Career Highlights: After blossoming into the United States’ best hope in the high jump the last few years - a rise capped in 2011 when he won the country’s first world championship in the event in two decades - Williams nearly suffered a heartbreaking fate at the Olympic trials. He struggled on a rainy night in Oregon and finished fourth, but since third-place finisher Nick Ross was unable to clear the Olympic “A” standard, Williams still earned a trip to London. “I had a heck of a year last year and for me to not be on the team would be a disaster,” he said. “The whole goal was to make London and now I’m there and I want to get on top of the podium. This is not deterring my goal.” Williams still figures to be a force at his second Games. He failed to get out of the preliminary round in Beijing but has pushed himself to new heights in the last four years, winning national titles both indoors and outdoors in 2010 before his brilliant 2011 season. In addition to the gold medal at worlds, he also set a personal best with a jump of 7 feet, 9 ¼ inches at the U.S. outdoor championship and won the Jesse Owens Award as the top American track and field performer of the year.