Jonathan Brownlee, Great Britain. Age at the Olympics: 22
If it weren’t for his older brother, Alistair, Jonathan Brownlee—the middle Brownlee of three Brownlee brothers—would be the easy pick for the gold medal favorite as we head into London. But even with Alistair’s dominance, some ITU observers are still picking Jonny for gold. After all, he’s more injury-proof than Alistair and has gotten considerably better each year of his young career. Last year was his first year racing entirely out of the under-23 ranks, and he was the silver medalist behind his brother on the World Triathlon Series, the ITU sprint world champion, and the bronze medalist at the Beijing Grand Final. (Watch this Grand Final and you’ll witness a toughness and mettle similar to his brother’s—he went out too hard on the run, died, and was caught by a pack of runners. Instead of giving up, he battled back for bronze.) Just imagine how strong he’ll be in London now that he has another uninterrupted winter of training under his belt.