2012 Olympics: Power Ranking Top 10 Sports at Summer Games

Josh Schoch@JoshSchochAnalyst IIIJuly 23, 2012

2012 Olympics: Power Ranking Top 10 Sports at Summer Games

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    The 2012 Summer Olympics are more than any fan can take in. From July 27 to August 12, we will see 10,500 athletes from 205 countries compete in 26 sports.

    Those numbers are staggering.

    If you're looking for just a few great sports to watch, however, this is your list.

    I'll break down the top sports in the Games so that you know what to watch when the London Olympics finally roll around.

10. Cycling

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    For those of you cycling fans out there, the Tour de France may have ended on Sunday, but there is still cycling to watch during the London Games.

    Bradley Wiggins is coming off a Tour victory and became the first man from Great Britain to do so in history.

    But he's not satisfied yet.

    Wiggins will now look for an Olympic gold in arguably the biggest storyline in the cycling world.

9. Badminton

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    Like the backyard sport you play with your friends, only much more intense.

    The only comparison I can make here is that if your backyard games are like touch-football games, the Olympic badminton games are like the NFL.

    Yeah, it's that big of a gap.

    Badminton is pretty intense during the Games, and if you haven't seen it before, you need to check it out in 2012.

8. Table Tennis

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    Sure, table tennis has been dominated by China since, well, forever.

    However, American Timothy Wang is only 19 years old, but he is looking to win an Olympic gold for the U.S.

    While table tennis isn't a huge sport in America, Wang looks to change that, and going on a run to win an Olympic gold could certainly help him do that.

    What were you doing at the age of 19?

7. Tennis

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    Tennis is a growing sport, especially in America. If we see a good showing from the Americans Olympians at the London Games, the ratings could soar.

    Among those leading the charge for the U.S. is Serena Williams.

    After losing in the first round of the French Open earlier this year, she came back to win it all at Wimbledon, which was the last Grand Slam event before the Games.

    Now she looks to win gold in singles for the first time and in doubles for the third time (2000, 2008 with sister Venus).

6. Indoor Volleyball

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    Indoor volleyball may not be as popular as its counterpart, beach volleyball, but it is still an intense sport that's hard not to get into when you watch it.

    After beating Brazil in Beijing, the American men will look to capture their second straight Olympic gold medal.

    On the other side, the women will look to win their first Olympic gold in history, led by Logan Tom, Destinee Hooker and others.

5. Track and Field

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    Track and field is the first sport on this list where the stars of the Olympics are made.

    In 2008, it was Usain Bolt of Jamaica who made headlines by breaking two world records. He's back this year, but Yohan Blake has been beating him this so far this season.

    The American sprinters will be led by Tyson Gay, but the U.S. also features prominently in most other competitions, including the decathlon and the hurdles.

    Possibly the most popular American is 100-meter hurdler Lolo Jones, who will look to win her first Olympic medal.

4. Beach Volleyball

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    Beach volleyball is easily the more popular of the two volleyballs, and last time's stars of Misty May and Kerri Walsh still enjoy a great deal of success and fame today.

    The two are back and looking for a third straight Olympic gold after they both took time off to start families.

    Apparently May is surprised to be back in London, while Walsh knew that Beijing wouldn't be her last Games.

    Looks like Walsh was right.

3. Gymnastics

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    Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson were among the 2008 Olympics' biggest stars, but they will not be competing in this year's Games.

    However, they have been replaced by Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber, who are the top two gymnasts in the world and will look to repeat the success that Liukin and Johnson had four years ago.

    Followed by a deep, talented team, we could also see the team win its first all-around gold in London as well.

    However, don't forget about the men, who, led by John Orozco and Danell Leyva, look to take two individual medals and perhaps a team medal as well.

2. Basketball

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    Basketball is arguably the most popular Olympic sport in the U.S., but in terms of the world it is second.

    While basketball is a great sport to watch and gives casual fans a bit of the norm, it is constantly dominated by a few good teams.

    This year it is the United State and Spain who seem set on a collision course for the gold medal game, and the tournament might not be very exciting until at least the semifinals.

    However, it's still pretty big, and it's still growing in the world today.

1. Swimming

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    Last year's biggest Olympic star was Michael Phelps, as he won eight gold medals and set a new record in the process.

    This year he's back, but he is being challenged by fellow American Ryan Lochte.

    The Phelps-Lochte rivalry has become arguably the biggest we will see in the 2012 Olympics, and it should make the sport even more popular than it already is.

    Swimming is an easy sport to follow and to root for, and with stars like these two. it is the most popular Olympic sport right now.