November 28, 2023

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Newsmakers of the Year - Statewide

Team USA

| 12/26/2012

Tina Konyot, 51, Palm City
Equestrian (dressage)
6th place in equestrian team competition
Notable: Konyot’s grandfather, Arthur Konyot, occupied center ring in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Her father, Alex Konyot, also a member of the Circus Hall of Fame, started an equine training facility in Fort Lauderdale.

Danell Leyva, 21, Miami
Bronze in the all-around
5th place in the team competition
5th place in the high bar individual event final
Notable: Leyva’s mother and stepfather were both members of the Cuban national gymnastics team.

Sarah Lihan, 24, Fort Lauderdale
9th place in the two-person dinghy

Ryan Lochte, 28, Daytona Beach
Gold in the 400-meter individual medley
Gold in the 4x200-meter relay
Silver medal in the 4x100 meter freestyle relay
4th place in the 200-meter freestyle

Tony McQuay, 22, Riviera Beach
Track and field
Silver in 4x400 meter relay

Mark Mendelblatt, 39, Miami
7th place in Star category

Emil Milev, 44, Tampa
Shooting (rapid fire pistol)
Made it to the second round

Trevor Moore, 28, Naples
15th place

Robin Prendes, 24, Miami
8th place in men’s lightweight four

Paige Railey, 25, Clearwater
6th place in the one-person dinghy
Notable: Railey is a 2010 graduate of the University of South Florida with a degree in business management.

Zach Railey, 28, Clearwater
12th place in the men’s one-person dinghy heavy (Finn class)

Sanya Richards-Ross, 27, Fort Lauderdale
Track and field
Gold in 400 meter
Gold in the 4x400 relay

Jennifer Simpson, 26, Oviedo
Track and field, middle distance (mile, steeplechase)
Did not advance to finals in the 1,500 meter
Notable: Simpson was a five-time state champion in track and three-time state champion in cross country while at Oviedo High School. She also set Florida high school records in the mile, two-mile, 5,000 meter and three-mile.

Anna Tunnicliffe, 30, Plantation
5th place in women’s match racing

Brittany Viola, 25, Orlando
Advanced to semifinals of 10 meter platform
Notable: Viola was a former international elite gymnast but retired at age 13 because she did not want to move to train away from her family. She began diving in 2000. Her father is former Minnesota Twins pitcher Frank Viola.

Serena Williams, 31,
Palm Beach Gardens
Gold in singles
Gold in doubles

Venus Williams, 32,
Palm Beach Gardens
Gold in doubles
Made it to the second round in singles

Note: Cities listed were designated as athletes’ hometowns, according to the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Tags: Floridian of the Year, Around Florida, Newsmakers of the Year, Statewide Newsmakers

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