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Jun 09, 2008

Thousands compete in Olympic trials this month for a shot at a gold in Beijing.

By FLYP Staff

The Olympic trials for most of the major sports—track and field, gymnastics, swimming and diving—happen throughout June, as well as trials for some more obscure events, like judo, dressage and (new in this Olympics) BMX cycling.
There should be plenty of excitement at the track and field trials at the end of the month.

Torri Edwards, the 2003 world champion in the women’s 100 meters, has recaptured her form after a 15-month ban for accidentially ingesting a forbidden stimulant. She’ll be challenged by Alyson Felix, who took home the silver in the 200 meters in Athens.
Some of the drama will play out even before the races: Shalane Flanagan, who owns the American records for the 5,000 and 10,000 meter events as well as the indoor 3,000, will have to decide which event to compete in.

The swimming trials, which start on June 29, also have their share of intrigue. Michael Phelps, the dominant American in the sport since he took home a half-dozen gold medals in 2004, is the main attraction (unless you count the temporary pool being built inside the Qwest Center in Omaha). He should get a run for his money from competitor Aaron Piersol, especially in backstroke.

A number of events have already chosen their qualifiers, including boxing, canoeing and kayaking, and distance running.

One sport attracting more attention this year, thanks to the movie Balls of Fury: table tennis. China has dominated the event since it became an Olympic sport in 1988—Chinese athletes own 16 of the 20 golds that have been awarded. But there’s some hope that 39-year-old Chinese ÈmigrÈ Gao Jun, a medalist in 1992 for China, could secure a medal for the U.S.
Explore our interactive map of the U.S., which pinpoints exactly where and when each Olympic trial will be held, along with some extra insight into the various match-ups between athletes at each one that might prove interesting.

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