Four years have already passed since Michael Phelps won eight gold medals and the “Redeem Team” reclaimed the gold medal for Team USA Basketball in Beijing, China. This Friday, the opening ceremonies for the thirtieth modern Olympic Games will take place in London, England. This is the third time London has hosted the Summer Olympics, the last times coming in 1908 and 1948. Here is a brief look at what a few of the 530 members of team USA will be up to these next seventeen days in London.
- On the track and field side of things, which happens to be my favorite part of the Summer games, Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin will battle Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake in the 100 meters to determine who is the fastest human on the planet. On the women’s side, Allyson Felix and Carmelita Jeter will battle it out for gold in the women’s 100 meters.
- Jordan Wieber, the reigning female world gymnastics champion in the all-around program, will be a fan-favorite in London. She is looking to become the fourth American since 1984 to win the women’s all-around program. Wieber’s hometown of DeWitt, Michigan is extremely excited for her Olympic run and has raised enough funds to send her parents to London to watch her go for gold. Being a Michigan native myself, I hope she wins!
- This year’s version of the Dream Team should dominate and is expected to win gold in London. Spain, with Paul Gasol, and Argentina, with Manu Ginobili, are both expected to challenge the U.S. as during competition. Kobe Bryant has boasted that this year’s team could defeat the 1992 original “Dream Team” if they could play today. I give speed and quickness to this year’s team, but overall talent, size, and basketball instincts to the 1992 team.
- Michael Phelps won’t win eight gold medals again, but the fourteen time Olympic gold medalist will go head to head against fellow American Ryan Lochte. The two will go head to head in the 200 meter individual medley which should be a great race to watch. Both are expected to win multiple gold medals individually in London.
- The U.S. women’s soccer team is out for redemption after losing to Japan last year in a penalty kick shootout during the women’s World Cup. Most experts pick them to win gold in London over Japan and Brazil. I look for goalie Hope Solo to be on top of her game and the U.S. to bring home the gold.
A few new things we’ll see for the first time in the Olympics is women’s boxing. Although it has been allowed as an amateur sport in recent years, this will be its first as an Olympic sport. The women will have four, two-minute rounds and will fight in three weight classes (flyweight, lightweight, and middleweight). Baseball and softball have been removed from Olympic competition which makes no changes for MLB players who were not allowed to participate during the games because they were in mid-season. Other firsts include the use of laser pistols instead of pellet guns and false starts in track will no longer be allowed, meaning disqualification if committed. With the games being held in London, primetime events will occur during the mid-afternoon hours on the east coast here in the U.S.
Everyone has a favorite event that they like to watch in the Olympics. Mine being the races in track and field, along with swimming. Don’t get caught watching countless re-runs of old TV during this time, get involved and cheer on your country. Every NBC network will be showing the games around the clock, so if you miss the live footage, the re-aired footage will be available shortly thereafter. The Summer Olympics only happen every four years, so enjoy the games for the next two and a half weeks in what is usually the most boring sports time of the year.
By: Craig Emmert