The most heavily hyped U.S. athlete of the Games, thanks to her looks and the story of her difficult childhood, was a media darling. But by the time she raced in the 100-meter hurdles, a backlash had begun. Then she just missed a medal by finishing fourth behind two lesser-known American teammates. "I just feel like a big disappointment," Jones said.
The Chinese hurdler is the biggest athlete in the world's biggest country. But for the second consecutive Games, the 2004 110-meter hurdles gold medalist couldn't complete a race. This time, he crashed into the first hurdle, went down with an Achilles injury and could only hop the length of the track to the finish line.
It was a mixed London experience for Wieber. She won gold as part of the Fierce Five gymnastics team. But Wieber, the defending world all-around champion, didn't qualify for the event at the Games when she finished behind teammates Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman. (Olympic rules allow for only two competitors from each country.) Later, her coach revealed that Wieber wasn't at full strength because she was dealing with a painful leg injury. Wieber, to her credit, refused to use it as an excuse.
The Australian Swim Team
How serious do the Aussies take swimming? After the former
The U.S. Boxing Team
The American men won 108 medals between 1904 and 2004. In Beijing, they were held to a single bronze medal. In London? The men were shutout. We knew that mixed-martial arts has sapped interest away from professional boxing in the U.S. Maybe it's also put American amateur boxing on life support.