17-year-old Missy Franklin, the first American woman to qualify for seven events, could leave London with as many as five medals. Nicknamed "Missy the Missle," Franklin holds the American record in the 100-meter back, and teammate Natalie Coughlin thinks Franklin's energy and enthusiasm will help her take home gold in the Games.
2 of 15SEBASTIAN DERUNGS/AFP/Getty Images
Jamaican star Yohan Blake is going to give Usain Bolt a run for his money in London. Bolt and Blake have been training together for four years, and as far back as 2008, Bolt was telling the media to "keep an eye" on Blake. The first-time Olympian won the 100- and 200-meter sprints at the Jamaican Olympic Trials after besting Bolt in the 100 at the 2011 world championship. With Bolt ailing, Blake could be the one to beat in the 100.
3 of 15Peter Read Miller/SI
Nicknamed "The Flying Squirrel" for her ability to reach unreal heights in her routines, Gabby Douglas took first place at the Olympic Gymnastics Trials, defeating rival-teammate Jordyn Wieber for the all-around crown. Months earlier, at worlds, it was Wieber who took the all-around title. The pair will renew their rivalry in London.
4 of 15George Frey/Getty Images
23-year-old Alex Morgan only recently became a full-time starter for the women's national team, but the move has paid off: In 2012, she has scored seven goals in 15 games. She was the second-youngest player on the U.S. World Cup team that finished second to Japan in 2011.
5 of 15Darko Vojinovic/AP
The fifth overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, Jonas Valanciunas still hasn't played a minute in the NBA. He'll make his debut with the Raptors this upcoming season, but before that, he'll lead Lithuania in London. A rangy 7-footer with a soft touch around the rim, Valanciunas should be a matchup nightmare up front.
6 of 15Jed Jacobsohn/SI
In London, for the first time in Olympic history, women's boxing will be a medal sport. At 17, Claressa Shields is the youngest U.S Olympic boxer in 40 years, and she's a good one, holding a 46-1 record entering the Games. Shields defeated middleweight legend Mary Spencer earlier this year, firmly establishing herself as a viable competitor for the Olympic gold.
7 of 15Peter Read Miller/SI
John Orozco is a 19-year-old Bronx native and a favored future Olympic medalist. The all-around 2012 national champion, who finished second at the Olympic trials, says his goal is to bring home at least one gold. If all goes well, that gold could be the all-around.
8 of 15Peter Read Miller/SI
Aston Eaton, 24, is riding high after setting the world record (9,039) in the decathlon at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. Long considered a future decathlon star, Eaton will have to prove he can shine away from his home track; in 2011, he dropped off by 224 points between the nationals in Eugene and the worlds in Daegu.
9 of 15Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
At 19, with only a year of college basketball under his belt, Anthony Davis is the youngest member of the U.S. men's basketball team. Davis, the first overall pick in this year's NBA draft, led Kentucky to an NCAA title in his only year in college, and he'll look to use his length and quickness to shore up a weak Team USA frontcourt.
10 of 15Peter Read Miller/SI
At only 16, Jordyn Wieber is the reigning all-around world champion and the presumptive favorite for the all-around gymnastics gold. Wieber was one of five gymnasts selected to the U.S. team after she finished a tenth of a point behind Gabby Douglas at the U.S. trials. Her unfailing consistency will help propel her to gold; she might wobble or hesitate, but she never falls and never misses.
11 of 15Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Freestyle wrestler Jordan Burroughs is an American world champion heading to his first Olympics. Having already faced and beaten several of his would-be competitors, the two-time NCAA champion is an almost unanimous favorite to win gold. Burroughs has stated that he's looking far ahead, and hopes to be defend his pending gold medal at the 2016 Olympics.
12 of 15Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Magnussen has won a total of five medals in recent international competition and will be Australia's star sprinter this year in London. He is the favorite for the 100-meter freestyle and will be the heart of the Aussie's 4x100 relay. At only 21, Magnussen qualified for his first Olympics by winning both the 50 and 100 at the 2012 Australian Swimming Championships.
13 of 15Carmelo Imbesi/AP
Just 19, Race Imboden is ranked No. 4 in the world and hopes to take home a the U.S.' first men's foil medal since 1960. He's no stranger to medals -- he won six gold medals in individual and team competition last year alone. With teammate Miles Chamley-Watson, Imboden has a shot in both men's foil and men's team foil.
14 of 15JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images
Phinney comes from a successful racing family: both his mother and father are former Olympic medalists. The only American male competing in the London individual time trial, Phinney hopes to keep his family's gold medal tradition alive in London. At the 2008 Olympics, Phinney finished seventh in the individual pursuit. This year, Phinney, having trained longer and harder, is ready to fight for gold.
15 of 15Clive Rose/Getty Images
David Boudia will make his second Olympic appearance in London, competing in the 10-meter platform and 10-meter synchronized platform with teammate Nick McCrory. Boudia is the first American to break 600 points in six dives and set the American record for most points in a single dive (111.00). The Purdue alum took first in the diving trials and hopes to end the U.S. diving medal drought in London.
You May Like
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!