Who to Watch at This Year’s Olympic Games
It happens every four years. It is a time for entire nations to unite in support of their teams and compete against other nations. It is a time for gold and a time for glory. It’s a time that is, well, coming soon. What is it? The Summer Olympics.
The London Summer Olympic Games will begin in less than a month, with the opening ceremony kicking off on July 27. As we get nearer to that date, athletes everywhere are mentally preparing themselves in hopes of bringing home the gold for their nation. Here are some U.S. athletes to keep an eye out for during the London games.
If you are a fan of Olympic swimming (and let’s be honest, after 2008, who isn’t?), tune in to NBC beginning July 28 for some intense competition and heart stopping moments. Four years ago, in Beijing, the U.S. Olympic team won 31 total medals (12 gold), 8 of which were claimed by all-star Michael Phelps. This year, all eyes will be on Phelps as he not only competes for the United States, but as he competes against teammate Ryan Lochte in a race to shatter world records and bring home the gold.
Another event that brings in high ratings is gymnastics. Both men and women will compete individually and as a national team. Men’s qualifications begin on July 28, with women’s qualifications beginning the next day. Sadly for the women’s team, previous gold medalist Shawn Johnson was forced into retirement after a knee injury, leaving an uncertain fate for the U.S. team. However, Beijing medal winner Nastia Liukin and other strong team competitors are still around to help lead the team to victory.
Track and Field, or Athletics, is another exciting and fast paced sport to watch. Beginning August 3 hundreds of athletes will compete in 47 total events including long jump, hammer throw, and hurdles to name a few. Some U.S. athletes to look out for in London are the record-breaking, 24-year-old Ashton Eaton (a Decathlon competitor) and 5,000 meter runner Julie Culley.
While all events and sports in the Olympics are exciting, some to watch out for this summer are women’s soccer, rowing and beach volleyball. Tune in July 25, 28, and 31 and cheer on the U.S. women’s soccer team takes on France, Colombia and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, respectively. Don’t miss out when the dynamic duo of Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor hit the sand for a third time in search of that gold medal.
Finally, don’t forget to watch it all from the beginning with the Opening Ceremony for the London games on Friday July 27 and watch as the competing athletes are presented and the Olympic torch is lit.