08/06/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Top 5 Olympics Storylines: What Americans Should Be Watching

1 - Michael Phelps. You may have heard of him. Swimmer. World-record holder. Trained the last four years in Ann Arbor. Has a shot at becoming the most decorated athlete in the history of the Summer Olympics.

Phelps took a shot at Mark Spitz's Olympic-record seven gold medals in 2004 in Athens. He missed tying it by one, winning six gold and two bronze medals.

He will likely swim five individual events -- 100 and 200-meter butterfly; 200 freestyle; 200 and 400 individual medleys -- and three relays. He holds world records in four of the five individual events and posted the fastest time of the year in the other -- the 100 butterfly. He won all five races earlier this month at the U.S. swim trials in Omaha, Neb.

As for his chasing history, he said: "You guys are the ones that bring it up."

This is technically true. And yet when NBC promotes the Games, it is Phelps' wingspan -- caught in the middle of his gorgeous butterfly -- and his quest to break Spitz's record on which the network is banking its coverage.

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