The Top Five American Men to Watch in the 2016 Olympics

Looking to Defend Their Titles

Yahoo Contributor Network
2016 Summer Olympics: Can the U.S. Maintain Its Dominance in Men's Swimming?
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2016 Summer Olympics: Can the U.S. Maintain Its Dominance in Men's Swimming?

After winning the overall medal table at the 2008 Olympics but not the gold-medal tally, the U.S. secured both in 2012-with 104 total medals and 46 golds.

American men earned 34 individual medals-including 13 golds at the London Games.

The following list includes the five American men that I think are most likely to be present at the Rio Games to defend their titles:

Vincent Hancock: Hancock is one of America's many stars in shooting. He won back-to-back golds in the men's skeet in 2008 and '12. In doing so, the 23-year-old Hancock became the first skeet shooter to win consecutive Olympic titles. Expect more historic achievements from Hancock at the Rio Games.

Ashton Eaton: Eaton set a new world record in the decathlon at the U.S. Olympic Trials and then proved he could perform just as well on sport's biggest stage by winning the gold in London. His victory at the London Games continued a century-long tradition of American greatness in the sport. At 24 years of age, Eaton should be a good bet to defend his title-if he can avoid serious injury.

Christian Taylor: Taylor is a rising star for the U.S. in the triple jump. He captured the 2011 World Championships title in the event, and then took his first Olympic gold last month in London. At just age 22, Taylor is definitely someone to watch over the next few years through the Rio Games.

Jordan Burroughs: Burroughs is easily the star of Freestyle wrestling for the U.S. He took to the mat in London as the current world champion at 74 kilograms and did not disappoint on the way to his first Olympic gold. Hopefully he will lead the U.S. to more wrestling golds in 2016.

David Boudia: Boudia put on a sensational performance in the 10-meter platform diving competition to earn his first Olympic gold. In fact, his win was the first diving gold for an American man since 1992. Look for him to lead the U.S. in diving for many years to come.

Related content: The Top Five American Women to Watch in the 2016 Olympics

Patrick Hattman covered the London Games for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. He is already looking forward to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

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