Let the Games begin
While it seems last time we saw Phelps on the grand stage in Beijing, there wasn't anything the Speedo-laden beast could have done to better prepare himself — either mentally or physically. He was king of the pool, not to mention the world and there was no denying that. Lochte on the other hand, has since changed his diet, started lifting heavier weights and gotten his mind right — although great in his last two Olympic appearances, he had room for improvement, where it seems Phelps did not.
It'll be interesting to see what this additional training and focus does in the water and how it'll serve as stiff competition for Phelps. In last month's Olympic trials in Omaha, Lochte actually beat out Phelps in the 400-meter individual race which prompted addtional debate over who will reign supreme in London waters. This will be Phelps fourth appearance on the Olympic stage and Locthe's third.
It's no question we'll get to witness two of the world's best swimmers competing in parallel lanes in the 200-meter freestyle and the 200 individual medley, where Phelps is the defending Olympic champion. Lochte is certainly no stranger to the events by winning both world titles this year. The two claim to be close friends, but come Games time, the two are competing to see which hardbody will be donned with gold as the fastest swimmer in the world. No matter which one of these amazing athletes wins, it's a win for the USA and will be worth watching.
Follow both of these great athletes, teammates and competitors @ryanlocthe @michaelphelps.
4. Bryshon Nellum
In a Los Angeles Times article, Nellum recalled his accident, "It's crazy because I never did fall to the ground. I kept going, just to run to safety."
You can follow Nellum's inspirational journey on Twitter @bnellum1.
5. Missy Franklin
Franklin has already won a total of seven medals in major international competition, three gold, three silver, and one bronze in the World Championships and the fresh-faced youngster is now setting her sites on Olympic gold. Having dual citizenship (in both Canada and the U.S.), Franklin was urged to represent Canada during the Games due to the depth and experience already on Team USA. But showing her true patriotism, she went for it and is now a proud representative for Team USA.
It's hard not to root for a gal like this both in and out of the water. Franklin has come a long way having competed in the 2008 Team Trials at the age of 13 and not making the trip to Beijing to now being a world record holder. Her toughest competition, 11-times medal winner Natalie Coughlin also happens to be her lifelong role model where both have shown immense support for one other.
Both Coughlin and Franklin will be ones to watch in London, but if I had to keep my eyes on just one, it'd be Franklin all-the-way.
You can follow this amazing athlete and inspriation to us all on Twitter @franklinmissy.
Those are just my Top 5 reasons to tune into London, but it seems almost every Olympian has a story worth telling and certainly one worth watching. What's your favorite story heading into the Games this year? Perhaps we'll compile a Top 10 list before the end of it all.