5 American Athletes Who Made The Most Of The 2012 Summer Olympics
The 2012 Summer Olympics end today. We know, we know. What the hell are you supposed to watch now?! For the last two weeks, there’s always been an Olympic event on your TV, no matter what time of day it was. And now, you’re basically left with infomercials and reruns of SportsCenter for the next two years (don’t worry, the 2014 Winter Olympics will be here before you know it!).
Fortunately, though, the U.S. Olympic team made a lot of memories at the 2012 Olympic Games. And, with the Games coming to a close today, we thought that we’d shine the spotlight (one more time!) on the five American athletes who made the most of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Even though the Olympics are over, we’ll be talking about these athletes for a long, long time.
We’ll admit: Three weeks ago, we didn’t know 1/100th of what we know about Douglas now. But, after stellar team and individual performances at the Olympics, she’s America’s new sweetheart. Thanks to her two Olympic golds, she’ll go down in U.S. Olympic history. Expect to hear about her for years to come.
Talk about making history. Coming into the 2012 Olympics, the bar was set pretty low for Phelps. In fact, most people thought his teammate Ryan Lochte would probably surpass him and become the most popular male swimmer during the Olympic Games. They were wrong. Instead of slipping into the background, Phelps kept on winning and eventually broke the all-time record for the total number of medals won by a single Olympic athlete. He finished his career off with 22 total medals and now goes down as one of the greatest Olympians ever.
For 12 years now, Felix has dreamed about winning a gold medal in the 200m race. For 12 years, she’s waited. In 2004, she only managed to win a silver. And, she repeated that feat in 2008. But, this year, the stars aligned and Felix finally won a gold medal in the 200m race, edging out her closest competitor by 0.21 seconds. It provided for a great story about perseverance and continuing to chase after your dreams until you accomplish them.
She’s already being called the “female Michael Phelps.” At just 17, she set world records in the 200m backstroke and 4x100m medley races at the Olympics and set American records in the 100m backstroke and 4x200m freestyle races. Plus, she got a tweet from Justin Bieber and became the face of female U.S. swimming. Expect to hear plenty more from her at the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil.
There are a lot of different names that could fill this fifth spot on our list. We’re selecting May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings because they were able to do something that most Olympians aren’t able to do—three-peat! For the third straight Olympic Games, they won a gold medal in beach volleyball and cemented their legacies in the process. Is there anyway they can make it four consecutive gold medals in 2016? They say this is it for them. But, we can’t wait to see if they’ve got anything left in the tank. They’re just one of the many reasons we’re already looking forward to the 2016 Summer Olympics. See you in Rio!