Summer Olympics 2012: Highlighting Top 10 Must-See Rivalries Heading into London

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Summer Olympics 2012: Highlighting Top 10 Must-See Rivalries Heading into London
Al Bello/Getty Images

The Olympics may be about bringing countries together through the art of sport, but there is no denying that nationalism is also on hand. Americans cheer on their countrymen, as do the French, the Italians, the Chinese, the Indians and so on.

With this nationalism comes rivalries—some heated, some friendly.

Without these rivalries, the games wouldn't be the same. The same luster of watching the competitors would not be there if, say, there was no one to challenge Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt from repeating as gold medalists. The same intensity and jaw-dropping moments wouldn't exist if the Chinese men's gymnastics team did not have to worry about Japan right on their tails.

Essentially, rivalries are a necessary part to the Olympics, and this year in London, there will be no shortage of them.

From Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer to Veronica Campbell-Brown and Allyson Felix and everything in between, there will be plenty of opportunities to see close races, close matches and the intense, heart-pounding moments that have made the Olympics what they are: amazing.

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