Olympics starting Wednesday

Apparently the first competitions for the Olympics are women’s football on Wednesday and men’s on Thursday. Have there always been events run prior to the opening ceremonies like this?

Yes, I believe some recent games have done this to fit all the preliminaries into a tight schedule.

I don’t know about “always,” but it has been common in recent years to start the football tournament before the opening ceremonies - otherwise they wouldn’t get it finished in time. The fact that they tend to have the soccer event in multiple cities has something to do with this as well. I think the first time it started on a day before the opening ceremonies was in 1992.

I remember listening to all of the 1980 US hockey games on the radio. I had a vague recollection that the opening game against Sweden occurred before the opening ceremonies, and a quick check of Wikipedia verifies this - the opening hockey games were Feb. 12th and the ceremonies were Feb 14th. Also, apparently the closing ceremonies were the day before the last hockey games.

The USA women’s soccer team, 2-time defending gold medalists, debut tomorrow against France, I think at 8:30 a.m. Pacific, a rematch of the World Cup semifinal.

The big match I’m looking forward to is the presumed clash against Brazil, rematch of one of the most epic and bitter sporting events I’ve ever seen, the quarterfinal int he recent World Cup, in which the US came from behind in super stoppage time and then won the penalty shootout. Brazil is one of the best teams in the world but has never won a major tournament, and there is no love lost there. And they will very likely meet in the elimination round and some point…

What channel can we catch this stuff on in the US?

NBC Sports Network

NBC creates a special cable channel to cover soccer and basketball games in their entirety.
You can watch online at:
NBC Olympics

Registration required and you must have a cable tv subscription to register.

I believe MSNBC is carrying Olympics today at 11 AM Eastern, folks.

Plus it allows newspapers to use the headline, “Olympics kick off with football tournament.”

USA falls behind France 2-0 in the first 13 minutes, but comes back to be level at halftime. Classic power vs. finesse matchup. France has the best of possession, but the US can strike at any time.

That has always been the case as long as I can remember: The Olympic soccer tournament (which usually isn’t really exciting) usually starts two days or so before the official start of the games.

BTW, the archery competition starts Friday morning, well ahead of the opening ceremony.

NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Telemundo, and the NBC Sports Network (formerly Universal Sports) will be broadcasting the games, as well as the aforementioned temporary specialty channels for the basketball and soccer tournaments. (The last two are I believe offered free of charge to cable companies by NBC, so your cable package almost certainly includes them. Last time they were HD only; I don’t know about this year.)

In my experience, the best stuff is on the bacle channels, especially the overnite broadcasts. But my plan, as in previous years, is to DVR the whole damn business and spend the next six weeks working through it.


I hear that the opening ceremonies are either going to be 5000 people participating in the world’s largest Synchronized High Tea, or four battalions of the Queen’s Guards standing at attention and not moving for two full hours no matter what is said or done to them.

You joke, but apparently the opening ceremony is going to be a little bit… different, and will feature quintessentially English elements such as a cricket match taking place on a village green, and artificial clouds producing actual rain. Livestock will also be involved. Could be… interesting? Disastrous? We’ll see.

Can’t wait for the Emipre years bit.

A map of the world with a British Redcoat walking from England to stand on each country of the Empire and then eventually getting chased out by someone in traditional dress? :stuck_out_tongue:

Too soon?

The tweets of the people who have been at the two rehearsals are intriguing. Overwhelmingly positive, and hinting at complete madness in parts.

The soundtrack that I’ve seen looks good. Are they really going to play the Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen”?

I think if redcoats are involved they’re more likely to be Butlins redcoats, such is the affectionate/nostalgic angle that director Danny Boyle seems to be going for.

There’s a few clips of the music on Youtube, and it includes “Born Slippy” and the part of that Dizzee Rascal track that goes on about only liking sex and violence. The Pistol’s GSTQ doesn’t seem impossible. It is Danny Boyle after all. I’m really looking forward to this - it’ll be better music than Athens, where they let Tiesto play terrible trance for hours while the athletes were filing in.

Or government officials signing forms, and then lowering and raising flags. :wink: