London Olympics 2012: Who to Watch

Hey Scoopers! This Friday we embark on a journey with the athletes representing the Unites States in the 2012 London Olympics. (Are you excited yet?) During 17 day of competition, we’ll be watching some of the most amazing athletes from all over the world showcase their talent and prove why they deserve the gold medal. Especially now with major rivalries heating up between certain countries within sports such as USA v. China in women’s gymnastics and USA v. Jamaica in track and field. The best aspect of the Olympics is the unity and cooperation within the country and the world, and that’s the best part about sports. No matter what the problem is, people will put their problems aside and rally together to support the good ol’ red, white and blue.

The United States sends hundreds of athlete to the games to participate in sports like archery, gymnastics, track and field, boxing and many others. When the games begin, it will be hard to keep track of who’s who and what to watch. So wondering on who to follow during the Olympics? Below is a list of who are the notable athletes to listen out for during the game.

Women’s Gymnastics

L-R: Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross, Jordyn Wieber and McKayla Maroney. Photo Courtesy of https://usagym.org/pages/post.html?PostID=10403

This year’s women’s gymnastics team involves the best of America’s elite gymnasts. With no veterans returning, Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber are the favorites to represent in the all-around portion of competition. Douglas is a student of Liang Chow, who also coached Shawn Johnson, while Wieber was is the 2012 US all-around champion and USOC athlete of the month for June 2012.

Want to know more? Follow the girls on Twitter:

Gabby Douglas- @gabrielledoug

Jordyn Wieber- @jordyn_wieber

Kyla Ross- @kyla_ross96

Aly Raisman- @Aly_Raisman

McKayla Maroney- @McKaylaMaroney

Source: http://usagym.org/pages/athletes/womenList.html?prog=w

Men’s Gymnastics

The men’s gymnastics team is stacked with the country’s top competitors in the sport with John Orozco and Danell Leyva leading the team. Orozco, from Bronx, NY, was the all-around competition winner at the Olympic trials and placed second on the high bars. Danell Leyva was the second place finisher at the all-around competition, but placed first on the high bars and parallel bars. Leyva and Orozco are going to have all the pressure leading the men into trying to defeat Japan. Also joining this team of newcomers is Jonathan Horton, who traveled with the US for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Want updates? Here’s their Twitter accounts:

John Orozco- @JohnW_Orozco

Danell Leyva- @danelljleyva

Jonathan Horton- @J_Horton11          Jake Dalton- @jake_dalton       Sam Mikulak- @SamuelMikulak

Source: http://usagym.org/pages/athletes/menList.html?prog=m

Swimming

Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte;
Courtesy of: http://www.masslive.com/sports/index.ssf/
2008/08/olympics_roundup_phelps_wins_n.html

All eyes will be on the pool as Michael Phelps will try to achieve what no other athlete has: getting eight more gold medals! Phelps has the chance to get another set of gold medals and become the most decorated person in Olympic history. However it won’t be an easy feat for Phelps because his longtime frenemy, Ryan Lochte, is looking for gold in some of the same events. These two have seen each other throughout trials and international competitions, so this rivalry will only reach its peak during the Olympics (especially since Phelps is retiring after these games).

On the women’s front, Missy Franklin is the 17-year-old sensation that will bring a rejuvenated presence into the pool. She will be swimming in six events. Some veterans returning are Natalie Coughlin and Elizabeth Beisel.

Source: http://www.sbnation.com/london-olympics-2012/2012/6/19/3097334/michael-phelps-ryan-lochte-us-olympic-trials-swimming-2012-results

Men’s Basketball

In 2008 at Beijing, the men’s basketball team was labeled the “Redeem Team” because they were trying to prove to the world that they were better than they’re third place win (as they should be since they’re all professional NBA players). Though plagued with injuries, the team is still filled with star power-houses like Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and Lebron James, who’s coming off of a championship win. The U.S. team has been doing well in international play since they won gold n 2008, and won the FIBA championship in 2010. In there exhibition games, the United States have beaten the likes of Great Britain, Argentina and Spain, whom they defeated to win the gold medal in 2008. Will there be a repeat this year? Will they be a modern day “Dream Team”?

Track and Field 

Track and Field will also gain some spotlight as the Americans face their biggest competitors: the Jamaicans. With the return on Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, the American men will try to conquer him in the 100m event. Another athlete returning to Olympics is Justin Gatlin who has been suspended from track events for the last several years due to a dope violation.

After the historic tie and cencession by Jeneba Turmohfor the women’s 100m in the Olympic trials, Alyson Felix will return to the games to see if she can medal in this event. She usually runs in the 200m and 400m, but decided to try a new event for these games. Another returning athlete is Sonya Richards-Ross who’s running in the 200m and 400m, giving the Americans they’re best shot at a gold. Other key players this year are Carmeltia Jeter in the 100m and Lolo Jones in the 100m hurdles.

Other sports to keep track of are U.S. women’s soccer. They are coming to London to defend their gold medal from Beijing. ALso keep an eye out for women’s boxing. This is the first year the Internatinal Olympic Committee is allowing women to compete in that sport, and the United States is sending thier best boxer: Marlen Esparza.

Follow this link for dates and times for events: http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/07/20/olympics-tv-schedule/

Opening Ceremonies start this Fri., July 25, 2012 at 7:30 pm E.T. on NBC. Look out for the closing ceremonies as the Spice Girls are slated to perform some of their hits!

 

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