Be Like Mariel Zagunis
Tell yourself, "I have so got this."
Mariel Zagunis won gold in 2004 in the Women's Individual Sabre competition—the first American fencer to take the top spot in 100 years—then did it all over again in 2008. She has been training five hours a day with the "first and foremost goal to get a three-peat," she says. If past is prologue, then we're gonna take a stab and say she's got this.
Follow Zagunis @MarielZagunis, and tweet with #SelfSummerGames.
Be Like Natalie Coughlin
Aim for your personal best.
The stakes are sky-high for Coughlin—she's won a medal in every Olympic event she's entered. Her current tally from the past two Games: three gold, four silver and four bronze. If she keeps up this streak in 2012, she could become the most decorated American female swimmer in Olympic history. Coughlin's take: "My first Olympics was about proving myself. My second, about defending my titles. Now I just feel strong." Our take: Go get it, girl!
Follow Coughlin @NatalieCoughlin, and tweet with #SelfSummerGames.
More: Swim Fast to Get Fast
Be Like Jordyn Wieber
Live in the now.
Not familiar with this high schooler? By July 27, we bet, you will be. Wieber may be America's best hope for the big kahuna of the Olympics: gymnastics gold. In London, the reigning all-around world champion hopes to attempt one of the most challenging moves in the sport, the Amanar vault: a roundoff on the springboard, back handspring onto the horse and a 2? twisting layout backflip before landing. (Good God!) If she sticks it, she might just get something shiny in return.
Follow Wieber @jordyn_wieber, and tweet with #SelfSummerGames.
Be Like Shalane Flanagan
If it scares you, do it.
The 26.2 miles Flanagan will run in London will be her third marathon. As in, ever. After taking bronze in the 10,000 meters in Beijing, Flanagan decided it was time to push herself even harder. This past January, she raced the Olympics marathon qualifier and finished first, setting the event record. "My lack of experience is kind of nerve-racking, but the race is so exciting, too," she says. "Each time I run one, it feels like Christmas." This year, Christmas comes on August 5, when the gun goes off.
Follow Flanagan @ShalaneFlanagan, and tweet with #SelfSummerGames.
Be Like Marlen Esparza
Fight like this girl.
A six-time National Champion, Esparza rules the ring. And she'll have the chance to wow the world as women's boxing makes its Games debut. "Going to the Olympics is not just a dream," she says. "It's what I've revolved my entire life around." The 112-pound flyweight plans to hang up her gloves after London, and no doubt, she'll go out fighting.
Follow Esparza @Marlen112Boxing, and tweet with #SelfSummerGames.