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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • The 2012 U.S. Olympic Team before they were stars

    The whole world is watching new sports stars being born each day during the latest Summer Olympics in London. And although the 2012 Summer Games haven’t been without their share of controversy, there have also been tremendous moments of sportsmanship, personal triumph and breathtaking performances. To celebrate, our friends at Snakkle.com share pics of some of Team U.S.A.’s shining stars, before they were in the center of the world’s spotlight.

    See the entire gallery of current Olympic stars before the fame at Snakkle.com

    (Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library, Stanley Chou/Getty Images)

    Hope Solo as Young Girl and Now
    Soccer phenom Hope Solo showed her girly side in this family picture from her senior yearbook at Richland High School, Richland, Washington in 1999. Today, all grown up, the U.S. women’s soccer team goalie has never backed away from speaking her mind—even when it means courting controversy. She recently told ESPN, “There’s a lot of sex going on” at the Olympic Village. Solo—who plays for the Seattle Sounders Women and won a gold medal with the 2008 U.S. Olympic team—is a tomboy who is also known for her sense of style, evident even in this early photo. Last year, Solo and her “Dancing with the Stars” partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy made it all the way to the semifinals on the TV show; let’s hope that Hope and her team make it even farther in these 2012 Olympics.

    See all 26 photos of current Olympic stars before the fame at Snakkle.com

    (Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library, Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

    Misty May As a Junior in 1994 and Now
    Even as a kid, Misty May was an avid beach volleyball player, competing at age eight with her dad in her first tournament. She went on to help her high school team win two championships—and played against her future partner Kerri Walsh in both high school and college. In 2000 she and her then-partner Holly McPeak qualified for the Sydney Olympics but finished a disappointing fifth. In 2001 she teamed with Kerri Walsh, and the two have been the most dominant force in women’s beach volleyball ever since, winning gold in both the 2004 and 2008 Olympics and trying again for a third in 2012.

    Check out Misty’s partner Kerri Walsh’s pre-fame school photo at Snakkle.com

    (Snakkle.com)

    McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross As Kids and Now

    Sure, they’re teammates—and, sometimes, competitors. But in the case of two U.S. Olympic gymnasts, the connection goes far deeper (and a lot longer). McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross, her 15-year-old teammate, met as six-year-olds in the same gymnastics club and have been BFFs ever since. As Maroney wrote on her Facebook page, “Once upon a time two little best friends from California were dreaming about the Olympics… They trained together, both make the Olympics… And the rest is history.”
    See all the Olympic stars’ before the fame photos, including Michael Phelps and many more, at Snakkle.com

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