1) Sarah Attar, 19, Saudi Arabia, track and field (pictured above)_ Attar broken a gender barrier by competing as one of two female athletes for Saudi Arabia. The conservative kingdom which governs in accordance with strict Islamic law has never allowed women to compete before. Attar finished last in 800-meters with a time of over 2 hours and 44 minutes, but she is one of the most inspirational stories in London so far.
2) Nesilhan Darnel, 28, volleyball, Turkey (pictured center)_ Darnel was the flag-bearer for Turkey and she came through with an outstanding tournament. But, Turkey was a tough group and they lost to Brazil, China and The United as a result though they defeated a very talented South Korean team which advanced to the semi-finals. On a personal note, we were surprised to learn that Darnel got her start at the Yesilyurt Sports Club in Istanbul, which I frequented when I visited Turkey as a child and teenager.
3) Anna Esper, 19, water polo, Spain_ The United States won the gold medal match for water polo today over Spain, but it was outstanding tournament for many Spanish players, including Esper who score four goals in the team's semi-final win over Hungary.
4) Maartje Paumen, 26, field hockey, Netherlands (pictured bottom)_ The openly lesbian captain of the popular Dutch field hockey team will play Argentina in the gold medal game this weekend; they beat New Zealand in a shoot-out to get there.
5) Marketa Slukova, 24, beach volleyball, Czech Republic_ Along with teammate Krstyna Kolocva, Slukova helped upset the Brazilian upset the Brazilian duo of Antonelli and Artune on Saturday; the Czechs lost their next game in the quarter-finals to the American duo of April Ross and Jennifer Kessey, which won silver.
6) Kim Yeon-Koung, 24, volleyball, South Korea_ The ever gorgeous and extremely good volleyball who plays volleyball professionally in Turkey helped propel her team to the semi-finals, which surprised many volleyball insiders. South Korea now plays Japan in the bronze medal game.