Lolo Jones

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.

Liu Xiang

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.

Jordyn Wieber

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


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How serious do the Aussies take swimming? After the former powerhouse program did not win a single individual gold in the pool for the first time since 1976, the Australian swim federation announced it was conducting a review. "It is clear the world has lifted the bar when it comes to swimming, and so must we," federation president David Urquhart said.

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.