London's Calling: Eric Shanteau, Brendan Hansen and Breeja Larson -- July 21, 2012

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TEMPE, Arizona, July 21. THERE is less than a week until the London Olympics. Today, Swimming World profiles three more Team USA athletes, all competing in the 100 breaststroke.

Brendan Hansen:

Due to NBC rights holder restrictions, the following video interview is only viewable until 7/27/2012:

By winning the 100 breaststroke at the Olympic Trials, Brendan Hansen qualified for his third Olympics. He was named Captain of Team USA heading into London.

"I'm really proud of myself for sticking to it, and working hard," Hansen told media after his 100 breaststroke at Trials. "At the end of the day, I'm going to be proud of myself to tell people that I'm a three-time Olympian."

He retired from swimming after the Beijing 2008 Olympics, but decided to make a comeback for London 2012. In preparation, he competed at the US National Championships, winning the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke.

At the 2004 Athens Olympics, Hansen took silver in the 100 breaststroke and bronze in the 200, despite having set World Records in both events prior. He also swam on the 4x100 medley relay in Athens, winning gold and helping set a new world mark. In 2008, he placed fourth in the 100 breaststroke, but won gold for his efforts on the 4x100 medley relay.

Eric Shanteau:

Due to NBC rights holder restrictions, the following video interview is only viewable until 7/27/2012:

Weeks before competing in the 2008 Olympic Trias, Eric Shanteau had just been diagnosed with testicular cancer. Now, four years later and heading into London, Shanteau need only worry about his 100 breaststroke.

"It was a such a different scenario four years ago, it'll be nice not to have to deal with that this time," Shanteau told media after placing second in the 100 breaststroke at Trials.

Shanteau is an Auburn Alum, but represented the Trojan Aquatic Club at Trials. At the 2008 Olympics, while training with Brendan Hansen at Longhorn Aquatics, he qualified to compete in the 200 breaststroke, placing tenth.

Breeja Larson

Due to NBC rights holder restrictions, the following video interview is only viewable until 7/27/2012:

Breeja Larson was a relative unknown before upsetting 100 breaststroke favorite Rebecca Soni at Trials. The Texas A&M athlete swims under Aggie head coach Steve Bultman.

Larson has steadily improved in her time at A&M. As a sophomore, she set the NCAA record in the 100 breaststroke at this year's championships.

A year ago, Larson had to sit out swimming at Nationals because of a cancer scare. She talked to Swimming World after the 100 breaststroke finals, saying:

"I conquered the nature part of it [swimming], and then I was like I gotta take this [win]." Looks like her determination paid off.

Read the rest of the "London's Calling" Series by clicking on the link below:
London's Calling: Swimming World's Countdown to the Opening Ceremonies

Written and posted by Shoshanna Rutemiller

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