|espnW.com: Olympic Sports|
NEW YORK -- How are U.S. Olympic hopefuls faring just 100 days out from the start of the London Olympics? We caught up with a few of them during Wednesday's festivities in Times Square:
"Right now, I'm not even thinking about the Olympics," Franklin said. "My wildest dreams would be to make the team, and that's all that I'm focusing on right now."
If Franklin does make it to London, she has a few people she wants to meet.
"I really am dying to meet One Direction because I absolutely love them, and Kate Middleton and Prince Harry and Prince William. I have a huge obsession for the Brits."
"I know the 200 is my priority and then I'll let my coach Bobby [Kersee] make the final decision right before trials," Felix said. "Where I really struggle is because the 400 is first. If it was the other way with the 200 first? No brainer; I'd be all in. But I don't know if I want to go into my favorite race, the race that I have two silvers in, where I'm not as fresh. So that's where I am right now."
"I'm a huge basketball fan, so I was able to watch the gold-medal basketball game," Day said. "I'm from L.A., so I'm a huge Kobe Bryant fan. I was able to take a photo with him. I don't get too geeked out on sports people or celebrities, but I did get geeked out on him. Just being part of the Games, even just checking in and putting the jersey on, it's pretty overwhelming. That's my motivation now."
"I gave up school, I gave up my adolescence, I gave up everything to be in this position, and this is exactly where I want to be," Esparza said. "To be able to [represent the United States], I feel like that would complete me -- literally complete me as a person. I feel like I would be able to die happy, to live my whole life content because of what I've accomplished just now.
"It means everything I gave up, it means everything I could have, it becomes everything to my family, to my friends and to my community."
"The hardest thing about training is getting up on those days when you're hurting and you're sore and tired," Francia said. "But at the end of the day, you have a goal in mind and you want to get it done. Even on those days, get inspired and get fired up and go to practice. This time around, I hope to accomplish the same thing and bring back a gold medal and go fast."
"I had to be OK with maybe having to leave the sport or continuing, and I was OK with either outcome," Viola said. "I think that has really been beneficial in being able to dive because it was an opportunity, it was a gift to continue my career and have this opportunity to go to 2012.
"Through my injuries, all [my Dad] did was tell me that I could make it through, that I would be stronger when I came back. To have that truth in my heart just encouraged me all the more."
"Obviously, it's a huge goal for this team [to win gold] and it's the one piece for us that's missing going back to Sidney," Armstrong said. "This team is a lot different from the one we had going into Beijing. With this team, about half of us are returning Olympians; before the Beijing Games, 10 out of 13 were brand-new Olympians. That dynamic that we have heading into London is just huge in keeping a balance on the team.
"We're just looking at going in and playing the best water polo that we can and putting forth the best tournament, the most consistent tournament across all facets of our team. Hopefully that will in the end lead to a gold medal for us."
"I was in the dining hall at the Olympic Village and one of the U.S. women's volleyball team members saw my gold medal tucked in my shirt and she saw the ribbon and said, 'Can I see your gold medal?'" Whipple recalled. "The next day, she came and found us in the Village and said, 'I just have to tell you guys, we were down in the semifinal, and at the break, I told my team how I got to hold a gold medal at the Village and said, 'I want my own.'
"The U.S. women's team went on to win the semifinal and make the gold-medal match. They got a silver in the end, but just the fact that we helped a different sport get to where they wanted to go gives me goose bumps thinking about it."