THE EVENT: Phelps vs. Lochte in the Men's 400m Individual Medley
WATCH IT: July 28 at 2:30 p.m. ET*
THE BUZZ: In the first of four (likely) head-to-head swims,
Michael Phelps -- arguably the greatest swimmer in Olympic
history -- takes on teammate and rival Ryan Lochte, who is
considered the new face of American men's swimming. So
who will prevail in London? It's anyone's guess. Lochte edged
Phelps in this event during Olympic trials last month before
losing to Phelps in their next three qualifying contests.
THE EVENT: Women's Gymnastics Team Final
WATCH IT: July 31 at 11:30 a.m. ET*
THE BUZZ: These petite powerhouses are always fun to watch,
and this U.S. team should be the strongest in two decades.
Anything but a gold medal would be disappointing. Keep an
eye on America's two brightest 16-year-old stars, Gabby
Douglas and Jordyn Wieber. Either could also take home
individual all-around gold.
THE EVENT: Usain Bolt Sprints for Another Gold in the 100m
WATCH IT: August 5 at 4:50 p.m. ET*
THE BUZZ: Jamaican Usain Bolt torched the world and Olympic
records and humiliated his competitors en route to his gold
medal win at the 2008 games. Three years after beating his
own record with a time of just 9.58 seconds at the 2009 World
Championships, everyone's wondering if Bolt can strike again
(and break the 9.50 barrier) in London.
THE EVENT: Missy Franklin in the 200m Backstroke
WATCH IT: August 3 at 2:30 p.m. ET*
THE BUZZ: The 17-year-old high school senior will likely be the
first American woman to compete in seven different Olympic
swimming events. The 200m backstroke is her strongest event
and her best shot at gold -- during the Olympic trials, she swam
the fastest time in the world this year.
THE EVENT: Claressa Shields and the Debut of Women's Boxing
WATCH IT: First Middleweight Matches, August 5 at 10:30 a.m. ET*
THE BUZZ: Women's Boxing will make its Olympic debut in London,
and so will 17-year-old Claressa Shields. The Flint, Michigan
native -- who has been pounding women five and 10 years
her senior -- will compete in the middleweight division. Prepare
to be surprised.
THE EVENT: The 'Blade Runner' Chases Gold in the 400m
WATCH IT: August 6 at 4:30 p.m. ET*
THE BUZZ: Dubbed the 'blade runner,' double-amputee Oscar
Pistorius lost his legs from the knees down when he was 11 months old.
After a lot of debate about whether his prosthetic legs give him
an unfair advantage, Pistorius has been cleared to compete in
the 400m for his native South Africa.
THE EVENT: Allyson Felix in the 200m
WATCH IT: August 8 at 4 p.m. ET*
THE BUZZ: In one of the most controversial finishes in Olympic-trial
history, Allyson Felix was granted the third and final American
slot in the 100m sprint after her friend Jeneba Tarmoh conceded
the race. (Felix and Tarmoh finished in a dead heat for third
place, which prompted Olympic officials to schedule an ill-conceived
runoff until Tarmoh conceded.) Though Felix probably won't win
the 100m, she is one of the favorites in the 200m. She's won nine
gold medals in the 200m in world competition, but has finished in
second place at the last two Olympics -- both times to
Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown.
THE EVENT: U.S. Women's Soccer Team Heads for Gold
WATCH IT: Next game is July 28 at 12 p.m. ET*
THE BUZZ: After winning gold in Beijing, the U.S. Women's soccer
team will look to repeat in London -- this time with header-extraordinaire
Abby Wambach on the field. Wambach missed the 2008 games
with a broken leg, and her team fell just short of winning last year's
World Cup when it lost in the final to Japan.
THE EVENT: U.S. Men's Basketball Shoots for the Repeat
WATCH IT: First game starts July 29 between 4 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET*
THE BUZZ: With arguably the best center and point guard in
the world out with injuries, can the U.S. Men's Basketball Team
repeat as world champions? The loss of both Dwight Howard
and Derrick Rose will hurt. But Coach Mike Krzyzewski will try to
ride an impressive crop of stars including LeBron James,
Kobe Bryant, and Chris Paul to another gold-medal finish.
THE EVENT: U.S. Men's Water Polo On a Mission
WATCH IT: Gold Medal Game, August 12 at 10:50 a.m. ET*
THE BUZZ: The U.S. hasn't won a gold medal in men's water polo
since 1904. The team was favored to win gold in Beijing, but came
up just short and took home silver. Can the Americans come
through in London?