With the conclusion of the Opening Ceremonies on Friday night and the lighting of the Olympic torch, the London Games officially begin. A full slate of games are slated for Saturday’s action and the Pac-12 will not be short on action. Below is a short guide to Day 1 of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
• Utah Olympians Michelle Plouffe, Kim Smith and Shona Thorburn, as members of the Canadian squad take on Russia in Group B action.
• Oregon State’s Kim Butler and Great Britain close the day’s basketball action against Australia.
Women’s Beach Volleyball:
• Defending gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings (STAN), with teammate Misty May-Treanor, begin preliminary-round action on the sand vs. Australia’s Tamsin Hinchley and Nat Cook.
Men’s Beach Volleyball:
• Also in action is Jake Gibb, with teammate Sean Rosenthal, taking on Freedom Chiya and Grant Goldschmidt of South Africa.
•New Zealand, with Betsy Hassett (CAL), Ali Riley (STAN) and Rosie White (UCLA), will be looking for its first win when it battles Brazil in Group E pool play.
• Chelsea Stewart and Canada will be looking to bounce back from a one-goal loss, taking on South Africa in Group F.
• The United States, with nine Pac-12 standouts on the squad, will take on Anna Maria Montoya’s (ARIZ) squad from Colombia. The Americans, on the strength of two goals from Alex Morgan (CAL) and stellar performance from goalkeeper Hope Solo (WASH), came back from a two-goal deficit to win its first match of the Games. Colombia, meanwhile, will be looking for it first win in Group G.
• Qualifying heat in the women’s pair, women’s quadruple sculls, men’s eight, men’s double sculls, men’s lightweight four, men’s quadruple sculls, men’s pair, men’s single sculls and women’s single sculls take place on the first full day of Olympic action. The Pac-12 has 29 athletes and coaches, mainly representing USA and Canada, competing. Olivier Siegelaar, the one league rower not from USA or Canada, will be representing the Netherlands and compete in the men’s eight.
• The first of 10 full days of swimming event takes place on Saturday. Among the highlights is former Cal swimmer Natalie Couglin. Participating in her third Games, Coughlin has medals at every Olympics she has swam in. Coughlin has just one shot for a medal, swimming in the 4x100 relay, her only event of this year’s Games. If she claims a medal, it would be the 12th of her career, which would tie her for the most decorated American female Olympian.
• Six events in total will be competed on Saturday (men’s & women’s 400m IM, women’s 100m butterfly, men’s 100 breast and women’s 4x100m free relay) with three men and three women claiming gold by the end of the day.
• Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, formerly of Stanford, play in the first round of the doubles tennis tournament, taking on Thomaz Bellucci and Andre Sa of Brazil.
• Former Bruin Marcin Matkowski, with teammate Mariusz Fyrstenberg, will represent Poland and take on Spain’s David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez in doubles action.
• Janine Sandell (WASH), playing in her home country as a member of the Great Britain team, will lead her team against Russia in Group A.
• Meanwhile, the U.S., with five members of the team hailing from Pac-12 institutions, take on Korea ins Group B. In addition to the five players on the U.S. Squad, two members of the coaching staff - Karch Kiraly (UCLA) and Paula Weishoff (USC), are former Pac-12 athletes.