London Olympics 2012: International Athletes To Watch

ROME, ITALY - MAY 31: Jamaica's Olympic 100m champion Usain Bolt reacts after winning the 100m men at the IAAF Compeed Golden Gala at Stadio Olimpico on May 31, 2012 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

The 2012 Summer Olympics begin Friday in London, and Matt Ufford and Amy K. Nelson preview 10 international athletes or teams to watch.

There are 10,490 athletes from 204 countries competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Most will come to London, compete and leave without gaining national or international attention.

While many of the Unites States' top athletes are well known, there are plenty of athletes from other countries worth watching in London. SB Nation's Amy K. Nelson and Matt Ufford preview 10 international athletes or teams to watch in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Roger Federer and Usain Bolt are likely the two most notable names on the list, but they are far from the only interesting international athletes to watch. The 2012 Summer Olympics will also feature the second oldest Olympian ever, when 71-year-old Hiroshi Hoketsu competes in dressage.

The list also includes two teams who could pose significant challenges for their American counterparts. Spain's men's national basketball team is considered the top challenger to Team USA, while Brazil's women's national soccer team has a long history against the United States.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.