[REAL VERSION] London 2012

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Full coverage on NBC through August 12

Cal Grad Alysia Montano Will Run Olympic 800m

The 26-year-old healed from her injury, and soon became the fastest woman in the 800m in 2010.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Andy Lyons, Getty Images

    The road to the London Olympic Games for UC Berkeley graduate Alysia Montano took a big detour.

    The 800-meter runner was considered a shoe-in for the 2008 Bejing games before a broken foot nearly broke her Olympic dreams.

    But at that level, athletes can't give up. And Montano didn't.

    "I had a couple of doctors telling me I wasn't going to run again at the elite level, but I just left them behind and found other ones," Montano said.

    Cal Grad Alysia Montano Will Run Olympic 800m

    [BAY] Cal Grad Alysia Montano Will Run Olympic 800m
    Cal grad will run the 800-meter at the London Games.

    The 26-year-old healed from her injury, and soon become the fastest woman in the 800m in 2010.

    In 2011, she won several key races, and is currently ranked 4th in the world.

    Her coach, Tony Sandoval, who is also's Cal's director of Track and Field, has worked with her for the past eight years and thinks this might be her year.

    "She has had a perfect year of training," Sandoval said.

    Montano's team also includes her husband of a little more than a year, Louis Mantano. The two met in junior high in Santa Clarita and kept in touch as friends through college. A couple of years ago, that friendship turned into a romance. They now live in Canyon Country in Southern California.

    "This sport at the end of the day can be very lonely," Alysia Montano said. "You become introverted in what you are doing, that the balance on the other side is very important. Louis really brings that balance for me."

    While she finds balance from her husband, Alysia Montano finds strength and beauty in what has now become a staple in her hair. A flower. "It was my symbol of strength in femininity and not losing that part of me," Montano said.

    She'll need that strength as she prepares to compete on the world stage.

    To see uncut video of Alysia Montano talk about how she began running at an early age, click here:

     

    To see uncut video about Alysia Montano's amazing recovery from a foot injury, click here.

    To learn more about Alysia Montano's signature flower that she wears while running, click here.