More than 10,500 athletes from 204 countries will be in London this Friday for the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
And according to a Marist College poll released Monday, Michael Phelps is the Games’ runaway sensation.
Fifty percent of Americans planning to watch the Olympics expect Phelps to be the biggest male star in London. That significantly trumps LeBron James, who finished second (17 percent), and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who came in third (8 percent). Serena Williams won the women’s category (43 percent).
Of course, considering Phelps’ track record, the results come as little surprise. The Baltimore native, who plans to compete in seven events this summer, broke the record for most gold medals in a single Olympics when he claimed eight in Beijing. He enters London with a record-breaking 14 gold medals.
Phelps’ popularity may have also impacted the excitement surrounding his sport. According to the poll, swimming is the second-most anticipated sport (23 percent) — trailing only gymnastics (30 percent).