Event: Running (Women’s Sprinting)
Hometown: Gardena, California
Carmelita Jeter is an anomaly in that she is literally just hitting her stride as a world-class sprinter after turning 30. Not only that, but it’s the fact that she’s participating in her first Olympics this summer. Jeter fought hamstring injuries through her mid-20s then failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympics in 2008 after getting back on the track. She has continually improved throughout recent years, taking gold medals in the 100m and 4x100m relay at last year’s World Championships, adding a silver in the 200m. Her breakthrough success at such an age has brought plenty of suspicion of performance-enhancing drug use, but they have been entirely unproven thus far. This summer, Jeter has the chance to prove that peaking as an athlete has much more to do with hard work and dedication than youth.