Top 100 Olympians to Watch

Galaxy of stars aims to seize golden opportunities in Beijing
By Green Point,  Newser User
Posted Jul 28, 2008 4:07 PM CDT
Dara Torres leaves the starting block in the women's 50-meter freestyle preliminaries at the US Olympic swimming trials in Omaha, Neb., Saturday, July 5, 2008.    (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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(Newser) – With the Beijing Olympics right around the corner, Time lists the top 100 athletes to watch. A sampling of stars gunning for gold, from the court to the pool to the track:

  • LeBron James, basketball: This determined athlete's golden guarantee is raising hopes for the US team, which has lost to the likes of Greece and Puerto Rico in recent years.
  • Dara Torres, swimming: No swimmer has qualified a fifth Olympic run—until now. This American broke that record and may break other ones, even at age 41.

  • Michael Phelps, swimming: With his 80-inch wingspan, size-14 feet, and almost superhuman ability to recoup from arduous training, the American's biggest adversary may be the finals' early-morning time slots.
  • Liu Xiang, hurdles: One of China's Olympic poster boys, the country has assigned three doctors to oversee his well-being. No pressure.
  • Yao Ming, basketball: Despite an injury in February, poster boy # 2 vowed to lead Team China in the Olympics.
  • Allyson Felix, sprints: With an Olympic silver medal under her belt, the US star is determined to turnaround track's steroid-marred reputation by stepping up to the tallest podium, clean.
Click the link below for the entire list. (Read more 2008 Beijing Olympics stories.)