Local Catholics could have easily joined Morgan Spellman, center, and Natasha Armstrong, right, alongside other classmates Aug. 3 at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, Md., as they watched a broadcast of the 2012 London Olympics. The young women were cheering on their classmate, Katie Ledecky, 15, a rising sophomore who won the Olympic gold medal in the women's 800 freestyle that day. At age 15, Ledecky is the youngest member of the U.S. team competing in the London summer games. (CNS photo/Michael Hoyt, Catholic Standard)

Seems like every time I tune in to the Olympics or Olympic newscasts, I hear of some Arizona or Valley tie in. What may have been missing from those reports is the tie-in to local Catholics or Catholic schools. Consider yourself clued in:

  • If you saw any of the distance running, you might have seen a former Bible Study leader through the Fellowship of Catholic University Students at Northern Arizona University's Holy Trinity Newman Center. Diego Estrada competed in the 10,000 meters for Mexico.
  • If you caught any of the men's or women's basketball games, you may have caught a glimpse of a '84 St. Mary's High School alumni. Bill Kennedy served as referee.
  • If you saw any of the British swim, you have former Brophy coach Dennis Pursley to congratulate on prepping the team. He has also coached American and Olympic teams according to a Cronkite News article, but dedicated his time and talent to the British the last four years.
  • Two members of the U.S. Women's soccer team also support Team Bemis, the Notre Dame Prep-based team which still provides spiritual, financial and emotional support to Coach Scot Bemis even after the two-time Saints coach lost his battle with cancer earlier this year. See the photo. So did teammate Abby Wambach.
  • Clients at Foundation for Senior Living's Adult Day Health Centers are preparing to compete in their own Olympics the week of Aug. 20. Check out the opening ceremonies.
  • To celebrate the spirit of the Olympic games, FirstWatch cafés highlighted its Tri-Athlete® Egg White Omelet. House-roasted Crimini Mushrooms, Onions, Tomatoes and Green Chilies. Served with house-made Salsa, a dry English Muffin and Fresh Fruit. Still available at all locations.

And if you haven't already seen these other Catholic ties to the Olympics, here's your chance: