By Renaldo Francis
It is the general consensus that the favorite for soccer on the men’s side is Spain who after winning the Euro 2012 made history by becoming the first country to win 3 major tournaments in a row. Brazil will be an interesting team to watch as they have a unique style of playing that makes them enjoyable to watch. All the players on the team seem to be synchronized and work well together. Finally Uruguay is a team that has captivating game and with Suarez creating goals and scoring opportunities other teams will have to look out.
On the women’s side of soccer, after the U.S. women soccer team lost to Japan in the FIFA cup, the Olympic Games is a form of redemption. Moreover Alex Morgan who has been playing for the team so far in 2012 has assisted the U.S in getting 17 goals in a span of 15 games. Her teammates say “her tactical awareness is growing by leaps and bounds. She also has a knack for timely goals in the dying minutes of games.” Brazil is not far behind as another top contender for gold in this year Olympics, although fifth in fifa ranking a few tiers below #1 U.S. they have placed second in the last three major tournaments and if they play correctly could possibly take gold. Finally Japan, also ranked third in FIFA rankings could easily make it to the finals possibly and face the U.S. who are eager for a rematch after their loss last year in the World Cup.
The U.S. boxing team will only have two serious medal contenders, flyweight Rau’Shee Williams and Middle weight Claressa Shields. Besides these two, the U.S boxing squad is far from being on the level as boxers on the international level. Rau ‘Shee is making his third trip to Olympics and is a (four time-national) champion, the only thing he is missing from his long list of accomplishments is an Olympic medal. Zou Shiming took that away from in 2004 during the first round match, Shiming later becoming the gold medalist for China. He said to be determined and focused more than ever to bring home his first gold medal.
There are a lot of contenders on the international spectrum who could possibly claim the top spot on the podium during this year Olympic Games:
Lazaro Alvarez, Cuba –Banterweight
Zou Shiming, China –Fly weight
Vasyl Lomachenko, Ukraine,–Lightweight
Debut of Women’s Boxing
Women’s boxing will make it’s debut at the 2012 Olympics games with three classes (112,132 and 165 IBS) fly, middle weight , light weight respectively. U.S. middle weight Claressa Fields will be youngest female boxer to compete at the 2012 Olympics and is a favorite among fans after she defeated Canada’s Mary Spencer in the Women’s continental Championships in 2011. However there will be competition for Shields whose records stands at 26-1. The one loss she has is from Savannah Marshall of England who defeated her during the second round. Marshall is a serious danger for the young Shields dream of earning her first Olympic medal.
Competition to look out for:
Ren CanCan,- China
Michael Phelps, 8 time gold medalist says his motivation at this year Olympics games is not his fellow competitors but a chance to make history. Phelps the first athlete to win 8 individual Olympic medals during the Olympic Games, will attempt to pass the all time record of 18 Olympic medals currently held by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina in the 1956, 1960 and 1964 Games. With 16 medals in all (14 gold medals and 2 bronze) needs three more to break the record in what he claimed will be his last Olympics.
In addition to the crowd that Phleps will draw in there also a few U.S. Olympians women who could quite possibly bring home a gold medals for the U.S. 17 year old Missy Franklin (the world record holder in the 100 and 200 meter backstroke), Kara Lynn Joyce a four time Olympic silver medalist and Jessica Hardy the world record holder for the 50 and 100 meter breaststroke.
The Olympics will begin with a Bang and most likely in a bigger one, with upsets,confrontation and patriotism from the countless spectators and players in attendance, the 2012 Olympic games will be the place where dreams are manifested,medalists are made and records are broken.