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Athletes to Watch at the 2012 Olympic Games

By Ashton Wiklund
March 24, 2012

 

The Olympics welcomes many returning athletes and medalists to its venues each competition year. Every country has its favourites to watch, from renowned medal winners to those whose stories captures our hearts and support. In London this coming summer there will be a group of new comers each fighting for their spot on the podium. The way to top won’t be easy, as many Olympic veterans will be in top form with the same goal in mind.

 

This summer world renowned swimmer Michael Phelps will compete for the title of having the most Olympic medals ever, as he currently holds 16. The title is currently held by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina who won 18 medals, but may not be for long. Phelps holds the all-time record for holding a total of 14 medals, a feat that makes him one of the top Olympic athletes in the world. Phelps also holds many other prestigious titles, such as American Swimmer of the Year and World Swimmer of the Year. With the talent, confidence and experience Phelps will be one to watch as he continues to break world records and outswim the competition.  

 

Since the Olympics will be held in London, the world looks to their athletes to see who will become the face of the games. In Beijing in 2008 London finished fourth in medal standings with a total of 47 medals, with 19 of those being gold. Representing Scotland and Britain, Chris Hoy is a track cyclist that became the first British athlete to win 3 gold medals in one Game. Hoy’s success extends beyond the Olympic arena such as beating the current world record for the 500m flying start once held by Arnaud Duble with 25.850 seconds. Hoy beat this record by a second, clocking in a time of 24.758 seconds. Another fan favourite is Rebecca Adlington who was a double gold medalist in Beijing in the 400 and 800 free swims at only 19 years of age. Since 2008 Adlington has gone on to compete successfully in other events such as European Swimming Championships and World Swimming Championships, out swimming her personal best scores and improving as an athlete. With the support and praise of Britain behind her, Adlington will no doubt become a favourite in the 2012 Olympics and a star in her own right.

 

The Olympics also brings opportunity to the “underdogs” of the competition, those previously unknown and young athletes looking to prove themselves for the first time. Both Jamie Cooke and Judith Hammer may all be names we hear more of as the Olympic dates draw closer. From wheelchair basketball to pentathlons, raising stars will take the world stage to prove their own training and talents.