As the top British gold-medal favorite in what is arguably the Summer Olympics' biggest sport – track and field – Jessica Ennis stands to be perhaps the face of the games for the host nation. She is currently ranked No. 1 in the world, but two Eastern Europeans stand right beside her as the best heptathletes in the world, Tatyana Chernova of Russia and Nataliya Dobrynska of Ukraine. (The heptathlon is the women's decathlon, but has only seven events compared to the decathlon's 10.)
She is well aware of the pressure of potentially being Britain's Cathy Freeman, the gold-medal-winning Australian sprinter who provided the Sydney Olympics with perhaps their most iconic moment. "Because of the expectation and pressure, I think anything but gold, everyone would view that as a failure and I'm aware of that," Ennis told London's Evening Standard.