As a kid, Allison Schmitt's sport was soccer. She even had a Mia Hamm Barbie doll. If she imagined back then that she would find herself at the Olympics someday, it would have been as a teammate of Hope Solo and Alex Morgan.
Instead, she is poised for a breakout Olympics in swimming.
"I had the decision made for me when I got cut from the team at 12," she says of her stunted soccer career. "Swimming was a no-cut sport."
Schmitt, 22, is perhaps best known these days to casual followers of swimming asMichael Phelps' training partner, first in her native Michigan and then at North Baltimore...