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Canada's women basketball team members jump in the air in front of the Olympic rings at the London 2012 Olympic Games village in Stratford, east London July 24, 2012. (SUZANNE PLUNKETT/REUTERS)
Canada's women basketball team members jump in the air in front of the Olympic rings at the London 2012 Olympic Games village in Stratford, east London July 24, 2012. (SUZANNE PLUNKETT/REUTERS)

London 2012

A viewers guide to London 2012 Add to ...

Canadians will have access to over 5,500 hours of Olympic coverage during the 2012 London Games, from the Opening Ceremonies on Friday evening, to the Closing Ceremonies on August 12th.

JULY 27

Opening ceremony

About one billion viewers worldwide are expected to watch Oscar-winning film director Danny Boyle’s riff on Shakespeare’s The Tempest at London’s Olympic Stadium (a show that will reportedly feature thatched-roof cottages and live animals). There have been reports of “creative tension” with organizers, one thing is certain, they want to get the roughly £27-million ($42.8-million) curtain-raiser right.

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JULY 28

Cycling: Men’s road race

Fresh off winning the prestigious Giro d’Italia, Ryder Hesjedal of Canada pulled out of the Tour de France early after a crash.

Basketball: Women

The Canadian team, appearing in the Olympics for the first time since the 2000 Games, opens preliminary round play against Russia.

Swimming: Men’s 400-metres freestyle

One of Canada’s greatest forces in the pool, Ryan Cochrane, won bronze in the 1,500 in 2008. He’ll challenge for a medal at this distance, too.

Judo: Men’s under-60 kilograms

Following in the footsteps of his father, a Brazilian Olympian in 1988, Canadian judoka Sergio Pessoa fights for the podium.

Soccer: Women

As group play continues, Canada takes on South Africa in its second match of the tournament.

JULY 29

Diving: Women’s synchronized three-metre springboard

Quebec divers Émilie Heymans and Jennifer Abel take aim at the podium.

Swimming: Men’s 4x100-metres freestyle relay

It’s expected to be a battle of swim world powers, as the Australians and Americans headline.

Cycling: Women’s road race

Multitalented summer and winter athlete Clara Hughes tries to break the record for the most career Olympic medals by a Canadian. (Hughes and speed-skater Cindy Klassen have six each.)

Basketball: Men

The tournament tips off with Team USA, packed with NBA stars, beginning defence of its Olympic gold medal with a preliminary round tilt against France.

JULY 30

Swimming: Men’s 200-metres freestyle

Rivals faceoff in the pool, as Ryan Lochte is primed to escape the shadow of fellow American Olympic superstar Michael Phelps.

Diving: Men’s synchronized 10-metre platform

It’s the first look at the 18-year-old who shoulders Great Britain’s weighty expectations, as Tom Daley teams with Peter Waterfield in the event.

Basketball: Women

Canada takes to the court again, with the crowd firmly against it, as it meets Olympic-host side Great Britain.

Gymnastics: Men’s all-around team

China has dominated men’s gymnastics for years, but this time, Japan and the United States appear ready to unseat it and take the coveted crown.

JULY 31

Tennis: Men

The grass of Wimbledon will challenge hard-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, who has three pro wins but none on grass. Daniel Nestor partners with Vasek Pospisil in doubles.

Diving: Women’s synchronized 10-metre platform

Canadians Roseline Filion and Meaghan Benfeito must get past the dominant Chinese for Olympic gold.

Gymnastics: Women’s all-around team

Eight teams of five gymnasts try to unseat the world champion Americans. The Canadians are led by Kristina Vaculik, Victoria Moors, Brittany Rogers, Dominique Pegg and Ellie Black.

Swimming: Men’s 200-metres butterfly

Michael Phelps of the United States is the favourite to win his signature race for the third consecutive Olympics.

AUGUST 1

Rowing: Men’s eight final

The Canadian boat will be hard-pressed to defend its Beijing gold after mass retirements and coach Mike Spracklen fell into disfavour. Beaten by Germany and Britain at the world championships, but still a podium threat.

Cycling: Women’s individual time trial

Former speed-skating star Clara Hughes hasn’t forgotten how to win on a bike, taking gold at the Pan American Games time trial and road race in 2011.

Diving: Men’s synchronized three-metre springboard

Can Alexandre Despatie synchronize his springboard dives with Reuben Ross after suffering a concussion and gash on his head from hitting the board in a June 12 warmup? He admits preparation was “not ideal.”

Swimming: Men’s 100-metres freestyle

Australia’s James (Missile) Magnussen owns the best time in the event this year by a half-second and wants to take down the record 46.91 seconds Cesar Cielo of Brazil set wearing a high-tech suit.

Judo: Women, Men

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