Lisa Leslie has been a mainstay on the U.S. women's national basketball team since 1996. She has won four Olympic gold medals ('96, '00, '04, '08) and two world championships ('98, '02). Leslie is one of two members of USA Basketball with four gold medals, the other being Teresa Edwards.
2 of 57Jessica Hill/AP
Now: Maya Moore
Maya Moore first started playing with USA Basketball's women's national team in 2009, and she was the youngest player invited to the training camp. Moore had a dominant 2011 year, leading the UConn Huskies to a Final Four appearance and the Minnesota Lynx to a WNBA championship.
3 of 57GEORGE TIEDEMANN/SI
Then: John Smith
John Smith (red) has more world championships than any other wrestler in American history. Not only did he win gold at the 1988 and 1992 Olympic games, but also the Oklahoma State standout won four titles in non-Olympic years and finished his career with a 100-5 international record.
4 of 57Osman Orsal/REUTERS
Now: Jordan Burroughs
Jordan Burroughs (red), the only 2011 World Champion for U.S. wrestling, is America's best chance for a gold medal in London. The former Nebraska Cornhusker says he wants to break John Smith's record of six world titles.
5 of 57JACK HALEY/AP
Then: Bruce Davidson, Sr.
One of the most decorated riders in United States history, Davidson earned four Olympic medals in Team eventing (two gold and two silver) in addition to five world championship medals (three gold and two bronze).
6 of 57Pablo Alcala/ZUMAPRESS.com
Now: Bruce "Buck" Davidson, Jr.
Buck is trying to create his own legacy at the 2012 Games. He placed sixth as an individual in the 1999 Pan American games and was part of the fourth-place U.S. team at the 2010 World Championships.
7 of 57Courtesy of USA Archery
Then: Darrell Pace
Pace was declared the men's archer of the 20th century by the International Archery Federation. He won Olympic gold medals in 1976 and 1984 and also earned a silver medal at the 1988 Games.
8 of 57Leo Mason/US PRESSWIRE
Now: Brady Ellison
Ellison qualified for the 2008 Olympics, but was unable to medal. Now he's the favorite to earn gold in London.The world's top-ranked archer won 35 of the 37 world ranking events in which he participated in 2011.
9 of 57Andrew Wong/REUTERS
Then: Jimmy Pedro
Pedro was a two-time Olympic bronze medalists, earning third place in 1996 and 2004. He was also the 1999 Men's Judo World Champion, but failed to medal at the 2000 Olympic Games (pictured).
10 of 57Markus Schreiber/AP
Now: Kayla Harrison
Kayla Harrison is the first United States judoka to enter an Olympic competition as the World Champion since Pedro did it in 2000. The 2011 Judo World Champion is now coached by Pedro.
11 of 57Clement/L'Equipe
Then: Davis Phinney
Davis and his wife Connie Carpenter-Phinney both won medals at the 1984 Olympic games. Connie earned a gold while Davis, the first American ever to win a road stage of the Tour de France (pictured), took home a bronze.
12 of 57John Pyle/Cal Sport Media
Now: Taylor Phinney
Taylor Phinney is looking to follow in the footsteps of both his parents at the 2012 Games. The young star placed eighth in the individual pursuit at the 2008 Olympics and won a 2009 individual pursuit world championship. He currently rides with the BMC Racing Team, managed by two-time U.S. Olympic cyclist Jim Ochowicz.
13 of 57Manny Millan/SI
Then: Greg Louganis
Greg Louganis dove in three Olympic Games ('76, '84 and '88), where he won four gold medals and one silver. He is the first and only male diver to win consecutive Olympic gold medals in the platform and springboard events.
14 of 57BOBBY YIP/REUTERS
Now: David Boudia
David Boudia competed in the 2008 Olympics, where he finished fifth in the 10-meter platform event. He looks to qualify for the Olympics this year in either individual or the synchronized 10-meter event.
15 of 57Bettmann/Corbis
Then: Dick Fosbury
Dick Fosbury, creator of the 'Fosbury Flop' high jump technique that's used almost universally today, took the high jump gold medal at the 1968 Olympics. His performance using his revolutionary technique was controversial, but his new Olympic record helped it quickly gain acceptance.
