WASHINGTON, July 28, 2012 — American eyes are on the prize, the Gold medal, and whether Team America can once again bring home more medals than athletes from other nations. In the history of the Summer Olympics, U.S. athletes have won 946 Gold medals with most of those going to our athletes in Track and Field and Swimming.
who has 14 Gold medals, is once again back in the pool, going for seven more. He can’t win eight as he did in Beijing since he only entered four individual events and three relays. With teammate Ryan Lochte also Gold hungry, the odds are that Phelps will not win all seven, but will probably be on the podium five times. If he reaches the magic number of 19, then he will top the record of Soviet gymnast Larysa Latynina’s.
Here are a few others to keep an eye on as we move into the rounds of Olympic competition:
Serena Williams, Women - Tennis: Williams is at the top of her game, literally, coming off of triumphs at Wimbledon and 14 Grand Slams. She already has two Olympic gold medals in doubles, having won with her sister Venus. Expect her to cart home another gold medal or two with her when she leaves London.
Allyson Felix, Track and Field: She has never won an Olympic Gold medal, but she has two chances in London to do so; plus she is in fine form. The 200 meters is hers to win, especially after setting her personal best record of 21.69 seconds at the U.S. trials.
LaShawn Merritt, Track and Field: A Gold medalist in 2008, Merritt is a big favorite to do it again. He was banned for two years after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drugs, but Merritt was in good form at the 2011 World Championships.
Women’s Gymnastics Team: This could be the U.S.’s first team gold medal since 1996 when Kerri Strug did her heroic vault, sewing up the victory for the team. Women to watch are Gabrielle Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross, Aly Raisman, and Jordyn Wieber.
Jordan Burroughs, Wrestling: Having won every match in the last three years, Burroughs is more than ready to win the 74-kilogram freestyle division in London, especially after taking the 165-pound division for Nebraska in the NCAA Championships.
Women’s Soccer Team: Having only lost once this past year, the U.S. women’s soccer team is primed to win its fourth gold medal. What makes them even more formidable is that Shannon Boxx, Heather Mitts, Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach, and the amazing goalie Hope Solo will be on the field, ready to make gold happen.
Missy Franklin, Women - Swimming: Only 17 years old, but Franklin is already making a splash, planning to swim in seven events. No, she probably won’t rival Phelps in winning all seven, but she is favored to win gold in the 100- and 200-meter backstroke.
Jordyn Wieber, Women’s Gymnastics:
Another 17-year-old ready to make history at the Olympics, Wieber just may be another of America’s gymnastic sweetheart. At the World Championship in 2011, she propelled the Americans to a team gold medal and won the all-around gold medal. She is favored to take the Olympics all-around gold as well.
Ryan Lochte, Men’s Swimming:
Can you swim in a shadow? It may seem impossible, but it sure seems that way as Lochte wins gold after gold while all the glory goes to Phelps. He has won three gold medals, and in 2011 he took five more at the World Championships. At the Olympics Lochte is expected to win the 400-meter individual medley, the 200-meter freestyle and the 200-meter backstroke.
Ashton Eaton, Track and Field: The mantle of World’s Greatest Athlete may end up being worn by Eaton, who most probably will dominate the decathlon event. The phenomenal Jim Thorpe of the 1912 held that title for a century, but after Eaton scored a world record 9,039 points at the U.S. Olympic Trials, people are now saying that Eaton may be the greatest.
Women’s Basketball Team: American women on the basketball court are truly amazing and no one expects anything different this year. Sure, sure the guys have a great team, but if the women don’t take their fifth straight gold medal it would be a major upset. Look for Olympic-level playing from Seimone Augustus, Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings, Candace Parker, Diana Taurasi, Lindsay Whalen, and the rest of the team, truly super-stars.
Men’s Basketball Team: They are called the Dream Team and they will probably be the nightmare team for their opponents, but they are expect to deliver gold as they did in 2004. Hard not to with guys like Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, and LeBron James leading the squad.
Team U.S.A. is truly made up of All-Stars, but many people are expecting the American women to bring home the most medals. Look for the next column on Sunday, July 29, on “America’s Amazing Women Athletes.”
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.