Team USA athletes hope to win their share of gold medals in the upcoming Summer Olympics in London. Here are five whose accomplishments in tryouts and previous Olympics are singled out as most likely to go for the gold:
Michael Phelps, SwimmingAlready an Olympic legend with a total of 16 medals, 14 of them gold, Phelps is expected to earn more in London. However, at 26, advanced age for swimmers, he'll have lots of competition from teammates and other younger athletes.
However, with his slim build, six foot four height, size 14 feet, paddle-like hands and enormous arm span, the veteran swimmer will still be hard to beat. Phelps needs to win just three more gold medals in London to establish the all-time Olympic gold record.
Kerri Walsh & Misty May-Treanor, Beach VolleyballWhat was once a casual seashore game is now an official Olympics sport. Gold-medal winners in the two previous summer Olympic games, the American team is hoping to repeat in London. Kerri Walsh and her playing partner Misty May-Treanor are two of the best in the business.
Steven Lopez, TaekwondoFor Olympic fans not familiar with this national sport of South Korea, it involves karate-like moves with hands and feet. Steven Lopez, who has already won two Olympic gold medals, is expected to be a strong contender for another one in London. Steve's brother, Mark, and sister Diana were all on the 2008 American Olympics team in Beijing. Steve and Diana qualified for London, and although Mark didn't, but he'll be there as their coach.
Melissa (Missy) Franklin, SwimmingShe'll be just two months past her 17th birthday when competing London in July. Missy Franklin is expected to be a serious contender for winning at least one gold medal in the London Olympics. A year ago, she established new world records for the four-by-four medley and 200-meter backstroke.
Missy is compared to Michael Phelps in her natural swimmer's slim body of over six feet one, and possessing the large hands and feet that help propel her through the water. Although both her parents were born in Canada, Missy was brought up in California and elected to swim for the United States.
Justin Lester, Greco-Roman WrestlingSince he began wrestling at age six, Justin Lester has accumulated enough medals to decorate a dozen rooms. He missed out on qualifying for the 2008 Olympics, and then abruptly quit the sport. After some contemplation and urging by friends and family members, he went into serious training this year and made the team. Harry, now a U.S. Army specialist, is currently ranked number one by Team USA in the 145-pound class, and has an excellent chance for winning the gold in London.
Olympic and sports fan Freddy Sherman grew up in Philadelphia and went to school with two Olympic medal winners, Kim Gallagher and David Wharton. Watching their skill and determination inspired him. You can follow Freddy on Twitter: @thefredsherman.
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