Italy's only true track medal contender is a native of Los Angeles. Howe, 23, is the son of a German soccer player father and an American hurdler mother, but has lived since the age of five in Italy, the native country of his mother's second husband. His mother, Renee' Felton, once a standout hurdler for UCLA, is Howe's coach in his quest for a long jump victory. Fulfilling a family dream both his mother and grandfather failed to qualify for the Olympics with the US track and field team Howe competed for Italy four years ago in Athens. But his real breakthrough came at the 2007 World Championships, where he nabbed the silver in the long jump. Howe is not the first non-native Italian citizen to excel in the event. He follows in the springy footsteps of Fiona May, the British-born star who married her Italian-born coach and won silver medals for Italy at the Atlanta and Sydney games.