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5 things for Americans at Beijing Olympics: US media
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For Americans, there are top five stories to watch at the upcoming Beijing Olympics, the Detroit Free Press said Monday.

First will be legendary swimmer Michael Phelps who aspires to be the most decorated athlete in the history of the Summer Olympics.Phelps aimed to beat former U.S. swimmer Mark Spitz's Olympic-record seven gold medals in Athens.

The second is that can America reclaim its international basketball dominance?

The U.S. men's basketball squad hasn't won a gold medal since 2000. Even worse is its record in the World Championship competition, where the Americans haven't won gold since 1994.But this time, boosted by NBA superstars like Kobe Bryant and Lebron James, the U.S. men's basket squad is likely to have a better chance.

The third related to the future of softball and baseball.

It will be the last time the two sports will be played in a summer Olympics.

Fourth, the performance of the older athletes.

One of the more compelling stories is the quest of Dara Torres, who, at 41, made her fifth Olympic team. Other older athletes include Joanne Dow, 44, a 20,000-meter race walker; Jason Kidd, 35, men's basketball point guard; Valerie Gotay, 34, who will compete in judo.

Finally, can the United States keep the first place in the gold medal count after keeping the slot for last three summer Olympics?

The United States has not set a public goal for the medals this time but said its athletes will try their best.

(Xinhua News Agency July 29, 2008)

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