Michael Phelps - Swimming
Baltimore native Michael Phelps, 23, took home eight Olympic medals (six gold, two bronze) in 2004, and this year he's trying for a record-breaking eight golds. "If I'm not swimming then I'm usually resting for when I have to swim again," he said.
James Blake - Tennis
This 28-year-old New York native (who is also the world's No.8-ranked player) will make his Olympics debut in Beijing. A famous pal rooting him on? John Mayer, who attended high school with the tennis star in Connecticut.
Steven Lopez - Tae Kwan Do
When he's not going for his third gold in Beijing, this single Sugar Land, Texas, native, 29, plans to sightsee: "The Forbidden City, the Great Wall of China, the Silk Market - those are the three places I'll be visiting." And he'll have some company: his older brother, Jean, 32, serves as his coach, and younger bro, Mark, 26, and sister, Diana, 24, are also competing in tae kwon do!
Jeremy Wariner - Sprinting
The 24-year-old Texas runner has an odd trademark: He always wears sunglasses while racing - even at night. But it works. Wariner took home two gold medals in 2004 (for the 400-meter dash and relay) and hopes to score gold again in Beijing. After the Games, the single athlete will return to Texas, where he is building a house. "[The contractor] sends me e-mails about plumbing and cabinets," he tells Us. "It's exciting!"
This 6-foot-3, 230-pound Scottsdale, Ariz., native may look familiar: He's Hurricane on American Gladiators! "Anytime somebody tells me I can beat people without a cop getting involved, sign me up!" he jokes to Us. Greer met his girlfriend, Jennifer Widerstrom, 25, on the show: She plays Phoenix!
Bryan Clay - Decathlon
Just call him an overachiever: Clay (who won silver in 2004) competes in 10 events! What's his plan for staying well-fueled in Beijing? "I'm thinking about bringing a suitcase full of snacks!" he tells Us. Fun fact: after his first Games, Clay got a tattoo of the Olympic rings on his back along with the words swifter, higher, stronger in Greek.
Phil Dalhausser - Beach Volleyball
There's tall, and then there's 6-foot-9 Dalhausser. "I get, 'Do you play basketball?' regularly," the attached beach volleyball player tells Us. And while his nickname on the court is The Thin Beast, he's "kind of a nerd" off the court. "I play video games a lot with my buddies," he says. "I've been known to put in a five-hour session."
Ryan Lochte - Swimming
Competeing with Michael Phelps in Beijing, this New York native, 24, (who also surfs and skateboards in his spare time), doesn't take he and his best pal's rivalry too seriously. "It's fun racing the best," he tells Us. "Michael is one of my closest friends."
Deontay Wilder - Boxing
With just two-and-a-half years of boxing experience and only 33 fights under his belt, this Tuscaloosa, Ala., native is ready to take Beijing by storm. Six-foot-seven Wilder told Hamptons Magazine that when it comes to the Olympics, he has just one thing on his mind: "[A] gold medal, baby, gold medal!"
Giuseppe Lanzone - Rowing
This Peru native and current Princeton, N.J., resident adheres to a rigorous schedule of rows and workouts with his fellow national team member, usually working out seven days a week. "I'm just really excited to be able to compete at the highest level that my sport has," he told Hamptons Magazine. "For football, it's the Super Bowl. For rowing, it's the Olympics."
Aaron Peirsol wonders why he was not included on this list...