Photo: Ian Walton/Getty Images
Lolo Jones kicked off the Olympic frenzy this week by saying that keeping her virginity is “harder than training for the Olympics.”But wth just two months until the festivities kick off in London, Jones isn’t the only star ready to hit it big.
We picked 30 up-and-comers and returning superstars who meet two key criteria:
1. Everyone will be talking about in them once the Games roll around.
2. They’re easy on the eyes.
These are the people you’ll want to watch for in London.
Event: 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, and a relay or two
Medal?: He's probably the best sprint freestyle swimmer in the world, so he should grab at least one. Plus his nickname is 'The Missile.'
Event: 100m hurdles
Medal?: It's iffy. She was the fastest in Beijing before tripping on a hurdle, but she didn't even qualify for the World Championships last year.
Medal?: The US is the heavy favourite to win gold, and with Ricky Rubio out for Spain, that seems likely.
Event: Long jump
Medal?: She's a longshot. She only came in 7th in last year's World Championships.
Medal?: Brazil has never won an Olympic soccer tournament, and it really annoys them. They're the favourites, and Neymar is their flashiest, best player.
Medal?: The US brings back basically the same team that won silver at the World Cup last summer. They'll fight it out with Japan, Brazil, and Sweden for gold.
Event: 100m, 200m
Medal?: Probably gold, he's Usain Bolt.
Age: 30 and 28
Event: Beach volleyball
Medal?: They're poised to win gold after winning it all at the 2011 World's.
Event: 10m platform
Medal?: He has a shot. He came in 5th in last year's World Championships, and won the World's in 2009.
Medal?: Well, he has to be selected to the team first (all indications are that he will). But after that the UK is probably behind Brazil, Spain, Germany, and maybe even Mexico in the medal race.
Medal?: Probably. It'll be between USA, Japan, Sweden, and Brazil.
Event: A bunch, but not the eight events he won in Beijing
Medal?: Phelps has still got it (he won four golds at last year's World Championships). So you can put him down for multiple medals.
Event: 100m, 200m, 4x400m relay
Medal?: The US is awesome at the 4x400 relay. If she makes that team, she should win gold.
Event: Lots. He swim six races at last year's World Championships.
Medal?: Multiple golds. He's the world record holder in the 200 IM, so that seems like a shoe-in.
Medal?: She's No. 2 in the world, so she'll be favourite to make the medal stand.
Medal?: Spain is the favourite to win silver, behind the US.
Event: 100m backstroke, various relays
Medal?: Her best chance at gold is if she makes the US women's 4x100 medley relay team.
Event: 100m, 200m
Medal?: He's probably the biggest threat to Usain Bolt. He won the 2011 World Championships, and has posted his fastest times in the 100 and 200 in the last eight months.
Medal?: It's unlikely. She's never won a medal at an Olympics or World Championship
Medal?: She's the favourite to win the all-around track event, plus she'll have the hometown fans behind her.
Medal?: Woz has never won a Grand Slam title. If she wins the Olympics, it'll be her biggest career achievement. She has as good a shot as anyone.
Event: 200m backstroke
Medal?: Not too likely. His last big win in an individual event was the silver in the 200m backstroke at the 2008 Olympics.
Medal?: The Olympics is where young guys can come out of nowhere and introduce themselves on the world stage. Tomic may not win a medal, but he can certainly make a run the way Fernando Gonzalez did in 2008.
Some people think archery is going to be the breakout sport of the 2012 Olympics because of The Hunger Games.
If that's the case (we sort of doubt it), you should follow Brady Ellison, the best US archer.
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