16 of 57RUNGROJ YONGRIT/EPA/Landov
Now: Jesse Williams
Jesse Williams, the current high jump world champion, competed in the 2008 Olympics but failed to make it out of semifinals. Being the first American high jump world champion, Williams hopes to medal at the 2012 Olympics.
17 of 57AP
Then: Jesse Owens
Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics without even a congratulatory handshake from Adolf Hitler. No other U.S. track & field athlete would achieve the feat of four golds in one Olympic Games until Carl Lewis in 1984.
18 of 57Al Tielemans/SI
Now: Walter Dix
Walter Dix is often the lone American facing those speedy Jamaicans in the sprints. After winning bronze in the 100m and 200m at the 2008 Olympics, Dix aims for another medal-worthy showing in 2012.
19 of 57
Then: Carl Lewis
Carl Lewis won four gold medals at the 1984 Olympics, a feat only previously achieved by Jesse Owens. He proceeded to dominate the long jump for nearly two decades, winning the Olympic gold medal in '84, '88, '92 and '96.
20 of 57Anja Neideringhaus/AP
Now: LaShawn Merritt
LaShawn Merritt grabbed Olympic golds in the 400m and 4x100m events at the 2008 Games. He looks to revenge his second- place finish at the 2011 world championships during the Olympics in 2012.
21 of 57Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
Then: Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Jackie Joyner-Kersee excelled at the heptathlon and long jump -- over four Olympics, she medaled six times in the two events. In 1988, Joyner-Kersee won both the heptathlon and long jump, and she won the heptathlon again in 1992. She won silver in the heptathlon in 1984, and bronze in the long jump in both 1992 and 1996.
22 of 57Bob Martin/SI
Now: Brittney Reese
Despite a fifth-place long jump finish at the Olympics in 2008, Brittney Reese came back and grabbed gold at both the 2009 and 2011 world championships. Next summer, the reigning world champion looks to win her first Olympic medal.
23 of 57Al Tielemans/SI, Manny Millan/SI
Then: Kerri Strug
Kerri Strug, part of the 1996 'Magnificent Seven' gymnastics team, is known for her famous vault on an injured ankle. Strug managed to stick the vault on only one foot to win the team gold medal, and later was carried to the medals podium by her coach.
24 of 57Peter Read Miller/SI
Now: McKayla Maroney
McKayla Maroney competed at the 2011 World Championships, and she snagged the individual vault gold medal. Her magnificent vaults also contributed to the team gold medal. Maroney is a strong contender to qualify for the 2012 Olympic team.
25 of 57Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
Then: Mary Meagher
Mary Meagher, known by some as 'Madam Butterfly,' excelled in the butterfly throughout the 1980s. She didn't get to compete in the 1980 Olympics due to the boycott, but she set world records in the 100m and 200m butterfly at the 1981 Nationals. Meagher won golds in both events and the medley relay at the 1984 Olympics, and won a bronze in the 200m fly at the 1988 Olympics.
26 of 57Peter Read Miller/SI
Now: Dana Vollmer
Dana Vollmer won the U.S.'s first gold medal at the 2011 World Aquatic Championships in the 100m butterfly, making her a favorite for the 2012 Olympic team. Vollmer has one Olympic gold medal under her belt, from 2004 in the 4x200m freestyle relay, but still chases her first individual Olympic medal.
27 of 57Mike Fiala/STR/EPA
Then: Blaine Wilson
Blaine Wilson competed on the men's Olympic gymnastics team in 1996, 2000 and 2004. He went medal-less the first two Games, but helped the team to a silver medal in 2004.
28 of 57Peter Read Miller/SI
Now: John Orozco
John Orozco finished the highest of any American in the all-around competition at the world championships this year, contributing to the team's third-place finish. Currently, Orozco is taking a year off after graduating from high school to focus on training for the 2012 Olympics.
29 of 57Bob Martin/SI
Then: Rulon Gardner
Rulon Gardner was the extreme underdog at the 2000 Olympics, when he faced Aleksandr Karelin, who had not lost a match in 13 years. Gardner famously upset Karelin to win the gold.
30 of 57Bob Martin/SI
Now: Henry Cejudo
Henry Cejudo achieved his dream of winning an Olympic medal at the ripe age of 21 in 2008. After taking some time off, Cejudo is returning to wrestling to try to qualify for the 2012 Olympic team.
