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Now that the NBA season has ended, it is that dreaded time of the year again…there’s only *gulp* baseball (shedding a tear). Lucky for sports fans, this year is the Olympics, which kick off with the opening ceremony in London on July 27th. The Games feature everything from Gabby Douglas and a loaded U.S. women’s gymnastics squad to competitive table tennis–and whoever plays that.
The Olympics (particularly track & field) have always been pretty important in my family so I’m excited to see the glory, the glamour, the hustle, and the heartbreak that comes with the world’s biggest stage. The recent U.S. Olympic Trials already saw its fair share of drama with past Olympians Jeremy Wariner and fellow-Bison David Oliver finding themselves left out of their respective events, so London promises some even more epic story lines. Here are two more to lookout for as this year’s Games approach in part one of my Olympic preview.
1. Michael Phelps’ legacy had hit astronomical levels (Take your pick: Jackson, Tyson, Jordan, Game 6) around this time of year in 2008. Phelps, who broke the single-Games record for golds in Beijing with 8, now owns 16 and is three away from the all-time record. Funny thing is, his greatest competition will likely be coming from his own backyard, in fellow-American, Ryan Lochte–who won two golds of his own in Beijing. If the United States Olympic Trials didn’t show how close these two tremendous talents are, Lochte’s five gold medals in the 2011 World Championships should do the job.
2. Another clash (and possible fall) of the titans will be waged on the ground, or more accurately, the track. Usain Bolt absolutely stunned the world with record-shattering performances in the 100M and 200M events in Beijing. Since then, Bolt has been pretty lackluster, losing to training partner Yohan Blake in both aforementioned events in the Jamaican Trials. As if fellow countrymen Blake and Asafa Powell weren’t enough competition for Bolt, the American side features two sprinters seeking redemption in Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin. Can Bolt erase the doubters and rewrite history again with another sublime, unworldly performance or will he wither away in the shadow of track stars both old and new.
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