The Olympics are just days away. In anticipation, here is a primer for the London Games, outlining much of what you need to know. Consider it an Olympics FAQ.
When are they, and where?
The 2012 Games, the third Olympics to be held in London, begin July 27th and end August 12th. More than 10,000 athletes from 204 countries will compete in 26 sports at 34 venues, mostly on the main Olympics campus in east London. Two sports actually have preliminary rounds before the games officially begin: women's soccer on July 25th, men's soccer on July 26th, and men's and women's archery on July 27th, hours before the opening ceremony.
What will the opening ceremony be like?
Danny Boyle, who won an Oscar for “Slumdog Millionaire,” is preparing a three-hour, $42 million spectacle to kick off the games at the Olympic Stadium July 27. The opening scene, meant to present an idealized vision of pastoral England, will replicate a country meadow, with real grass, tilling farmers and grazing livestock -- horses, cows, goats, chickens, ducks, geese and sheep. From there, the stage will morph into more contemporary scenes. The show involves 900 schoolchildren, 10,000 adults, 13,000 props, a million-watt PA system and a performance from Paul McCartney.
How can I watch?
This is the first Olympics when every minute of every event will be streamed live online – on NBC Olympics.com and on NBC’s Live Extra apps, which requires subscription to a cable or satellite service. On television, NBC will broadcast signature events, including swimming, track and field, gymnastics, diving and beach volleyball. Coverage there begins with the opening ceremony at 7:30 p.m. ET on July 27th. NBC’s cable channels – NBC Sports, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo and Telemundo – will provide supplemental coverage. Bravo, for example, will focus on tennis, and CNBC will feature boxing. For more information on television listings, go here and for online listings, here.