Olympics: Who is NEXT?
When Ryan Bailey went up against Jamaican legend Usain Bolt during the anchor leg of the 4x100 relay at the 2012 Olympics, he was hardly blown away. The two received their batons at nearly the same moment, and although Bolt grabbed a quick lead, Bailey pushed him to the finish, not allowing the Jamaican any time to gloat the way he so enjoys. The silver medal capped a strong Olympic debut for Bailey, who also placed fifth in the 100 final with a personal-best time of 9.88 ...
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Every year since 1998, ESPN The Magazine has recognized an elite group of emerging athletes to watch in the year ahead -- athletes we call NEXT. They are competitors not only on the cusp of stardom, but on the verge of transcending their sports. NEXT is what happens when the hype is real.