31 of 57Theo Westenberger/SI
Then: 1992 Dream Team
FIBA allowed professional basketball players to compete in the Olympics for the first time at the 1992 Games. The best players in the NBA teamed up to represent the USA, winning the gold medal with arguably the best team ever assembled.
32 of 57Bob Rosato/SI
Now: U.S. basketball
With an All-Star team, the U.S. defeated Spain to win the gold medal in Beijing in 2008. Most of those players will be available to play in 2012, looking to repeat their gold medal run.
33 of 57Mark Kauffman/Sports Illustrated
Then: Wilma Rudolph
At the 1960 Summer Olympics, when she was just 20, Wilma Rudolph captured gold in the 100 meters, 200 meters and the 4x100m relay. One would never imagine that the sprinter once dubbed "the fastest woman in the world" was born prematurely and had to wear a corrective brace on her leg.
34 of 57Bob Martin/SI
Now: Allyson Felix
U.S. sprinter Allyson Felix has finished second in the 200 meters at the last two Olympics. She switched coaches after the 2008 Games, so expect her to be back in 2012, aiming for her first individual Olympic gold medal.
35 of 57Mike Powell
Then: Florence Griffith-Joyner
Following in Wilma Rudolph's footsteps, sprinter Florence Griffith-Joyner won gold in the 100, 200 and 4x100m relay at the 1988 Olympics and set world records in the individual events. Aside from her records, Flo-Jo sported long fingernails, often featuring crazy designs.
36 of 57Bill Frakes/SI
Now: Carmelita Jeter
After disappointingly missing the 2008 Olympics, sprinter Carmelita Jeter has not allowed herself to be forgotten. She began training with a new coach and recently won gold in the 100 meters and the 4x100m relay at the 2011 World Championships. Also a medal contender in the 200 meters, Jeter's chances for qualifying for the Olympics in 2012 are high.
37 of 57Andy Hayt/SI
Then: Mary Lou Retton
Mary Lou Retton captured America's heart during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, when she became the first U.S. woman to win the Olympic all-around title. She scored perfect 10s on both her vault and floor routines, launching her by .05 of a point to take gold. That year, Retton was named Sports Illustrated's Sportswoman of the Year.
38 of 57Peter Read Miller/SI
Now: Jordyn Wieber
Sixteen-year-old Jordyn Wieber has her eyes on the prize, and has for a very long time. This year, she won the all-around competition at nationals and at the world championships. Jordyn is the U.S.'s best hope at winning a third straight Olympic all-around gold medal, after Carly Patterson and Nastia Liukin.
39 of 57Diane Johnson/WireImage.com
Then: Peter Vidmar
Peter Vidmar, a member of the historic 1984 Olympic gold-medal-winning U.S. gymnastics team, won individual medals on the pommel horse (gold) and in the all-around (silver).
40 of 57Peter Read Miller/SI
Now: Danell Leyva
Danell Leyva burst onto the senior gymnastics scene at just 17, when he won gold at nationals on high bar. He won the all-around title at the 2011 nationals. More recently, he won individual gold on parallel bars and contributed to the team bronze medal at the world championships. He faltered in the all-around competition, falling on his vault landing and falling on high bar.
41 of 57Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Then: Mark Spitz
Mark Spitz dominated in the pool in a godly manner in the late '60s and early '70s. At the 1972 Games in Munich, he won seven gold medals and set world records in every event. No Olympic athlete came near that mark until Michael Phelps hit the international swimming scene.
42 of 57Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
Now: Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps cemented himself as the greatest swimmer ever when he won six Olympic gold medals in 2004 and eight Olympic gold medals in 2008, surpassing Mark Spitz. Phelps had close calls in his quest for eight golds at the 2008 Olympics -- he won the 100-meter butterfly by .01 of a second, the slimmest margin of victory in swimming, and Jason Lezak swam the fastest 100-meter freestyle relay split in history to help Phelps and others win the 400-meter relay by .08 of a second. Phelps should be back for the 2012 Olympics in London, but with a lighter racing schedule.
43 of 57Heinz Kluetmeier/Sports Illustrated
Then: Rowdy Gaines
Rowdy Gaines was primed to win several Olympic medals at the 1980 Olympics, before the U.S. boycotted. Gaines got his chance four years later and won three gold.
