10 Sports Stories to Watch For in 2012

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Looking ahead to the Olympics, the Cardinals without Albert Pujols, the turbo NBA season, and more

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The biggest sports stories of 2012 can be divided into two categories: the Olympics, and everything else. The Summer Games kick off in London on July 27, the closest a summer Olympics has been to the U.S. since the infamous Atlanta Olympics of 1996.

Beijing Olympics stars Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt will look to top their scintillating 2008 performances, while the British hosts salivate for the tennis events at Wimbledon and the soccer events, well, everywhere. And with one of the world's most prestigious cities serving as the host, the "Games of the XXX Olympiad" (that's 30 people, take your minds out of the gutter) are shaping up to be one of the greatest sporting events ever.

The Olympics join a shortened, madcap NBA season, and the Albert Pujols-less Cardinals as stories to watch for in the coming year:

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Jake Simpson is a New York-based writer.

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