In just a few days, more than 10,000 competitors from 204 countries will gather in London to kick off the 2012 Olympics. Over the course of the games, athletes will participate in 302 events in 32 sports.

For the first time in history, the U.S. is sending more female athletes than male athletes to the Olympics. According to data from the Team USA website, 269 women and 261 men from nearly as many cities and towns are heading to London to represent the red, white and blue. We’re taking a look at a few of those Olympians’ hometowns.

Michael Phelps


Sport: Swimming
Olympics: 2012, 2008, 2004, 2000
Medals: 14 Olympic gold, 2 Olympic bronze
Hometown: Baltimore, MD

A phenomenon since childhood, Phelps began swimming at age 7 in Towson, MD, a northwest suburb of Baltimore. During his teenage years, Phelps attended the local public school, Towson High, and swam for the North Baltimore Aquatic Club under the coaching of Bob Bowman. Phelps’ small childhood community is home to around 50,000 people and has current median home values of $270,000, higher than the national median of $148,000.

Meadowbrook Aquatic Center, NBAC’s training site      Source: Wikipedia

 Allyson Felix


Sport: Track and Field
Olympics: 2012, 2008, 2004
Medals: 1 Olympic gold, 2 Olympic silver
Hometown: Santa Clarita, CA

Growing up in Santa Clarita, Felix tried out for track in the ninth grade and has been running ever since. Despite being nicknamed “Chicken Legs” by her teammates, Felix credits much of her success to her high school training and coach, Wes Smith. Her hometown of Santa Clarita is the fourth largest city in Los Angeles County. More affordable than other Los Angeles-area communities, Santa Clarita home values hover around $308,000.

Felix’s school, LA Baptist. Source:

Jonathan Horton


Sport: Gymnastics
Olympics: 2012, 2008
Medals: 1 Olympic silver, 1 Olympic bronze
Hometown: Houston, TX

Horton, a self-proclaimed “wild child,” began gymnastics as a way to channel his boundless energy and fearlessness. As a teen he competed for Cypress Academy of Gymnastics in Houston and was recruited by the University of Oklahoma. The largest city in Texas, and one of the fastest growing metros in the country, Houston homes are remarkably affordable with a median list price of $168,000.

Horton’s Gym at the University of Oklahoma. Source:

Missy Franklin


Sport: Swimming
Olympics: 2012
Medals: None
Hometown: Centennial, CO

Competing in her first Olympics this summer, 17-year-old Franklin is among the best swimmers in her age group worldwide. Despite her skill, Franklin leads a relatively normal teenage life in her hometown of Centennial, CO.  Located just 20 minutes from Denver, Centennial has seen growth in both its population and home values, with a 3 percent increase in median home values since last year.

Franklin’s High School, Regis Jesuit. Source:

Tyson Gay


Sport: Track and Field
Olympics: 2012, 2008
Medals: None
Hometown: Lexington, KY

Playing baseball as a child, Gay was always the fastest runner on the team. He entered the spotlight in high school, winning three state championships for Lafayette High School in Lexington, KY. With a population of almost 300,000, Gay’s hometown is the second largest city in the state. Lexington’s median home value is lower than the national average at $131,000 and has decreased by 0.6 percent in the last year.

Gay’s school, Lafayette High. Source:

Misty May-Treanor


Sport: Beach Volleyball
Olympics: 2012, 2008, 2004, 2000
Medals: 2 Olympic gold
Hometown: Costa Mesa, CA

As a child, May-Treanor often played beach volleyball with her parents on the Santa Monica Pier. But her family’s hobby quickly progressed into May-Treanor’s lifelong passion. Her hometown, Costa Mesa, is also home to several volleyball players. Despite decreasing slightly in the past year, home values in Costa Mesa remain relatively high, with a median value of $488,900.

May-Treanor’s school, Newport Harbor. Source:

Ryan Lochte


Sport: Swimming
Olympics: 2012, 2008, 2004
Medals: 3 Olympic gold, 2 Olympic silver, 1 Olympic bronze
Hometown: Daytona Beach, FL

Lochte took his first swimming lessons at age 5 after his family moved to Daytona Beach for his father’s coaching career. Although Daytona Beach is the headquarters for NASCAR, Lochte pursued swimming, entering the Junior Olympics his first year of high school. Despite the business from the racing industry, the median value of a Daytona Beach home is well below the nation’s average, settling in at $74,700.

Lochte’s school, Spruce Creek HS Source:

Lolo Jones


Sport: Track and Field
Olympics: 2012, 2008
Medals: None
Hometown: Des Moines, IA

Although she’s competing in track and field, Jones may be better known for her statements about her personal life. Although she attended high school in Des Moines, IA, she headed to Louisiana for college and currently resides in Baton Rouge. Her hometown of Des Moines is Iowa’s capital and the median home value of $96,400 has decreased by 5 percent year-over-year.

Jones’ School, Theodore Roosevelt HS. Source: Wikipedia

Bob and Mike Bryan


Sport: Tennis
Olympics: 2012, 2008, 2004
Medals: 1 Olympic bronze
Hometown: Camarillo, CA

The sons of two tennis coaches, the Bryan brothers first picked up rackets at age 2. Since then they have won more than 700 matches together. Their hometown of Camarillo, CA is located in Ventura County about an hour west of Los Angeles. The largely upscale city has relatively high home values, resting currently at $396,000, despite a slight decrease from last year.

Stanford University courts where the Bryan brothers played Source:

Hope Solo


Sport: Soccer
Olympics: 2012, 2008
Medals: 1 Olympic gold
Hometown: Richland, WA

Inspired by her father to play soccer, America’s No. 1 goalkeeper began her career in the Tri-Cities area of Washington state, playing for the Three Rivers Soccer Club. During her time at Richland High School, Solo led her team to three league titles. Richland is a smaller city in southeastern Washington with fewer than 50,000 residents. Richland’s home values are down by 10.5 percent since last year, currently hovering at $240,900.

Solo’s home turf at the University of Washington. Source:



About the Author

Madeline Hall is working as marketing intern at Zillow. She goes to Claremont McKenna College in Southern California where she majors in government and psychology.

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