Mark Spitz: “Someone One Day” Can Beat Michael Phelps’ Olympic Record

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25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

Katie Ledecky (United States): Ledecky was one of the biggest stars of 2016, winning five Olympic gold medals and setting two world records – one in the 400-meter freestyle and one in the 800-meter freestyle. She was the first swimmer since 1968 to win the 200, 400 and 800 meter freestyle at the same Olympics, and she will look to defend all of those titles in Tokyo. She will also be favored in the 1,500-meter freestyle, which makes her debut this year for women. Ledecky, 24, broke 14 world records during his illustrious career.

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

Nyjah Huston (United States): Skateboarding is making its Olympic debut in Tokyo, and Huston is one of the icons of the sport. The 26-year-old, who has nearly 5 million Instagram followers, has won three of the last four world titles in the street category. He also won the most street medals in X Games history.

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

Noah Lyles (United States): Lyles, center, is the current 200-meter world champion and many people’s favorite to win the event at the Olympics, won by Usain Bolt in each of the last three Games. Bolt’s retirement also opens the door for a new 100-meter champion. Lyles, 23, was also scheduled to compete in the event, but he finished seventh at the US Olympic trials and failed to qualify. The winner of this race, Trayvon Bromell, is now among the favorites.

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

Stéphanie Gilmore (Australia): Surfing is making its Olympic debut this year and the highly decorated Gilmore will be a favorite on the women’s side. The 33-year-old has won more world titles – seven – than any of her competitors. She will be looking to beat American Carissa Moore, the current world champion.

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

Caeleb Dressel (United States): Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, called it a career. But Dressel could be the next big thing in men’s swimming. The 24-year-old has already won two Olympic gold medals and is the world record holder in the 100-meter butterfly. He will participate in this event as well as the 50-meter freestyle and the 100-meter freestyle.

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

Shi Tingmao (China): Chinese diving teams have dominated Olympic competitions since 1984, winning 40 out of 56 gold medals. Shi, 29, won two gold medals in 2016 and will be looking to complete that tally before making a career. She has owned the 3-meter springboard events since 2015, rarely losing an event.

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

Hend Zaza (Syria): At 12, Zaza is expected to be Tokyo’s youngest Olympian – and the fifth youngest person to compete in the Olympics. The table tennis player actually qualified in February 2020 when she was just 11 years old. Due to the civil war in the country, she was unable to participate in many tournaments, her coach said.

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

Zhu Ting (China): Zhu is the captain of the Chinese indoor volleyball team, which won Olympic gold five years ago in Rio de Janeiro. The 6-foot-6 outside hitter is 26, but already considered one of the greatest volleyball players of all time.

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

Ryo Kiyuna (Japan): Kiyuna is from the island of Okinawa, which is considered the birthplace of karate, and he is one of the favorites to win gold as the sport first appears at the Olympics. The 31-year-old competes in the kata event, a solo discipline where athletes demonstrate various forms.

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

Kevin Durant (United States): Team USA has dominated men’s basketball since 1992, when NBA players were first allowed to play and the “Dream Team” became a worldwide phenomenon. The Americans have won the last three gold medals and six of the last seven – having only matched in 2004. Durant, 32, is one of two returning players for the team that won. in 2016, and he will be sought after for his leadership. and rating. Durant was the team’s leading scorer in 2016, and has averaged 34.3 points in the NBA playoffs this year.

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

Ariarne Titmus (Australia): The biggest threat to Katie Ledecky’s dominance in the pool could be Titmus, a 20-year-old Australian nicknamed the “Terminator”. Titmus beat Ledecky in the 400-meter freestyle two years ago at the World Championships. Ledecky was battling a stomach virus at the time, but Titmus has only gotten better since then. She nearly broke Ledecky’s 400-meter world record in June, finishing just 0.44 seconds off the pace.

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

25 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird (United States): If the U.S. women’s basketball team wins gold – as it has done at every Olympics since 1996 – then Taurasi, left, and Bird will become the first basketballers of any gender to win five medals. Olympic gold. The two goalies are two of the greatest female basketball players of all time. Taurasi, 39, is the WNBA’s all-time top scorer. Bird, 40, is the league’s all-time leader in assists.

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