London’s Calling: Peter Vanderkaay and Chloe Sutton

TEMPE, Arizona, July 14. INTERNATIONAL experience is often beneficial for an athlete heading into the Olympics. Two athletes with much international experience are Peter Vanderkaay and Chloe Sutton, set to represent Team USA in the 400 individual freestyle in London.

Let's take a more in-depth look at these two athletes:

Peter Vanderkaay:

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

When Peter Vanderkaay and Conor Dwyer finished first and second in the 400 freestyle at Trials, the two training partners earned their tickets to the 2012 Olympics in London.

Heading to his third Olympics, Vanderkaay has more than his race to worry about, as the 28-year-old has been named Captain of Team USA, along with a veritable crew of respected swimmers.

Vanderkaay cinched the 400 freestyle Trials win by less than two tenths, and he seemed a bit unhappy with the time he posted when he talked to media after the finals.

“The time I had tonight wasn't where I wanted to be. But I have a few things I can work on to be able to compete with those top guys.”

Those “top guys” Vanderkaay is referring to are his international competition, namely Sun Yang of China, who posted the top 400 freestyle time in 2012.

But the mark of a dedicated athlete is trusting in his or her coaching; something Vanderkaay changed up recently when he relocated to Florida to train with the men's Olympic coach Gregg Troy.

“I've been training in Michigan for about eight years, and I thought it was time to change it up two years out,” Vanderkaay said in response to questions of his training. “I have a lot of respect for Troy and his program down there, and it just seemed like a good fit for me.”

Vanderkaay is a 2006 Michigan graduate, where he was a multiple NCAA Champion and 2006 Big Ten Athlete of the Year.

Outside of collegiate athletics, Vanderkaay is an American record holder in the 500 yard freestyle. He has been a recurring member on Team USA's 800 meter freestyle relay. This relay has a tendency to repeatedly break the American Record. His first individual Olympic medal came in the 200 freestyle in Beijing, when he won bronze.

Chloe Sutton:

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

Chloe Sutton is in an aquatic category all her own. Originally an open water swimmer, Chloe Sutton made her Olympic debut in 2008. She was the only female US swimmer to qualify to compete in the 10k open water event in Beijing. Had she qualified in the 800 freestyle at that year's Olympic Trials, she would have been the first female swimmer to compete in the Olympics in both the open water and pool races. However, she placed third at the 2008 trials, missing the honor by a single place.

Now, in 2012, Sutton is once again heading to the Olympics, but this time she'll be swimming between lane lines. She placed second in Omaha in the 400 freestyle, behind Allison Schmitt. She finished ahead of 15-year-old 800 freestyle winner Kathleen Ledecky in the 400 freestyle, but the tables turned later in the week, when Ledecky trumped the entire finals field in the 800, including Sutton, who placed fourth.

Twenty-year-old Sutton became a professional swimmer in 2009, bypassing her NCAA eligibility. Currently, she swims for the Mission Viejo Nadadores in Southern California.

She burst on the International scene in 2006, at age 14, when she won gold in the 10k open water race at National Championships. Other National titles include a 2009 Gold in both the 800 freestyle and open water 5k and the 2010 800 freestyle title.

Ryan Seacrest also included Sutton on his list of 15 Hottest Female Athletes to Watch at the Olympics. Good thing there will be lots of chlorinated water to cool her off.

Written and posted by Shoshanna Rutemiller

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