44 of 57Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
Now: Ryan Lochte
Ryan Lochte has been swimming in Michael Phelps' wake, literally, until he completely dominated the 2011 World Championships. He won four individual gold medals and one relay gold, outshining Phelps, who won two individual gold medals and two relay golds. Lochte even beat Phelps in their head-to-head events. As the Olympics approach, Lochte isn't going away.
45 of 57Manny Millan/SI
Then: Tracy Caulkins
In the early 1980s, Tracy Caulkins dominated the international swimming scene in all four strokes. She won Olympic gold at the 1984 Games in the 200- and 400-meter individual medleys. She also contributed to the 400-meter medley relay team, which came in first.
46 of 57PATRICK B. KRAEMER/EPA
Now: Missy Franklin
Sixteen-year-old Missy Franklin had the best summer of her swimming career, winning five medals (three gold, one silver, one bronze) at the World Championships in Shanghai. She will be a cornerstone of the U.S. Olympic Team in 2012, barring any complications.
47 of 57Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Then: Bruce Jenner
After finishing 10th in the decathlon at the 1972 Olympics, Bruce Jenner dedicated himself wholeheartedly to training. His work paid off at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, where he won decathlon gold and set a new world record in points at 8,617.
48 of 57Peter Read Miller/AP
Now: Bryan Clay
Bryan Clay is one of three U.S. decathletes fighting for gold at the 2012 Olympics. He's the reigning Olympic champion.
49 of 57Manny Millan/Sports Illustrated
Then: Roger Kingdom
Roger Kingdom started off as a football player in college, but also excelled on the track. He won the 110-meter hurdles at both the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, becoming only the second hurdler to defend the title successfully.
50 of 57Bob Martin/SI
Now: Jason Richardson
Jason Richardson received an unexpected surprise at the 2011 World Championships; he came in second place in the 110-meter hurdles, but was awarded the gold after the winner, Dayron Robles, was disqualified for interference. Richardson will be vying for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team next summer.
51 of 57Simon Bruty/SI
Then: Jenny Thompson
Jenny Thompson co-owns the record for the greatest number of Olympic medals for an American female swimmer with 12 (Dara Torres also has 12). She competed in her fourth and last Olympic Games in 2004, where she contributed to two silver-medal-winning relays.
52 of 57Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
Now: Natalie Coughlin
Coughlin is still hitting the pool hard and is expected to make the Olympic team for the third time in a row next year. At the 2008 Games she became the first woman to win back-to-back golds in the 100-meter backstroke, and she became the first American female athlete to win six Olympic medals in one Games.
53 of 57Peter Read Miller/SI, Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
Then and Now: Janet Evans
Janet Evans, known as the queen of distance swimming, won gold medals in all three of the distance events at the 1988 Olympics. Evans set world records in all of the distance events, which were some of the longest-standing swimming records in history. Recently, Evans announced her comeback to swimming, attempting to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Trials.
54 of 57Heinz Kluetmeier/Sports Illustrated
Now: Kate Ziegler
After a tough 2008 Olympics, Kate Ziegler has a renewed sense of focus and new expectations. At the World Championships, she finished third in the 800m freestyle and second in the 1500m freestyle (a non-Olympic event), setting her up nicely for the 2012 Games.
55 of 57Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
Then and Now: Dara Torres
The seemingly-ageless Dara Torres made the comeback of a lifetime after giving birth in 2006 to qualify for the 2008 Olympic team. Torres competed in the '84, '88, '92 and '00 Games as well, winning a total of 12 medals. Currently, Torres is training to qualify for London.
56 of 57KATSUMI KASAHARA/AP
Trischa Zorn is the most successful athlete in Paralympics history, winning 55 medals (41 gold) in seven Games between 1980 and 2004. That is more medals than many countries have won in the Paralympics. Zorn was born blind at birth, and competes in the visually impaired category of the Paralympics.
57 of 57Elizabeth Dalziel/AP
At the 2008 Paralympics, Kelley Becherer won the 50-meter freestyle in the visually impaired category, and took bronze in the 100-meter and 400-meter freestyles. Becherer qualified for the 2011 Pan-Pac Para-swimming Championships team, and hopes to qualify for the 2012 Paralympic team.
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