Joao Silva, Portugal. Age at the Olympics: 23
Joao Silva is a young athlete who has a lot of upside and the kind of running speed that could earn him a medal in London. He won the Yokohama, Japan, leg of the World Triathlon Series last year (although the event had an unusually weak field due to unforeseen circumstances related to Japan’s tragic tsunami) and he was the Under-23 European champion in 2010. But his best result to date was probably his fourth at the 2010 Grand Final in Budapest—an event he could have skipped in favor of the under-23 world championships, where he likely would have gone head to head for the win with Jonathan Brownlee. Given his youth and his run speed, he’s a wild card podium contender for London.