familiarity with the venue. Anna is an Old Dominion University graduate and competed on their sailing team where she was an All-American. She competed for Team USA in Beijing where she won the gold medal and has been US Yachtswoman of the Year for the last four years. She’s competed in a new event in Weymouth – women’s match racing.
Unfortunately, it was a tough year for USA Sailing. No medals for the Americans for the first time since 1936.
Albanian-born Donald Suxho competed in London as a member of the US men’s volleyball team. He has been a major force in American volleyball for more than a decade and competed on the 2004 US team in Athens. He skipped out on participating on the 2008 US gold medal team in Beijing, but was back this year and earned a starting position on the team in London.
Suxho came to the US with his family while he was in high school. He began his volleyball career at the University of Southern California and set the NCAA record for most assists in a game. In 2002, he began coaching at USC. His father is also a volleyball coach and Suxho has said he would like to one day coach alongside his father.
The US men's team reached the quarterfinals, but lost yesterday to the Italians.
Danish-born rower Henrik Rummel immigrated with his family to the US at the age of 12. He tried to develop a skiing career, but switched to rowing in 2001. Three years later, he was recruited to row for Harvard. He received a degree in applied mathematics and economics and is fluent in five languages, surely putting him on the list of 2012 Team USA members with the most impressive academic credentials. His mother is probably deserving of her own immigrant of the day honor. She is currently serving as a US military doctor in Afghanistan.
Rummel is part of the bronze winning Men's Four Rowing Team. Congratulations Henrik!
Most of you didn't know Sanya last week, but now she's a household name around the world after a tremendous gold medal victory in the 400 meter race. The Jamaican-born sprinter is competing in her third Olympics in London. She immigrated to the US at the age of 12 because her mother thought it would be a better place for Sanya to develop in running. She won bronze and gold medals in Beijing and is looking for more medals in London. She will next be competing in the 4 x 400 relay.
Richards-Ross has had a long, distinguished career starting at the University of Texas and at the international level in the years since. She is also a newlywed. Her husband is Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Aaron Ross.
Cuban-born Robin Prendes came to the US at the age of six. He began rowing in Miami at the age of 12 and at 18 won the junior world championship title in the single skulls competition. He went on to attend Princeton University. He’s competing in the four man light competition in London. NBC reports on the results for his event:
The lightweight men’s four crew of Robin Prendes, Nick LaCava, Will Newell and Anthony Fahden finished its Olympic campaign with a second-place finish in the B final of the event to measure eighth overall in the world.
“The start wasn't terrible,” Newell said. “We were in sixth, but we were sort of in the pack. We weren't too worried about the margins. There was less looking out of the boat. We just tried to get into a good long rhythm. I think we executed that well, and it left us a little more juice in the last quarter.
“It was mixed results, but overall the Olympics have been pretty positive. We're definitely in a better position than we were last year, it's an encouraging thing.”
Bermuda-born Caroline Nichols isa member of the American field hockey team that got an automatic birth to the Olympics by winning the 2011 Pan American Games in Mexico. Nichols was a member of the 2008 US team that was the first team to win its way in to the Olympic tournament in decades. She’s a 2007 Old Dominion University graduate with a degree in biology. Caroline hoping to become a college field hockey coach or go back to school to become a physician’s assistant.
44 year old Bulgarian-born Emil Milev is competing in his fifth Olympics in the sport of shooting. It is his first as a member of Team USA. He moved his family to America in 2004 and naturalized five years later. Milev won the silver medal in 1996 and hopes to return to the medal stand in London.
Back home in Tampa, Florida, Milev is an elementary school physical education teacher. He’s also an entrepreneur. He and his coach have established a sports pistol and ammunition company.
Emil reached the rank of 7th in his qualifying event. Well done, Emil!
Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.