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Gov. Perdue recognizes NC-tied Olympic athletes

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RALEIGH — Gov. Bev Perdue wished luck to all the athletes from North Carolina who are competing in the 2012 Summer Games in London.

“As the 2012 Summer Olympic Games open in London, I’d like to wish our nation’s athletes good luck as they take on the rest of the world. I would especially like to recognize those athletes and coaches with North Carolina ties," said Perdue, in a statement.

More than 10 athletes and coaches with North Carolina ties will be competing in London.

Some of these 2012 Olympic athletes include:

• Charlotte native Ricky Berens, an Olympic gold medalist swimmer who holds the world record in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay.

• Kings Mountain native Dremiel Byers, who in addition to being a member of the Olympic wrestling team, is a Sgt. 1st Class in the U.S. Army.

• UNC Chapel Hill graduate Rachel Dawson, who is a member of the U.S. field hockey Team.

• UNC Chapel Hill graduate Shalane Flanagan, who will compete in the marathon.

• Raleigh native Charlie Houchin, a star swimmer at Enloe High School.

• NC State graduate Cullen Jones, a Charlotte resident who has already won a gold medal in swimming.

• Duke graduate Nick McCrory, who grew up in Chapel Hill and is a member of the men’s diving team.

• East Carolina runner LaShawn Merritt, who in his first season at ECU, became the second-fastest indoor 400 meter runner at the time.

• Western Carolina graduate Manteo Mitchell, who was a standout at Crest High School in Shelby.

• Wake Forest basketball star Chris Paul, who also played for West Forsyth High School in Clemmons. Paul is a member of the USA men’s basketball team, that is coached by Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski.

• Raleigh native Jesse Williams, who is a two-time Olympian in the high jump.

• Greensboro native John Isner, who is competing for the U.S. in tennis.

“No matter what sport they compete in, or whether they win gold medals, all North Carolinians should be proud of all of our athletes who have dedicated so much to their sports and who are now competing on this international stage,” said Perdue.

The Olympics begin Friday and run through Aug. 12.

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