London Olympics 2012: Shocking Gold-Medal Winners We Never Saw Coming

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIAugust 12, 2012

London Olympics 2012: Shocking Gold-Medal Winners We Never Saw Coming

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    The 2012 London Olympics are complete, and what an exciting Olympics it was.

    There were some teams and athletes that won as expected, while others fell short of expectations.

    One thing that can be said is that the London Olympics will be remembered for a long time.

    Here's a look at six athletes and one team that won gold medals, much to the surprise of many people.

Nathan Adrian, USA, Men's 100-Meter Freestyle Swimming

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    American swimmer Nathan Adrian pulled off the biggest upset in Olympic swimming, beating the favorite, Australia's James Magnussen, by 0.01 seconds with a time of 47.52 seconds.

    With so much focus being put on American swimmers Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps, Adrian stole the show. His performance made many forget about Lochte and Phelps for one night.

    With the win, Adrian is the favorite in the event heading into Rio 2016.

Sandra Izbasa, Romania, Women's Gymnastics Vault

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    Coming into the London Olympics, most people thought U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney would win gold on vault.

    However, after a fall by Maroney on her second vault of the final, Romania's Sandra Izbasa was able to take advantage. Izbasa averaged a 15.191, while Maroney averaged a 15.083.

    While anything can happen on any given day in gymnastics, Izbasa's win was no doubt a surprise.

Brazil Women's Indoor Volleyball

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    Some people may not agree with Brazil being on this list since they were the defending Olympic gold medalists.

    But after the way the U.S. dominated their first set in the women's indoor volleyball final, the Brazilian women merit an inclusion on this list.

    The U.S won the first set 25-11, but the South Americans rebounded to win the last three sets. Brazil had a .509 attack efficiency in the final three sets.

    The loss denied the U.S. their first gold medal in the event and puts into question their No. 1 world ranking.

Chad le Clos, South Africa, Men's 200-Meter Butterfly Swimming

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    Coming into the 2012 London Olympics, American Michael Phelps had been nearly unbeatable in Olympic competition.

    That all changed in the 200-meter butterfly, as South Africa's Chad le Clos beat Phelps to the wall to win gold.

    We saw the vulnerability of Phelps in the 400-meter individual medley, but it was the 200-meter butterfly in which we were all truly shocked by the Baltimore Bullet's loss.

Epke Zonderland, the Netherlands, Men's Gymnastics High Bar

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    Epke Zonderland pulled off the best routine, man or woman, in any event of Olympic gymnastics.

    Zonderland performed a nearly perfect routine that was capped with a perfect landing. His score on the event was 16.53.

    The Dutchman may have been a favorite to medal, but nobody thought he would score as high as he did.

    Even greater for the Dutch was that Zonderland became the first Dutch gymnast to win Olympic gold since the women's team did so in 1928.

David Boudia, USA, Men's 10-Meter Platform Diving

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    USA Diving hadn't won an Olympic medal since the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

    All of that changed in London with four diving medals, capped off by David Boudia's upset win over China's Qiu Bo in the 10-meter platform.

    Boudia, Qiu and Great Britain's Tom Daley went into the last dive of the final round separated by 0.15 points.

    All three performed excellent dives, but Qiu and Boudia had higher degrees of difficulty, which relegated Daley to the bronze.

    For Qiu and Boudia, both performed a back two-and-a-half somersault with two-and-a-half twists. In the end, it was Boudia who was just a little bit better, scoring a 102.60 compared to Qiu's 100.80.

    The win ended the Chinese dominance in the event, shocking many onlookers.

Claressa Shields, USA, Women's Boxing

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    U.S. boxer Claressa Shields became a boxing champion with her win over Russia's Nadezda Torlopova in the women's middleweight division.

    The 17-year-old won the bout 19-12, controlling the bout throughout and making her the youngest to win a boxing medal since 1924.

    While many expected Shields to compete for a medal, it's still a surprise she won the title given her age.

    What this win goes to show is that age means nothing, especially in a physical sport such as boxing.