Olympic Athletes to Watch
The 2008 Olympic Games are just around the corner. Kidzworld profiles some of the American athletes who are sure to shine in Beijing!
Shawn JohnsonAmerican gymast Shawn Johnson may only be 4'8" but she is expected to do huge things in these Olympic Games. This 16-year-old Iowa native has dominated women's gymnastics for the past two years. She won the All Around competition at the U.S. Championships in Boston earlier this year. If there is one event that holds Shawn back, it is her skills on the balance beam and uneven bar. If she gets those two together, she will be unstoppable in Beijing!
Dara TorresOne of the most incredible stories of this year's Olympics has to be swimmer Dara Torres. Dara is a 41-year-old mother who is going to compete in her record, fifth Olympic Games. In her storied 24-year career, she has won nine Olympic medals - including four golds. Dara also won five medals alone in Sydney in 2000. Despite being 41, she has not slowed down. If anything she has gotten faster. In the Olympic trials she set the American record in the 50 m freestyle. Look for this native of Florida to earn herself a medal or two in China!
LeBron JamesAfter years of dominating the rest of the world in basketball, the U.S. Men's Basketball Team was taught a very big lesson in the 2004 Olympics. They found out the rest of the world caught up to them as they won only bronze medals in the '04 games as well as the '06 World Championships. Now the team is out for revenge and ready to prove to the world they are the best. LeBron James is going to be the man leading the team, and it will be interesting to see whether the 24-year-old Ohio native will rise to the occasion. We predict he will!
Michael PhelpsIn the '04 Athens Olympics, swimming sensation Michael Phelps captured the world's attention by winning a record eight medals - including six golds. At just 23-years-old, Michael could one day go down as one of the greatest athletes in Olympic history. Phelps also holds four individual world records in the 200 m freestyle, 200 m butterfly, 200m individual medley and the 400 m individual medley. Big things are expected out of the Maryland native in Beijing as he looks to match or even top what he did four years ago!
Tyson GayTrack and field needs a star! The past decade has been filled with steroid scandal after steroid scandal. We need to go back to the days guys like Michael Johnson and Carl Lewis captured Olympic stadiums. This 25-year-old sprinter from Kentucky has the potential to steal the world's attention. He has already set the American record for 100 m this year with a 9.77 time. Tyson has been bothered with a hamstring injury the past few months but is expected to be at full strength come August. No doubt the world will be on pins and needles to see whether he will break the world record. We just offer one bit of advice when you watch Tyson run: Don't blink!