London 2012: Events Fans Cannot Miss at Summer Games
The Olympics may be a global phenomenon, but what makes this event spectacular are the individual battles that occur when the world's best athletes collide.
It might be two powerhouse nations battling it out on the soccer pitch, or it could be a couple of teammates who do their best to dominate a sport.
With each performer's story on display during the next few weeks, it becomes easy to get the best events lost in the shuffle.
Here is your guide to the must-see events that are on the horizon, and you don't want to miss them.
Phelps vs. Lochte
One of the most fascinating storylines of these Games has to be the budding rivalry between Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps.
The American teammates blew away their competition during this year's Olympic Trials, and at times it looked like the two were barely even trying.
Phelps is on the verge of being the most decorated Olympic athlete ever, and his 14 individual gold medals are already a record.
It will likely be Phelps' last Olympics, and he will surely want to go out with a bang.
Former Florida Gator Ryan Lochte will look to spoil some of Phelps' success. The two will battle head-to-head on two occasions.
Lochte already got the best of Phelps during their first matchup of these Games when he took the gold in the 400-meter individual medley earlier today.
Oscar Pistorius is one of the most inspirational athletes at these Games.
The 25-year-old South African is looking to make history when he becomes the first double amputee to participate in an Olympic event.
He has competed against other amputees in previous Paralympic games, and now Pistorius looks to try his luck against able-bodied Olympians.
Natural athleticism has always been a gift for Pistorius, who excelled in rugby and water polo growing up in Johannesburg.
A knee injury sidelined him in 2003, and he took up running while rehabbing.
His chances of getting on the podium may be slim, but Pistorius remains one of the best stories in Olympic history.
Dream Team Part Duex
NBA star Kobe Bryant caused a stir recently when he said he thought this year's American squad could beat the heralded 1992 Dream Team.
The face of global basketball was vastly different then, and it will take a valiant effort for the U.S. to win gold this year in London.
This year's team has been decimated by injury, and losing Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade and Anthony Davis will hurt.
The world is catching up with America in terms of talent, and the team will face some tough competitors such as Argentina and Spain.
Argentina recently lost 86-80 to the U.S. team. Manu Ginobili and Luis Scola are familiar faces to NBA fans and could give the team some trouble.
Spain also has a real shot with their formidable frontcourt of Marc and Pau Gasol. The Gasol brothers are also known commodities to basketball fans, and their size poses a real threat to the Americans.
Their journey starts with a Sunday morning matchup against the French in group play.
Team USA is heavily favored to bring home a gold medal, but don't look for them to dominate the global competition like their 1992 counterparts did. Sorry, Kobe.
Track and field has a new sizzling rivalry, and it's between two Jamaican stars.
Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake will battle in the 100-meter and 200-meter events, and Blake is seriously challenging the "fastest man the world has seen" in the upcoming games.
Blake beat his teammate twice in the Jamaican trials, and is looking to fill his mantle with Olympic medals.
Shortly after the trials, Bolt withdrew from an event in Monaco because of a bad back.
Bolt set the world on fire when he won three golds and added three world records to his credit during the 2008 Games in Beijing.
The two are training partners, so it will surely be interesting to see if the world champion Blake can create a dent in the seemingly unbreakable armor of Usain Bolt.
American Women vs. the World
The women who are representing our great country will have no problem making some noise in this year's Olympiad.
The U.S. Women's soccer team has already started their play with a dazzling comeback win over France and are favored to bring home a gold this summer.
Gymnastics competition is an area where the U.S. women have always seem to excel, and this team looks to be no different. Jordyn Wieber and Gabby Douglas highlight the group and are safe bets to get individual honors. These eight girls are extremely talented and will likely collect an impressive haul of hardware during the games.
"The female Michael Phelps" is also suiting up for America, as Missy Franklin will compete in seven events during her time in London.
Allyson Felix is a budding track and field star and is looking to reach the podium in the 100- and 200-meter races, and she will likely be a relay participant too.
And let's not forget about Serena Williams and the women's basketball team adding firepower to the already talented women of the U.S. Olympic team.
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