Summer Olympics 2012: Which USA Stars Will Dominate Their Sport?
Americans athletes have always been a force in the Olympics, and they have won twice as many medals than any other country in the Summer Games.
Names like Michael Phelps, Carl Lewis and Jesse Owens have become icons in American history.
The athletes in 2012 are doing their best to become a part of that list, and here are some Americans who will dominate their respective sports in London.
Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte
Ryan Lochte drew first blood when he won gold yesterday during the 400 meter individual medley.
Michael Phelps is hoping that his disappointing fourth-place finish during the race is just a minor blip on his way to becoming the most decorated Olympian in history.
He already has 14 gold medals to his credit, but Phelps is looking to catch Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina's record of 18 total medals before he leaves London.
Both swimmers will be participating in six more events during the London games. Lochte and Phelps will also be going head-to-head in the 200 meter individual medley later this week.
These Americans are without a doubt the best swimmers in the world, and should collect some major hardware during the 30th Olympiad.
They may not dominate opponents like their 1992 counterpart, but the 2012 squad is full of top-notch talent.
Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are looking to bring the gold back home to America once again.
The overall global competition is significantly better than it was in 1992, with Spain and Argentina leading the charge.
Spain will rely heavily on the frontcourt presence of the Gasol brothers in order to frustrate opponents, and they are likely a medal contender.
The third-ranked Argentina team also possesses some quality NBA talent as well. Luis Scola and Manu Ginobili will cause issues for many countries.
The sport of gymnastics is a fickle one, and the line between dominance and failure is razor thin.
It has become a sport that America has routinely performed well in, but this may be the most heralded team in ages.
USA is led by 17-year-old phenom, Jordyn Wieber. Wieber is an all-around star and one of the best tumblers in the world.
Also on the team is Gabby Douglas, who may very well become one of the most prominent faces of these games.
Douglas combines her unique skill set with an infectious smile, and she is a major reason why these girls graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, and have been dubbed as the "Fab Five."
Perennial contenders Russia and Romania will factor in, but America is banking on these girls to bring home a gold medal.
Despite a loss in the 2011 World Cup, the U.S. women's soccer team is a force, and a heavy favorite to bring home a gold.
Even though the world competition is getting tougher, coach Pia Sundhage is confident in his team's chances, and he shared his sentiments with The New York Daily News:
We are full of confidence and we’ll have fun at the Olympics. We have the personalities on the field and we are very confident that we’ll go into this tournament to do our very best and bring out the best performance.
A recent scare to France may prove to be ominous, but the team showed resilience by coming back from two early French goals to win.
The U.S. squad is led by striker Abby Wambach. Wambach is an elite scorer, and she has netted 138 goals during her international career.
America also boasts the best goaltender in the world, and Hope Solo is a huge reason why the women will avenge their World Cup loss to Japan and earn a gold medal.
Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor
Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor are searching for their third consecutive gold medal.
This journey may be a little different, considering both women have been through a lot since they last won gold in Beijing.
Walsh has had two children since, and May-Treanor had to rehabilitate a ruptured Achilles tendon.
These two haven't lost in any Olympics, and they will look to recreate their previous dominance in London.
Despite the setbacks, the women should be in the medal mix. If they can gel after so much time apart, May-Treanor and Walsh will certainly contend for gold again.