Olympics Break Up Monotony of Summer Sports Seasons

This weekend’s NFL Combine officially marked the end of football action until players report for summer camp. Like most Americans, I consider this the worst part of the year.

Compared to the high-intensity, hard-hitting game of football, I find baseball excruciatingly boring. Basketball has a brief shining moment during March Madness, but when that’s over, we still have months of NBA play to endure. NASCAR only makes me more inclined to speed when driving my own car, and golf cannot even be considered a viable form of entertainment. Luckily, 2012 offers me another option: The Summer Olympics.

The Olympics have always been a huge todo in my household. We performed Opening Ceremonies (with my parents minding the torch-bearing duties), held competitions between my sister and me, kept a medal count hanging from our mantle, and designed flags for our “countries.” To this day, I love the Olympics and try to watch as many events as possible. When Michael Phelps won his eighth gold medal in Beijing, I remember spilling sweet tea all over my desk. While excitement of that magnitude is most likely a once in a lifetime event, the London Games still look very promising for the United States.

Tyson Gay remains the only sprinter in the world who has challenged Usain Bolt in the 100 meters. Bolt solidified himself as an Olympic legend in 2008, when he swept all his events with apparent ease. Gay has since beat Bolt, and remains focused on doing so in London. Other track favorites for the United States include Allyson Felix, who could run in the 200 meters, 400 meters, or both. She won a silver and a bronze competing in the two races at the World Championships in 2011, and was only hundredths of seconds off the gold medal times. She is sure to medal in London regardless of which event she chooses. Carmelita Jeter is another top U.S. woman in track and field, and the two are expected to dominate the sprinting events.

The United States men’s basketball team is looking to defend its 2008 gold medal win. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski was brought on to coach prior to the Beijing Olympics, after Team USA was embarrassed with a bronze medal finish in 2004. He successfully melded everyone’s sizable talents and clashing egos into united national pride and victory, restoring America’s dominance in the event. The 2012 team is again filled with superstars, including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard. If men’s basketball comes away with another gold in London, this team will be likened to the Dream Team of 1992 in terms of skill and success and might even be better.

Women’s gymnastics remains a strength for the United States and they are prepared to  knock China off the top of the podium. USA has the wonderful “problem” of too many Olympic-caliber gymnasts from which to choose. Olympic gymnastics teams are down to five members, and coach Martha Karolyi has eleven competitors who could be counted on to stick routines. Of those who are almost assured a spot, Jordyn Wieber is the favorite to win the all-around title, as well as the floor exercise. Other USA gymnasts predicted to medal include Alicia Sacramone, McKayla Maroney, and Rebecca Bross.

Many other sports are slated to help USA’s medal count. The United States is expected to continue is success in the swimming events, largely in thanks to Michael Phelps. Women’s soccer, volleyball, basketball, and water polo will also be strengths for the United States; all four teams are predicted to win the gold. Most experts agree that China will win the overall medal count, and the United States will take home the most gold medals. Full medal predictions for every sport, as well as broad forecasts for the Games, can be found at the following links, respectively: Medal Predictions, Olympic Predictions.

Go Team USA!

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