London 2012 Predictions: Storylines That Will Captivate the World
The opening ceremonies are a day away, and soon enough viewers across the world will be intrigued by the sports events playing out before them in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
The preparation, the determination, the speculation and the calculation all pay off once the torch is lit.
The London Games are now a reality.
While the world watches, we all will root for our home countries, our favorite athletes and hope there are a few gold medals brought home.
We will meet new heroes, find salvation in repeat performances and wish the best for those who fall short.
That, essentially, is what the Olympics is all about.
For the thousands in attendance and the millions watching worldwide, this is what we all have waited for.
These are the stories that will captivate us over the next two weeks.
A Bolt of Lightning
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Can Usain Bolt be beaten?
The fastest man in the 100-meters will look to run towards more gold this year in London.
His main competition will come from America's Justin Gatlin, who can give Bolt a "run" for the title, but it is unlikely that someone will actually catch the Jamaican.
Gatlin won gold in the 2004 games.
Man Without Country Competes
According to the Huffington Post, Guor Marial ran for his life to escape a Sudanese child labor camp. Now he will get to run in the marathon at the Olympics.
The story states that "Despite having no passport and officially no country—and at one time very little hope—the 28-year-old marathoner was cleared by the IOC to compete at the London Games under the Olympic flag."
This a tear-jerker if I ever read one.
USA Gymnastic Gold
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The US women look to be the favorite in the team gymnastics competition.
Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber, two of the youngest to compete in London, lead an American team of hopefuls. The last time the USA won team gold was in 1996.
On the men's side, look for the USA to compete with China for supremacy.
All eyes will be on Kohei Uchimura of Japan, who will also put on a good show in the arena.
Don't count the Japanese out of the medal hunt.
Batman and Robin
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Eight certainly is not enough for Michael Phelps.
The most decorated swimmer in Olympic history looks to add to his medal count.
This year, Phelps will have stiff competition from his own teammate in Ryan Lochte.
Does the Florida Gator have enough drive to unseat America's best in the pool?
All Hail the Queens
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Kerri Wash and Misty May-Treanor are trying to win their third gold medal in women's two-person volleyball.
Can the sand veterans pull it out against younger competition?
Metric miler Hannah England could be a medalist this year for the home team.
The Brits won the medal count when they hosted the Games in 1908.
Somehow I do not think that will happen this year, though England seems to be as sound a choice as any to bring home bling.
Who Lights the Flame?
An actor? An athlete? A Royal?
Who knows who will officially light the Olympic torch tomorrow night? The speculation is running rampant.
According to BBCsport.com, "the decision, which is a closely-guarded secret, has rested with British Olympic Association chief Andy Hunt and organising committee boss Paul Deighton."
Among those discussed have been David Beckham, Prince William and former Olympian Roger Bannister.