17 American Olympians To Watch In London

We’re just weeks away from the 2012 summer games. Here is a list of the most exciting athletes to be rooting for team USA.

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

The Olympcs are quickly approaching with games set to commence on July 27. Here is a list of the American athletes that will have you jumping out of your seat.

Michael Phelps (pictured above)

He won a record eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, becoming America’s golden boy instantaneously – marijuana habit aside of course. He’s now 26-years-old and could still be reaching his prime, which is scary. He has 16 career medals and needs just three more of any color to become the most decorated Olympian in history.

Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor

C’mon guys, anyone who knows anything at all about the summer Olympics knows that you need to drop everything and watch the beach volleyball action. Obvious reasons aside, these girls will be the pair to keep an eye on. Walsh and Treanor are widely considered the best female duo of all-time, winning gold medals in Athens and Beijing. They are the favorites in London as well. Don’t worry guys, our girls will be wearing the traditional standard bikini uniforms, and not the more modest ones approved recently by the International Volleyball Federation.

Kevin Durant and LeBron James

The pair will try to lead the USA men’s team to their second gold medal in a row after taking the crown in Beijing. The 2008 ‘Redeem Team,’ was just that; capturing the first world championship of any sort since 2000. But now we’re officially starting to see the passing of the reigns. The captains in 2008 consisted of Kobe Bryant and Jason Kidd. While Bryant is sure to still be on this year’s team, there’s no doubt that Durant and James are now the younger, more powerful scorers in today’s game. Durant became the first player since Michael Jordan to win three scoring titles in a row this season, and James can literally defend any position, from point guard to center.

Tyson Gay

Even more redemption to speak of here; Gay came into the Beijing Olympics full of hype, but never reached the podium once. He’s still considered one of the fastest men in the world and is one of the only guys that might have the ability to knock off Usain Bolt in the 100-meter. His 9.69 second 100-meter ranks Gay as the second fastest man on the globe.

Alex Morgan

She was the youngest player on the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup team and made a huge impact, scoring her first World Cup goal in the 82nd minute of the semi-final match-up against France, giving the U.S. the win. In the World Cup Final against Japan, she not only had the first goal in that contest, but also had the assist on the Abby Wambach header for the overtime goal. Morgan should play a major part on this year’s women’s team; especially if they expect to make a run.

Ryan Lochte

Bad news: he’s the main competitor to Phelps. Good news: He’s on team U.S.A. as well. Lochte is a six-time Olympic medalist and was part of the U.S. team that set the world record for the 4×200 meter freestyle relay at the 2009 World Championships.

Walter Dix

Dix is considered the fourth fastest 200-meter runner ever, with a best of 19.53 seconds. He’s broken the 10-second barrier in the 100-meter as well with a time of 9.88 seconds. After winning two bronze medals in Beijing, he’ll look to make even more noise in London.

Carmelita Jeter

In short, she’s the second fastest woman in the history of the 100-meters. Currently she holds three of the top ten times ever run.

Lolo Jones

Besides the fact that she’s not bad lookin – and by ‘not bad,’ I mean stupid crazy hot – she’ll be in redemption-mode in her 100-meter hurdles after tripping on the penultimate hurdle at the 2008 games (where she was the favorite as well). She holds the American record for the 60-meter hurdles.

Nastia Liukin and Jordan Weiber

Also in the ‘not bad lookin’’ department, Liukin is the 22-year-old that won the gold medal in the all-around competition in the 2008 Olympics.  Weiber is only 16-years-old, and is the 2011 all-around champion and American Cup champion.

Serena and Venus Williams

If Serena is fully recovered from the blood clots in her lungs, the sisters could be set up for a three-peat. The duo took the doubles gold medal in Sydney and Beijing.

Natalie Coughlin

One of greatest female Olympic swimmers in our country’s history, Coughlin has 11 medals to her name and in 2008 became the first American woman to win six medals in one Olympics. She was also the first woman to ever win gold in the 100-meter backstroke in consecutive Olympics.

Dara Torres

She’s at the ripe age of 44, perfect for an Olympic swimmer, right? She’s already the oldest swimmer to make the U.S. Olympic team and now she’ll break her own record in London by competing in her sixth Olympic games. She has 12 medals to her name, which include four golds.

Photo Credit: AP

Josh Helmuth is the editor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JHelmuth or subscribe at Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.