Olympic-sized Bites: Swimming
The one word encompasses such a giant chunk of the Olympic medal count that it would take a Herculean effort to explain each in detail. I will content myself with an overall landscape of the watery events.
Well, you can't say swimming without the conversation turning to perhaps the greatest Olympian of all time, and definitely the best swimmer - Michael Phelps. A lot of hype is surrounding Phelps as he attempts to become the most-decorated Olympian, to overtake prolific Russian gymanst Larissa Latynina. With 16 medals, and a record 14 gold, it only seems a matter of time. Also the first to win gold in three straight Olympics....
Phelps's biggest competitor in two of his seven events in another American, Ryan Lochte. Quoted as "tired of losing to Phelps", Lochte is, for all practical purposes, the only one standing between Phelps and a clean medal sweep. Lochte is favorite in the 200 m freestyle and backstroke, and can chase Phelps down to the wire in the other 200 and 400 m events.
The 50 and 100 m freestyle is a toss-up between rising Australian star James Magnussen and Brazilian Cesar Cielo China's "Red Stars" could be looking at 1 or 2 golds here, with sensational athlete Sun Yang unable to find suitable competition in 400 and 1500 m. The Americans and Australians are favorites for the relays ( 4X100 medley, 4X200 freestyle,4X100 freestyle,etc.)
Onto women's swimming. Whew.
17 year old Melissa "Missy" Franklin will be closely watched, dubbed as one of the prodigious young talents and tipped in many of her seven events. Rivaling her will be Dutch tongue-twister Ranomi Kromowidjojo ( Try saying that five times!) who is likely to dominate the freestyle sprints with some other Brits ( Unnamed to make this barrage easier to read.)
Americans and Australians, in general, will dominate the women's events.