Believe it or not, the 2012 Olympic Games started TODAY, two days in advance of the opening ceremony on Friday, July 27th!
The first competition of the 2012 Olympic Games was a women's soccer match between Great Britain and New Zealand at 8 a.m. PST., followed by top-seeded USA vs France at 9 a.m., and other women's soccer matches. Tomorrow, men's soccer starts with Honduras vs Morocco at 4 a.m. PST. NBC's complete Olympics viewing schedule can be viewed at www.nbcolympics.com/tv-listings/index.html. There's a nice summary-level schedule available at www.nbcolympics.com/results-schedules/index.html.
The theme of the 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony is "Isles of Wonder" and NBC will begin 4 1/2 hours of coverage at 7:30 p.m. Friday night. The show will feature over 10,000 performers, including British duo Underworld and an appearance by Paul McCartney.
Keep in mind that London is 8 hours ahead of us here in California, so many events will be shown tape delayed. The NBC Olympics website, however, will be streaming LIVE coverage of all events! But you must register your TV service (e.g. Time Warner, Verizon, Direct TV, etc.) to gain access to the streaming content. I've tried it already and it works great!
The 2012 Summer Olympics will have 19 competition days, from today, July 25th to Sunday, August 12th. The closing ceremony on the 12th titled "A Symphony of British Music" will start at 9 p.m. local (London) time. According to Rolling Stone, the lineup at the closing ceremony will include The Who, a Spice Girls reunion, George Michael and Jessie J among others.
Olympics Facts, Statistics and Tidbits
Some 10,490 athletes from 204 nations will be represented at the 2012 Summer Olympics, playing 26 sports in 39 disciplines at 34 venues. Talk about a logistical challenge! There will be 302 medal events, which translates into a total of 906 gold, silver and bronze medals (though of course many more medals will be distributed for events involving more than one player on a team).
Ten sports account for fully 74% of the 302 events. The top 10, including medal count, includes: Athletics (Track & Field) 47 medals, Aquatics (46), Wrestling (20), Cycling (18), Gymnastics (18), Canoeing (16), Shooting (15), Weightlifting (15), Judo (14) and Rowing (14).
If you include the next 5 top medaling sports of Boxing (13), Sailing (10), Fencing (10), Taekwondo (8) and Equestrian (6), fully 89% of the medals are awarded in just 15 sports.
Notably missing from the 2012 Olympics are baseball and softball, which was dropped by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC considered karate, squash, golf, roller sports and rugby to replace these sports, but none received enough votes.
American football has never been an Olympic sport. Bummer! And what about bowling, billiards, tetherball, race car driving, dodgeball and laser tag!? All sports I'd personally like to see in the Olympics!
Tug of War was an Olympic sport from 1900 to 1920. I may write to the IOC to bring it back in 2020! :> Polo was also an Olympic sport at one point.
Looking ahead, golf and rugby sevens (or basically 7-man rugby) will be played at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. And apparently kiteboarding will replace windsurfing.
The countries sending the largest contingents of athletes to the 2012 games include: Great Britain (532), U.S. (530), Russia (436), Australia (410), Germany (391), China (380), France (331), Japan (293), Italy (284), Spain (283) and Canada (277). So roughly 40% of the total athletes will be from 10 countries.
I hope you're as excited as I am about watching the 2012 Summer Olympics!