Meanwhile the Games will feature athletes with super human abilities from all over the world. And among those called to the duty of defending this Olympic legacy of centuries and generations of Americans will be the youth of Toledo, Tucson and Madison, to name a few places.
This in mind, The Note has put together a list of battleground athletes who, in the coming weeks, might expect lots of local media — and maybe even the coveted presidential congratulations call. (How medalling Olympians would react to hearing the words, "John Kerry is on the phone to congratulate you," is something we haven't figured out yet.)
The big four battlegrounds are listed first, followed by the others in alpha order, broken down by hometown. If yours is represented, expect to get a heavy dose of Olympics at the top of the hour.
(We bet Karl Rove already has this list, completely annotated with Greek cell phone numbers.)
Lebron James — Men's Basketball. Also plays in Cleveland for the Cavaliers. Following his successful NBA rookie campaign, James is a rookie Olympian.
Rau'Shee Warren — Boxing. At 17 he's the youngest American Boxer
Ron Siler — Boxing. He and Warren are already garnering attention in and around Cincinnati.
Gary Hall Jr. — Swimming. 2000 gold medalist and son of Olympian.
Toccarra Montgomery — Women's Wrestling. A favorite to medal.
Blaine Wilson — Gymnastics. He is from the area, went to Ohio State, and continues to live there. His past successes (two-time Olympian; five-time national champ) have made him the best celebrity Columbus can offer.
Miles Avery — Coach of Men's Gymnastics Team. Very well known in Columbus; also coaches the OSU men's gymnastics team
Morgan and Paul Hamm — Men's Gymnastics. The Hamm's are twins.
Katie Smith — Women's Basketball. Solid shot at a medal with Team USA
Devon Vargas — Boxing. Has already generated a decent amount of coverage in Toledo; little-known outside of Northwest Ohio. Has a decent shot at a medal.
Rhi Jeffrey — Swimming — Del Ray Beach. Medal hopeful.
John Capel — Track & Field — Born in Brooksville. Good shot at medalling
Erin Gilreath — Track & Field — Born in Gainesville; lives in Willison. Potential to medal
Bernard Williams — Track & Field. Won 2000 gold on U.S. relay team that finished with "distasteful" celebration.
Amare Stoudamire — Basketball. Another young, first-time Olympic basketball player.
Heather Mitts — Soccer. Also Cincinnati native. Mitts is a surprise selection this year, but was a popular star at the University of Florida. The former ABC/ESPN commentator has used her good looks to promote the WUSA soccer league.
Lamar Odom — Men's Basketball. Late addition to the team is in his first Olympics.
Venus and Serena Williams — Tennis. The two top medal threats for American Tennis.
Jennifer Capriati — Tennis. 1992 Olympian medallist
Maritza Correia — Swimming. First black woman to make the Olympic swimming team.
Swin Cash — Women's Basketball. Teammate of fellow Pennsylvanian Dawn Staley
Mohini Bhardwaj — Women's Gymnastics. This gymnast is considerably older than the average, teenage girl.
Allen Iverson — Men's Basketball. Iverson is Team USA's captain this year.