Can Missy Franklin live up to the hype?
Since being named the 2011 FINA Female Swimmer of the Year, the frenzy surrounding Franklin's abilities has rapidly grown. Her dominant performance at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials made her one the most publicized members of Team USA and her Summer Games debut should be fun to watch.
She has become a media darling leading up to the Olympics so Americans have become more familiar with the 17-year-old prodigy.
Of course, with great promise comes the risk of a major letdown. Franklin wouldn't be the first heralded Olympic newcomer to fall flat if she does in fact struggle in London.
Michael Phelps versus Ryan Lochte
The rivalry between America's star swimmers seemed to reach a boiling point at U.S. trials, as they met in three event finals (Phelps owned a 2-1 advantage). Lochte topped Phelps in two showdowns at the 2011 World Championships and they race against each other twice in London.
The 200 and 400 IMs are among the most anticipated events at the 2012 Olympics. That's when the rivalry is set to be rekindled.
Lochte hasn't exactly been tight-lipped about his drive to dethrone Phelps from the top of the Olympic Swimming scene.
"He's human. He's not a fish or anything like that,'' Lochte told USA Today.
American swimming legend Dara Torres told the Associated Press that it's a matchup worth watching closely.
"Obviously, people like showdowns, and there is a showdown between Phelps and Lochte, and it's going to be really fun to watch because they are both just fiercely competitive. There's finally someone at Michael's feet giving him a run for his money. Michael wants to win, and Ryan doesn't want to lose, either."
Can Rebecca Adlington become London's hero?
Great Britain's greatest swimmer would send London into party mode with gold medals in the 400 and 800 freestyles. On the other hand, falling short of the award podium would be a major letdown for the Olympics' host city.
After winning two gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, she is Britain's version of Michael Phelps - a household name who has made the sport relevant to more people than ever in the country. The pressure of duplicating that performance in front of her nation's faithful will be enormous.
"It is the hardest thing -- the assumption that a gold medal is won before it has been swum," former Australian Olympic swimming star Ian Thorpe said about Adlington's challenge to appease her hopeful supporters.