USA’s Basketball teams have an amazing record in the Olympics. The men have won 14 out of 17 Gold Medals in the over 100-year Olympic history and since the women’s basketball was introduced in 1976 Montreal Olympics Games, USA women have won the Gold 7 out of 8 times. The teams didn’t participate in the 1980 Moscow Games since USA collectively boycotted that event on cold-war politics. The US superiority in one single sport refuses to abet and the closest comparison could be India winning men’s field hockey gold medals on 6 out of 7 appearances in Olympics Games from 1928 Amsterdam to 1964 Tokyo Olympics. It is a matter of enormous pride for the athletes in representing their national teams in the Olympic Games, inarguably the sports’ biggest global quadrennial extravaganza. For the upcoming Rio Games; the beeline of the superstars is already visible in several fields. Those, who have already made their intentions known are; Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Roger Federer, Neymar and Jessica Ennis-Hill. This list of top sporting stars will be appended by some of USA’s greatest basketball players, who would be willing to add another gold medal to their already impressive and historic tally.
The men’s basketball team for the 2016 Rio Olympics will have such stars as Lebron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and James Harden. But one big name was missing from the probables training at the basketball camp in Las Vegas. Kobe Bryant had declared earlier that he would not play at Rio and the news brought disappointment to the US fans. However, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo has recently revealed that the 36-year-old superstar has reversed his decision and he could possibly have a golden farewell in Brazil. If Bryant finally goes to Rio for USA’s third consecutive Olympic gold medal, he will bring back moments of the star power of USA’s 1992 Olympic Dream Team. The 12-men roster is also likely to feature the pair of Olympic veterans James and Carmelo Anthony, who won gold in 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games, in addition to the Bronze at 2004 Athens. They will earn the honor of becoming as the only two US players to compete in four consecutive Olympic Games.
Usain Bolt of Jamaica will make his last appearance at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. The Jamaican will attempt an unprecedented athletic “triple-triple” with an added intention of breaking the 200m world record. The celebrated Jamaican super-athlete already has the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay world records against his name and it will be fitting that he leaves the track on a glorious note at the biggest stage. The six-time Olympic champion has decided to retire in 2017 after the world championships, where he will only run in 100m.
Winning 18 Gold Medal and 22 overall, American swimmer Michael Phelps is Olympic Games’ most decorated player of all time. Phelps has confirmed that he would compete in the Olympics one more time. The 29-year old Phelps had announced his retirement after London’s 2012 Games but changed his mind later. This will be Phelps’ fifth Olympics since the 2000 Games at Sydney, where he failed to win any medal. Phelps preparations for the Rio Games suffered a jolt in September 2014, when he was arrested for drunken driving. He was banned from active competitions for six months by USA Swimming and ruled out of 2015 world championships, which concluded on August 9, 2015 at Russia. Phelps’ greatest moment of glory came in the 2008 Beijing Games, where he won a record eight gold medals.
Arguably the greatest player in tennis history, Roger Federer is excited about competing at Rio. The Olympic singles title has eluded the great Swiss, who has won 17 Grand Slam titles, leaving Rafael Nadal and Pete Sampras tied in second place at 14 Grand Slams each. Federer’s first Olympic appearance was at the 2000 Sydney Games, where he missed out on the Bronze but he was chosen to carry the flag in 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Games. In Beijing, Federer won the gold medal in doubles. In the last Olympic Games in London, Federer reached the final but lost and had to be contented with the Silver.
22-year old Neymar wants to be the part of Brazil’s Olympic Football team in attempting to win the gold for his home nation. Brazil has won the football World Cup 5 times but they don’t have the Olympic Gold. Neymar has vowed to reverse that. Neymar went to 2012 London Games as a 19-year old but Brazil finished second, losing to Mexico in the final. For Brazil and Neymar, the Rio 2016 Games offer a chance for redemption.
British heptathlon superstar Jessica Ennis-Hill is determined to defend her Gold Medal won in 2012 London Olympics. She was the toast of the entire nation four years ago. She finished at the top of medal’s podium with a huge 306 points lead over Germany’s Lilli Schwarzkopf, who won the Silver. Heptathlon consists of 100m hurdles, 200m, 800m, high jump, long jump, shot put and javelin events and one person emerging the winner must be adept in all these events. This morning at the World Championships at Beijing, the 29-year-old Jessica made a great start by establishing a healthy lead with 2968 points after recording the season’s best of 1.86m in high jump; running the 100-m hurdles in 12.91 seconds and throwing 13.73m in shot put.