Here is a short list of international athletes to look out for at the London 2012 Olympic Games. You can check out our people’s section for full profiles of other Indian and international athletes.
Kerri Walsh & Misty May-Treanor
After storming two Olympiads in a row (Athens 2004 & Beijing 2008) America’s beach volleyball dream-team decided to take a little time off to reconsider their lives. May-Treanor has given birth to two babies while Walsh continued to compete with another partner. In 2011, in time to qualify for the Olympics, the two teamed up once more to qualify for the Olympics. Before they retired the duo had won 112 straight matches and 2 Olympic Gold medals. While they may not be able to add to the 112 game streak, they are definitely the team to contend with in London 2012.
Anna Maree Meares
This Australian gold medalist in cycling is right on track for a repeat show in London 2012. Meares set the world record in the 500 time trial minutes after China’s Yonghua Jiang in the 2004 Athens Games. 4 years later, Anna Maree literally broke her neck during the world cup but made an astonishing recovery and fought her way to qualify for the Beijing Games the same year. She won a silver medal. It is this never-say-die spirit that puts Anna Maree on the top contenders list once more.
The five-time World Champion and Olympic silver medalist in sailing is the most successful sailor (male or female) in the 2 person 470 class- sailing a dinghy. Lobke’s is from a family of sailors. Her grandfather was the skipper of a royal dutch yacht and she herself was given her first boat when she was 8 years. Berkhout, along with her teammate Lisa Westerhof, will try to show the regatta lovers just how much they can dominate by taking home gold in London 2012.
Marta Vieira da Silva
For 5 years in a row (2006 – 2010) Marta was named FIFA World Player of the Year. Marta’s talent was discovered when she was just 14 and has been living and playing football professionally ever since. She was part of the Brazillian national team that came in second to win silver at the Athens and Beijing games. In London 2012 Marta will play with her national team once more for a go at gold.
At age 12, the Irish born Katie Taylor began to train to be a boxer under the guidance of her father. The current women’s world champion has been beating her opponents to the ground and clinching gold medals consistently since 2006 in both amateur and professional boxing. Not only this, Katie also plays professional football on the Ireland Women’s senior football team. London 2012 will be Katie Taylor’s first attempt at Olympic gold and is a hot contender to beat.
A left-handed table tennis champion and German #1 player, Timo Boll, began playing tennis at age four. With a shakehand grip (a normal hold with the index finger perpendicular to the handle) and strong forehand topspin, Boll is one of the top contenders at London 2012. Another reason to look for him on the podium is after he ended china’s 88 month-month monopoly of world #1 in 2011.
For three Olympiads in a row, Steven Lopez has made it to the winner’s podium, taking gold in 2000 and 2004, and bronze in 2008. His siblings Mark and Diana have also been on the Olympic team for taekwondo and his brother Jean is his coach in 2008 and have made this a repeat action for London 2012. Will the trio all be able to snag medals this time around?
The Scottish track cyclist representing Great Britain is a multiple Olympic Gold medalist and most successful Olympic (male) cyclist of all time. There is also the many world championships Hoy has received. His main events are the Kila (1km Time Trial) and Team Sprint. When the time trial event was removed from the Olympic line-up of events, Hoy begain training for Keiran event and other short sprints. It is no secret that Christopher Hoy is one of the top contenders at London 2012 and the one to beat.
Neymar da Silva Santos Junior
Commonly known by only his first name, Neymar is a forward for the Brazillian national team. This lover of futsal (a Brazillian version of indoor football) was on a junior professional team by age 11 and turned professional before he was out of high-school. The new Pele as some people call was right there with the national team during the FIFA World Cup in 2010 and will be with them once more in London 2012 trying to clinch the gold medal.
In his first season of the NBA back in 2007 when he was 19 years old, Kevin Durant took home the rookie of the year award. He was too new to the league to make it onto the American dream-team in 2008. However he is on the roster of the American national basketball team that has won all but 4 times since basketball was added as an Olympic sport back in 1936. (13/17 gold medal wins)
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