If Olympic Athletes Were Credit Cards...

Michael Phelps

Phelps broke Mark Spitz's Olympic record, earning 8 gold medals in Beijing to complement 6 other gold and 2 bronze medals from his appearance in Athens. But he broke America's heart after the 2008 Games, winding up in gossip columns instead of on the sports pages. Frustrations from his 2011 World Championship meet led Phelps to get serious about restoring his former glory, knowing that just 3 more medals will earn him the title of most decorated Olympian in history.

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Steven Lopez

Far from a household name, Steven Lopez stands to accomplish what few Americans who aren't named Michael Phelps can claim: to become the most accomplished athlete in his sport. The self-taught taekwondo master has appeared at the Olympics as long as his sport has, claiming gold in both 2000 and 2004. After a bronze medal finish in 2008, any appearance on the medal stand will give Lopez a huge head start against future record-breakers.

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Gabby Douglas

They call her the "flying squirrel" because of her skills on the uneven bars. The teenage gymnast has already drawn comparisons to Mary Lou Retton. Douglas gave up time with her family to train in Iowa with the same coach that steered Shawn Johnson to gold in 2008. Nation team director Martha Karolyi says, "Some people may have higher difficulty values, but Gabby's execution is the best in the world."

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Hope Solo

"Being a goalkeeper, you can't win games. You have to save games." That's what U.S. soccer goalie Hope Solo told NBC Sports during her training for the London Games. The "best goalkeeper in the world" focuses on supporting her team during every match, knowing that one wrong move could cost victory.

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Tyson Gay

Tyson Gay may finally get his medals in London, after years of battling poorly-timed injuries. Despite winning the Jesse Owens Award, Gay's health issues allowed Jamaican superstars Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell to run away with 2008's medals and the public's attention. Strong races at the 2012 track and field trials have pundits convinced that this could finally be Gay's year.

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The original article can be found at CardRatings.com:If Olypmic athletes were credit cards...