London 2012: Underdogs Who Will Take the World by Storm

Aaron DodgeAnalyst IJuly 29, 2012

The 2012 Olympic Games have only just begun, and titans China and the United States are already running away with the overall medal count.

These contests of physical prowess and mental discipline can also feature underdog storylines as well. Many unexpected athletes are primed to take full advantage of their temporary place at the center stage of the world.  

Here's a look at some of the most talented participants in London also representing Team David in their fight to defeat the Goliaths of their respective events.  

Ryan Lochte, USA: 200-meter Individual Medley

This event marks the last time rivals Micheal Phelps and Lochte are expected to compete against one another in London. 

The two have a history competing in this particular event. During the 2011 World Championships, Lochte upset and defeated Phelps on his way to breaking the world record. 

Phelps regained control recently at the U.S. Trials in Omaha during preparatory races for the Olympic Games. Lochte was edged by less than a tenth of a second for the second time during the trials, and despite his success thus far at the Games, he's a legitimate underdog. 


Yohan Blake, Jamaica: Men’s 100-meter Dash

Following the Jamaican Olympic Trials, the sentiment around world record holder Usain Bolt soured greatly. The world’s fastest man had lost twice, and did so to the same person.

Blake had defeated his teammate in both the 100- and 200-meter dash, leading many to peg him as the favorite heading into the London Games. 

Bolt was nursing hamstring and back ailments, though, and he knows full well what a defeat in pre-Olympic trials means. 

"The vibe is good and I am happy," said Bolt. "I am always ready. For me, I keep telling you guys it's always about the championships, it's never about one run, never about the trials." (Via

Blake is three years younger than his fellow countryman and his time will undoubtedly come, but until he actually defeats Bolt with a medal up for grabs, he's to be considered the underdog here.


Kellie Wells, United States: Women’s 100-meter Hurdles

Kellie Wells defeated Sally Pearson at a Diamond League meet in London earlier this month to set the stage for what is sure to be an animosity-filled Olympic race come August 4. 

The loss for Pearson was just the first in her last 16 contests, and the reigning 2011 World Champion was none to pleased with Wells' celebration tactics following her victory. 

"Who knows what she'll be doing at the Olympics?" Pearson said of Wells. "She definitely won't be doing the dance because she won't have gold." (Per Orange County Register)

Wells may not put on another show for the crowd on hand, but her victory by just two-hundredths of a second prove this underdog is one to be taken seriously.