Gold Medal Michael
American swimming sensation Michael Phelps enters his third and final Olympic Games having already won 16 medals - 14 gold and two bronze - a total that ranks second all-time to Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, who won 18 medals in her career. Phelps won more medals than any other athlete at both the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympics. But in London, the 27-year-old will face his stiffest competition yet. Friend, rival and six-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte is the reigning World Swimmer of the Year and bested Phelps in the 400-meter individual medley - an event that Phelps twice won gold in world record time - at the Olympic Trials. Phelps will be chasing history and Lochte.
Wieber Fever Spreads
Mary Lou Retton became the first American all-around champion in Olympic women's gymnastics history in 1984. Twenty years later, Carly Patterson became just the second to claim all-around Olympic gold. Four years ago, Nastia Liukin defended the title for the USA. In London, 17-year-old Jordyn Wieber will attempt to become the third straight American champ individually, while Team USA's women aim to join the 1996 squad as the second-ever gold medal-winning team. Coach John Geddert - the only coach Wieber has ever had - will attempt to recreate Bela Karolyi's gold medal magic on the balance beam, floor exercise, uneven bars and vault.
Lightning Bolt Strikes London
Jamaica's Usain Bolt currently holds both the world and Olympic records in the 100-meters and 200-meters. But the 25-year-old living legend will have to be in top form in order to retain his title as the undisputed fastest man on Earth. Bolt is being chased by 22-year-old Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake, who clinched gold at the 2011 World Championships after Bolt was disqualified via false start. American Tyson Gay is also a threat - having run the second-fastest 100-meter time in history and setting a new American record in the process in September 2009.
On the 20th anniversary of the 1992 "Dream Team," the red, white and blue of Team USA remains the global gold standard on the hardwood. Coach Mike Krzyzewski returns 2008 "Redeem Team" members Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Deron Williams. But one of the new additions may be the most valuable player when the dust settles. Three-time NBA scoring champ and 2010 FIBA World Championship MVP Kevin Durant brings a smooth shooting stroke that likely will be relied on to defeat Spain - which won silver in 2008 and boasts a frontcourt that includes the Gasol brothers, Pau and Marc, and Serge Ibaka.
American stars you might not know
Jordan Burroughs, wrestling
Hodge Trophy winner was two-time NCAA champ at Nebraska.
Ashton Eaton, decathlon
Owner of the world record in both the decathlon and heptathlon.
Allyson Felix, track
Silver medalist in the 200-meters at both the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.
Missy Franklin, swimming
The 17-year-old "Missy the Missile" will compete in seven Olympic events.
Lolo Jones, track
Twitter's favorite track star, Lolo is seeking redemption in London.
Holley Mangold, weightlifting
The 350-pounder can outlift her older brother, NFL lineman Nick Mangold.
Alex Morgan, women's soccer
Sports Illustrated swimsuit model is the smiling face of USA soccer.
Misty May-Treanor & Kerri Walsh, beach volleyball
Dynamic duo digging in one last time.
Global stars you might not know
Tom Daley, Great Britain diving
Hometown hero also competed as a 14-year-old at the Beijing Olympics.
James Magnussen, Australia swimming
The 21-year-old is Australia's best swimmer since Ian Thorpe.
Aliya Mustafina, Russia gymnastics
Winner of the all-around title at the 2010 World Championships.
Neymar, Brazil men's soccer
The beautiful game's mohawk-sporting 20-year-old prodigy.
Oscar Pistorius, South Africa track
"Blade Runner" is a world-class sprinter, double amputee inspiration.
Stephanie Rice, Australia swimming
Controversial young Aussie could make noise in and out of the pool.
David Rudisha, Kenya track
Owner of the 800-meter world record and five of the 10 fastest times ever.