London 2012: 5 Athletes Destined to Repeat in Summer Olympics
When I think of the word Olympian, I think of a passionate work ethic and incomparable dedication.
Capturing a gold medal is the ultimate feel-good moment that reminds you that you are the greatest in the world at what you do.
There are a select number of athletes that have taken their sport to the next level. They not only have conquered the revered gold medal but have gone on to reinforce their solidified presence with a repeat in the following Olympics. These are what I call freaks.
Olympians are an ideal representation of their country, and there is nothing greater than capturing gold for your country.
With exactly one month until they start, the anticipation of London 2012 has begun to drown out my attention span for anything else. There is not a better two weeks in the calendar year than that of the Olympics.
That being said, let the games begin!
Nastia Liukin, All-Around, USA
In 2008, we all witnessed the coming-of-age performance by Nastia Liukin.
After teammate Shawn Johnson recently decided to hang it up after injury-related issues sidelined her from 2012 competition, the gravity of the possible repeat ballooned—especially after she caught hold of Michael Phelps' free-for-all attitude and wasn't sure if she wanted to grind it out for London.
Not to worry, they are both back into the swing of things, and remain the front-runners for their sport. Her relentless work ethic should carry over into the critical moments as she will look to defend her gold medal routine of 63.325.
Usain Bolt, 100 Meter, Jamaica
With a name like Bolt, it is no wonder he is the fastest man in the world. Bolt has significantly distanced himself from his competition. He has gone where no man has gone before.
Shattering records that he previously owned have become a staple in his game. Is it possible he could once again break his 100-meter record of 9.58 seconds? And is anyone out there capable of dethroning the king?
If there is anybody to do it, it is Justin Gatlin of the USA. In 2004, Gatlin took home the gold piece in the 100-meter distance. Since then, Bolt has remained business.
A repeat should be in the books.
USA Women's Soccer
After the USA women's soccer team's heart-wrenching defeat to Japan in the 2011 World Cup, the Olympics were pinned as a chance to bury the sour taste. In their last two Olympic appearances, the ladies have claimed two gold medals.
Although some critics may argue the Olympics aren’t nearly in the same ballpark of talent as the World Cup, a gold medal is still a gold medal, however you get it.
All eyes will be glued to the television as Abby Wambach and crew look to hoist the hardware for the third consecutive time.
Leisel Jones, 100-Meter Breaststroke, Australia
Leisel Jones may not be a household name to many, but to her home country of Australia, she is as fine as they come.
In all the years of the event’s existence, there has yet to be a repeat. Jones has accumulated a colorful array of medals over her three Olympiads but is fixated on retrieving the coveted gold once more.
If she is going to cap off the victory, she is going to need to fend off the rising pool of talent. Names like Japan’s Satomi Suzuki and Mina Matsushima are up-and-coming stars that will undoubtedly give Jones a run for her money. Another competitor will be USA star Rebecca Stoni, winner of the 200-meter breaststroke, who seems to be making aggressive strides toward capturing the title.
As the veteran in her field, Jones will look to rewrite the history books and secure the repeat.
Walsh and May-Treanor, Beach Volleyball, USA
They simply cannot be stopped. The duo of Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor racked up an unprecedented 112-win streak before falling in an AVP tournament just after the 2008 Olympics.
Yes, I said that correctly, 112 consecutive wins.
Walsh is the yin to May-Treanor's yang. She is the peanut to her butter. Whichever way you put it, the outcome is still the same. Trust and the quality of their teamwork have granted them great success throughout their professional careers.
This pairing has reconstructed the sport of beach volleyball for women.
The teams that will look to stand in their way in 2012 will be the Brazilians and the Chinese. Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta of Brazil took gold in last year’s Pan American games.
Walsh and May-Treanor know what victory tastes like, and they are ready to return in 2012. They will be riding the coattails of their experience to propel them back to the podium. Everyone has them pinned on their radar and would love nothing more than to take down the behemoth pairing.
These two beautiful athletes are a spectacle to watch, and I don’t see any signs of them coming off pace from hoisting the hardware once more.