2012 Summer Olympics: Alex Morgan and 5 American Athletes to Watch for in London
It's no secret that the United States of America is at the top of the sports world. Team USA led all countries with 110 medals at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and the Red, White and Blue is always a prominent figure in the quarterly contests.
The hope, as always, is to duplicate their success this summer in London. While the Olympics are the Egg McMuffin of all group sporting events, there is still a huge weight on the individual.
So, without further ado, here are five American athletes to watch this summer.
Michael Phelps, Swimming
This one is a no-brainer. Phelps is arguably the greatest Olympian ever. His record haul of gold medals four years ago was nothing short of brilliant.
While the sequel might not be as good as the original, it will still be one to watch. Phelps is swimming out of his prime, but he should never be written off. The competition will be stiff. The Australian Ian Thorpe is coming out of retirement just for these games and even on the U.S. side there is a good pool (no pun intended) of talent.
But if history is any indication, the world should watch out for Michael Phelps.
Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, Beach Volleyball
These two athletes are one of the the main reasons I ever watched beach volleyball. The complete domination of their sport is simply amazing. In a world where there is a huge level of talent in almost every sport, annihilating the competition like this duo has done is not commonplace.
This duo is two for two in Olympic Golds. They added three World Championship gold medals, winning every championship since 2003. That was until last year when they lost in the championship to Brazil’s Larissa Franca and Juliana Silva. They had to go home with a silver medal.
But the dynamic duo will be looking for revenge in London, so keep an eye out for them.
Tyson Gay, Track and Field
Gay's last trip to the Olympics was filled with disappointment. He went into Beijing with quite a bit of hype and never once reached the podium. That heartache will fuel him to compete his heart out this time around in London.
Gay is one of the few men who will be able to knock off Usain Bolt in the 100-meter. His time of 9.69 seconds in the 100-meter makes him the second fastest man in the world.
If anyone will beat Bolt in London, it will be Gay. Keep your eyes glued on this speedster.
Alex Morgan, Soccer
Without a doubt, Alex Morgan is America's sweetheart. She burst onto the scene last year in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup and hasn’t left our minds since then. After the World Cup she had many talk show appearances and even nabbed a place in Sports Illustrated.
But the girl can play, as well. On July 13, 2011, she scored her first World Cup goal in the 82nd minute of the semi-final matchup against France, giving the U.S. the victory.
She scored the first goal in the World Cup Final against Japan after coming on as a substitute at the half, as well as assisting on the Abby Wambach header for a goal in overtime.
The U.S. women's team looks to be talented, and Morgan will be a big part of a championship run.
Kevin Durant, Basketball
This Thunder superstar wasn't around four years ago when the USA Men's Basketball team took home gold in Beijing, but he will definitely be playing in London.
Durant is an incredible player to watch on the court back home at the states. His style of play and speed is always exciting.
But it will be interesting to see how his youth fits in with the rest of the more experienced USA squad. When Kobe and LeBron won gold in 2008, Durant won NBA Rookie of the Year. Since then, he has been an NBA scoring champion—twice. In 2010, he was named the MVP of the FIBA World Championship.
The Olympics will be no different. Keep your eyes on this young playmaker.