Volleyball player Logan Tom has been to the Olympics three times already, and still hasn't emerged with the ultimate prize.
She hopes that finally changes in London.
The 31-year-old Salt Lake City native is among a dozen athletes with Utah connections who will compete at the London Olympics that start Friday, and she has the best chance of taking home a gold medal. The Highland High School graduate claimed silver at the Beijing Games four years ago. Since then, she has inherited respected former Brigham Young University coach Hugh McCutcheon and helped the U.S. women become the world's top-ranked team.
"I have no problems" being viewed as the favorite, she said.
Tom is the only one on "Team Utah" viewed as a favorite, although several others are legitimate medal contenders.
Others who will compete in London include:
Arielle Martin • The long-suffering BMX cycling pioneer from Cedar Hills just missed a trip to Beijing four years ago.
Shalaya Kipp • The former record-setting track star at Skyline High School in Salt Lake City first tried her steeplechase event barely two years ago.
Cam Levins • A breakout distance running star from Southern Utah University, he will compete for Canada.
Andrew Rutherfurd and Rafael Alfaro • The swimmers from BYU will compete for Bolivia and El Salvador, respectively.
Kim Smith, Shona Thorburn and Michelle Plouffe • Current University of Utah basketball player Plouffe and former Ute stars Smith and Thorburn will represent Canada.
Rich Lambourne and Russell Holmes • The former BYU stars will play on the U.S. men's indoor volleyball team.
Jake Gibb • The Bountiful native will take aim at a medal on the beach with partner Sean Rosenthal, after a fifth-place finish in Beijing.
"We're going in looking to make some noise," Smith said.
The list doesn't even count basketball players Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko, who used to play for the Jazz.
Williams is going for his second straight gold medal with the U.S., while Kirilenko now playing professionally in Moscow, while Williams plays for the NBA's Brooklyn Nets headlines a Russian team hoping to make up for a miserable showing in Beijing, where they did not even get out of the preliminary round.
The contingent is considerably smaller than the 19-member one four years ago, in part because baseball is no longer an Olympic sport two Salt Lake Bees played in Beijing Â and because basketball players such as former Jazz forward Carlos Boozer and former Utah All-American Andrew Bogut are not competing this time.
But there are other, more painful, reasons.
Volleyball player Ryan Millar, the former BYU All-American who lives in Alpine and fully expected to compete in his fourth Olympics, was unexpectedly left off the U.S. roster by new coach Alan Knipe.
Cyclists David Zabriskie and Levi Leipheimer, who graduated from Olympus High School and Rowland Hall, respectively, withdrew from Olympic consideration amid reports they will testify against former teammate Lance Armstrong in the latest doping case against the seven-time Tour de France winner.
Wrestler Justin Ruiz, who graduated from Taylorsville High School and now lives in Orem, failed to earn a place in London, after agonizingly missing the last two Olympics by finishing only runner-up in his weight class at the U.S. Olympic Trials. And the Swedish Athletic Association decided not to nominate Niklas and Leif Arrhenius, two discus-throwing stars from Mountain View High School in Orem and BYU, because it did not believe they were capable of finishing in the top eight in London.
Still, some of the athletes who will be there stand a decent chance of reaching the medal podium.
Foremost among them is probably Martin, who recently finished fourth at the BMX World Championships and has been training on a track that is an exact replica of the London track, built at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
Holmes and Lambourne have a solid chance, too, even though the American men have slipped since Beijing, perhaps due to the coaching change that saw McCutcheon move over to the women's side. The Americans are ranked sixth in the world, heading into London.
Oh, and Gibb.
He and Rosenthal came close last time, but have perhaps assumed the position of top American beach volleyball team in London. They recently beat reigning Olympic gold medalists Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser in back-to-back FIVB Grand Slam tournaments in Gstaad and Berlin, and also beat Brazilian world champions Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti twice in their last three meetings to move up to second in the world rankings.
Gibb and Rosenthal have won two of the last three Grand Slam tournaments, in Rome and Gstaad, with a silver in Berlin, heading into the final event this weekend before the Olympics.
Keep that up, and Logan Tom won't be the only one with a great shot at gold.