Career Highlights: Perkovic is one of the favorites to contend for gold in the discus throw in London, and is very thankful to have the opportunity to compete in her first Olympics for many reasons. She failed two drug tests last June, testing positive for methylhexanamine, a banned stimulant that she claimed to have consumed in an American-made energy drink. Because it was ruled she took the banned substance unknowingly, she was handed a six-month suspension - a sentence that could have been much worse and potentially kept her from the Games. She wound up missing the 2011 world championships as a result. Adding to her good fortune, Perkovic survived a near-death experience in 2009. Doctors had misdiagnosed her appendicitis, which caused a near-fatal sepsis and two emergency surgeries. She lost 33 pounds during the ordeal, and was originally expected to miss a year of competition. But she returned after just three months, winning a gold medal at the European Athletics Junior Championships and setting a national record with a throw of 62.44 meters. One month later, the then-19-year-old finished ninth at the 2009 worlds, her first major senior competition. Perkovic has steadily improved her national record over the past few years, and heads into London with a personal best of 68.24, set in May in a Diamond League meet.