IN PHOTOS: Memorable pre-Olympic moments

MANILA, Philippines - To pump up Olympic fans, Rappler compiled photos of momentous stories leading up to London 2012.

From Rafael Nadal dropping out of the Olympics, to exciting finishes in the pool from swimmers that are sure to make a splash in London, here are some snapshots of the countdown to the Games that has us convinced it will be a memorable and historic Olympics.

Here are some of the stories that made us gasp, cheer and just plain excited:

WINNING BY A NOSE: Ryan Lochte beats two-time Olympic Champion Michael Phelps by mere seconds at the US Olympic Trials on Monday, June 25, 2012.

DRAWING A CROWD: South Korean fans continue to multiply in number and grow in supportiveness for their star-studded team, including swimming Park Tae Hwan among others, when it is announced that they are aiming for 10 gold medals at this year’s Olympics.

THE END OF A DREAM: On June 28, it was announced that football star David Beckham got cut from the UK football team and will not be competing at this year’s Olympics. Beckham expressed great disappointment, but continues to be a big supporter of the team.

Photo by AFP.

Photo by AFP.

INSPIRING LEADER: Only mere months into his reign, Kim Jong-Un, son of Kim Jong-Il and also known as “Dear Respected,” serves as the inspiration for the North Koreans competing at the 2012 Olympics.

Photo by AFP

GOODBYE NADAL: On Thursday, July 19, Spanish tennis superstar Rafael Nadal. “It is one of the saddest moments of my career,” the eleven-time Grand Slam singles champion said in a statement on Thursday, July 19.

 AFP PHOTO/ DAVID MARIUZ

NO REGRETS: Ian Thorpe, five-time Olympic champion, also known as “the Thorpedo,” who had retired in 2006, lost at his last chance to compete at the summer games. The Australian swimmer is disappointed, but does not regret trying to fill the slot and promises to fulfill his great comeback.

Rappler.com