When the 2012 Olympic Games open in London on Friday, at least 21 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have qualified to compete. These athletes represent the United States, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Venezuela and Bolivia as they swim, race, fence, throw and compete against each country’s best. If you know of other LDS athletes competing in the 2012 Summer Games in London, please let us know at mormontimes@desnews.com.

Valerie Adams

Country: New Zealand

Event: Women's Shot Put

Olympic history: She won the gold medal in 2008 and took 8th place in 2004.

When Adams was young, her family was poor and couldn't afford shoes to fit her big feet. Even without shoes she broke her school's shot put record by a couple of meters.

Tumua Anae

Country: United States

Event: Women's Water Polo; goalkeeper

Olympic history: Her first Olympics, but helped the USA take first place at the 2011 Pan American Games.

Earlier this year Anae told the Deseret News, "It's exciting to be able to say you're representing the Unites States of America, and to be able to hear the national anthem played before every game is something that none of us, I know on the team at least and myself, don't take lightly. It's an honor."

Celeste Brown

Country: Cook Islands

Event: Swimming: Women's 50m Freestyle

Olympic history: London will be Brown's first Olympics.

Brown's mother recently wrote a letter to the editor of the Cook Islands News. She talks about Brown's commitment to swimming, studies, church and other obligations.

Jillian Camarena-Williams

Country: United States

Event: Women's Shot Put

Olympic history: Camarena-Williams took 12th place in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

ESPN reported that Camarena-Williams and her husband bought plane tickets to London before she even qualified. Talk about confidence.

Maria Gabriela Martinez Gascon and Johana Beatriz Fuenmayor Choles

Country: Venezuela

Event: Fencing: Women's Individual Epee and Women's Individual Foil, respectively

Olympic history: Maria Martinez fenced in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics.

From left, Mariana Gonzalez, Yulitza Suarez, Johanna Fuenmayor and Maria Martinez, of Venezuela, during the fencing women's team foil award ceremony at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011.

Jake Gibb
Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

Country: United States

Event: Men's Beach Volleyball

Olympic history: Tied for 5th place in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Gibb and his partner, Sean Rosenthal, are heading to London with some good wins behind them.

"It's kind of like a golfer that's getting his swing right into a groove heading into a major," their coach, Mike Dodd told the Associated Press. "These guys have been building, each weekend a better and better finish."

Becky Holliday

Country: United States

Event: Women’s pole vault

Olympic history: This is her first Olympics

She was the runner-up in the trials. She was the 2003 NCAA champion in the sport and has since funded her training by working odd jobs, including airport baggage handler and serving tables, according to her bio.

Russell Holmes
Stuart Johnson, Deseret News archive

Country: United States

Event: Men's Volleyball, middle blocker

Olympic history: This will be Holmes' first Olympics.

Even though this is his first Olympics, this isn't his Holmes' first time in London. He served a LDS mission in London, England.

Rich Lambourne
Gary McKellar, Deseret News archive

Country: United States

Event: Men's Volleyball, libero

Olympic history: He was on the gold medal-winning team in 2008.

Was a key member of the BYU Men's Volleyball team that won their first NCAA championship in 1999.

Breeja Larson
Mark Humphrey, Associated Press

Country: United States

Event: Women's 100m Breaststroke and Women's 4x100m Medley Relay

Olympic history: This will be Larson's first trip to the Olympics.

Not only is this Larson's first Olympics, but it will be her first trip overseas. She told Yahoo! that she is nervous about the plane ride.

Arielle Martin

Country: United States

Event: Women's BMX cycling

Olympic history: This will be Martin's first Olympics.

Martin has developed a friendship with Paralympian Lex Gillette. Gillette is blind, but Martin still helped him ride a bike, as she trained for the London Olympics.

John Nunn

Country: United States

Event: Men's 50km racewalk

Olympic history: In 2004, he placed 26th in 20km racewalk.

The LA Times reports that Nunn is not only a famous race walker, he also is famous for his cookies.

More coverage: LDS soldier qualifies for the 2012 Olympics

Hayley Palmer

Country: New Zealand

Event: Swimming: Women's 50m Freestyle and Women's 4x100m Freestyle Relay

Olympic history: 2008 Olympics

Palmer grew up in Gloucester, England, and is excited for the games to be in London.

She told The Citizen (a newspaper in Gloucester), "When London was awarded the Games I made the decision that I wanted to be there as a competitor and I think it would have been different had another city won."

Sarah Robles

Country: United States

Event: Weightlifting Women's +75kg

Olympic history: This will be Robles first Olympics.

After only making $400 a week, Robles recently got a a new sponsor for the Olympics.

More coverage: The journey of a Mormon Olympic weightlifter

Andrew Rutherfurd

Country: Bolivia

Event: Swimming: Men's 100m Freestyle

Olympic history: This is Rutherfurd's first Olympics.

Before the Olympics, Rutherfurd estimated that he would swim 10,000 yards per day to prepare himself.

This photo was take from byucougars.com.

Patricia Taea

Country: Cook Islands

Event: Women’s 100-meter sprint

Olympic history: This is her first Olympics

The 18-year-old lives in the LDS Church’s Avarua Cook Island District and holds the national record for the Cook Islands national record in the women’s 100-meter sprint. She is one of eight athletes from the Cook Islands to go to London.

Mary Killman

Country: United States

Event: Synchronized swimming duet

Olympic history: This is her first Olympics

Oklahoma native Mary Killman is part of a duet with Mariya Koroleva.

Killman was named the USA Synchro Athlete of the Year for the 2010 and 2011 seasons, according to her bio on NBCOlympics.com

Lucia Palermo

Country: Argentina

Event: Rowing, women’s single sculls

Olympic history: She competed in 2004 in Athens.

Lucia Palermo, of the Pacheco Ward, Buenos Aires Argentina Litoral Stake, competed in 2004 in Athens and is now in London.

Bruna Beatriz Benites Soares

Country: Brazil

Event: Women’s soccer team mid-fielder

Olympic history: This is her first Olympics.

Bruna Beatriz Benites Soares, of the Amambaí Ward, Campo Grande Brazil Stake, is a mid-fielder for the Brazilian team. The 26-year-old was baptized in 2000, according to this blog's feature on her.

Oyungerel Gantumur

Country: Mongolia

Event: Women’s 100-meter breaststroke

Olympic history: This is her first Olympics.

Oyungerel Gantumur, 20, lives in the the Erdenet 2nd Branch, Darkhan Mongolia District.