It's the second day of the London Olympics — or Day Minus-1 if you prefer, and we've already fallen victim to the time difference, as matches go under way earlier than expected. It's a full afternoon of soccer, plus a lot of other news as last-minute preparations are finalized. Keep checking below for updates.
Remember: if you don't have a TV handy, you can watch everything live online at NBCOlympics.com.
Most recent updates first; all times Eastern
12:39: Infographics of the Day: Slate has a fantastic visual representation of how Olympic records have evolved over the years, by comparing the speed and distances of some of the great world records of Olympics past. (Spolier: Athletes are really have become higher, faster, and stronger.)
12:27: Like many of the world's top swimmers, Michael Phelps will not be attending the Opening Ceremony on Friday night. The swimming program begins early on Saturday morning, and many of the water bugs with early heats have already planned to sit out the opening party. Phelps' first race will be the preliminary heats of what is probably his toughest event, the 400-meter Individual Medley.
11:38: RESULT: Japan upsets Spain 1-0, but it should have been four or five given all the chance that Japan missed out on after the Spainish went a man down early in the first half. Again, this isn't the same Spanish team that won the European championships just last month, but they are still one of the better teams in the tourney and are now playing from behind if they want to reach the next round. The other two teams in their group (Honduras and Mexico) played to a draw, meaning that Spain is the only team without a point so far. In Group B, Mexico and South Korea played to a 0-0 draw. Coming up next: UAE vs. Uruguay and Gabon vs. Switzerland.
11:18: With Arab women are making are finally starting to make inroads in International sports, as even Saudi Arabia (where women are generally prohibited from competing in sports at home) has finally sent its first female Olympians. Foreign Policy celebrates that with a nice slideshow of top women Olympians from across the Arab world.
11:00: The details of the Opening Ceremonies are the most closely guarded secrt of any Olympiad, so naturally everyone wants to figure out what's going to happen ahead of time. Hollywood.com has compiled all the most credible rumors, so if you can't live without spoilers get it a whirl.
10:38: ATTN: GYMNASTICS FANS. NBC has a stream of the U.S. team doing balance beam practice. Get a sneak preview of the upcoming competition!
10:25: Unlike the women's tournament, the men's teams are limited by sending only their Under-23 teams, not the full strength international squad. Each team is allowed to add up to three players who are over 23, which is why a few aging stars like Ryan Giggs, who will captain Great Britain in his home town of Cardiff. Giggs is one five Welshman on the team. Like the women's squad, there are no Scottish or Northern Irish players on the Great Britain squad.
10:20: The games began this morning with a draw between Honduras and Morocco. Mexico and Korea are facing off in St. James' Park (home of Newcastle United) and Spain and Japan are doing battle in Glasgow's Hampden Park. Both matches are currently scoreless.
13:50: The U.S. Olympic Committee has asked the Democratic National Committee to take down an ad making fun of Mitt Romney's offshore accounts through footage of the 2002 Olympics opening ceremonies. The beauty of Olympic competition should not be marred by dumb old politics."The Olympic Games are a celebration of friendship, excellence and respect," an Olympic committee spokesperson told ABC. "While we are absolutely confident that neither presidential candidate nor campaign has participated in the production or distribution of these negative ads, the attacks, using Olympic themes and images, need to stop."
14:01: More for gymnastics obsessives: Here's your training update: The American women did podium training Thursday -- that's where you practice routines on the equipment you'll actually compete on. McKayla Maroney vaulted well despite re-injuring an old break to her toe. The U.S. team looked strong despite some falls on beam. Alternate Anna Li is out after injuring her neck.
The competition in the all-around will be missing Romanian Larissa Iordache, who has a painful foot injury and won't be able to compete. Romania's coach says that means the Romanian team has little chance of a medal, now. "In the all around there is no chance, and our chances for a medal in the team finals, without [Iordache's] four routines, become null," coach Mariana Bitang said. "I’m realistic! We would have fought with Russia and now there is no chance."
14:15: Saudi athlete Wojdan Shaherkani has been banned from wearing her hijab when she competes in judo, Agence France Presse reports. Shaherkani, an 18-year-old heavyweight, is one of two Saudi women competing in the Games. The Saudi government only agreed to send women to the Olympics if they stuck to their strict dress code and did not mix with men.
16:10: Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt says his back's been bothering him, and that's why he came in second place in his country's Olympic trials. He tells the Associated Press that it's better now, and he wasn't hiding from reporters' cameras to hide the injury. "My coach doesn't like the cameras. He likes to keep me away from the cameras."
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the authors at
dbennett at theatlantic dot com or ereeve at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.