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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 ...

Kelita Zupancic stars on the mat in the women’s under-70 kg class and Alexandre Émond in the men’s under-90 kg. Émond, 2011 Pan Am Games bronze medalist, has won nine medals at nationals, including five gold.

AUGUST 2

Swimming: Men’s 200-metres individual medley

The ultimate showdown in the pool pits Michael Phelps against teammate – and challenger to his throne – Ryan Lochte. Less than 1/10th of a second separated them at the U.S. trials.

Rowing: Women’s eight final

A veteran team from Canada strives to overtake the U.S. front-runners, who have beaten the Canadians the last two seasons in world events. It’s the third Olympics for Darcy Marquardt, who came back to rowing after being inspired by the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Gymnastics: Women’s individual all-around

Shawn Johnson (silver medal in 2008) leads a who’s who of U.S. returnees. Canada sends out determined three-time national champ Kristina Vaculik, who’s taken a year away from Stanford University.

AUGUST 3

Athletics: Men’s shot put

Canadian Dylan Armstrong starts his quest for a medal in qualifying rounds against defending Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski of Poland and German David Storl, the current world champion.

Swimming: Women’s 200-metres backstroke

Missy Franklin, probably the marquee female on the U.S. Olympic team, has perhaps her best chance at an individual gold medal here.

Rowing: Men’s pair final

New Zealanders Eric Murray and Hamish Bond rule the event, having won a World Cup in Switzerland this spring by seven seconds over archrivals Andrew Triggs-Hodge and Pete Reed of Britain. Canada’s Dave Calder and Scott Frandsen will try to spoil the party.

Trampoline: Men

Canadian Jason Burnett reached the podium in 2008, taking home a silver medal. Can he win gold in his second Olympics?

AUGUST 4

Swimming: Men’s 4x100-metres medley relay

U.S. star Michael Phelps says he’ll retire after these Games, and if so, this will be his last event.

Tennis: Women’s final

Serena Williams of the U.S. seeks her first Olympic gold medal in an event that has not always smiled upon favourites.

Triathlon: Women

Helen Jenkins of Britain hopes to add Olympic gold to her two world titles (2008 and 2011), but she’ll be pushed by a host of others, including 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Emma Moffatt of Australia and Paula Findlay of Canada.

Sailing: Men’s 470 event

Malcolm Page of Australia is the most-highly decorated 470 men’s sailor of all time, having won four world championships. He is the defending Olympic champion, although four years ago, he sailed with Nathan Wilmot. This time, his partner is Mathew Belcher.

AUGUST 5

Athletics: Men’s 100-metres

Usain Bolt of Jamaica will be back to defend his title, but it’s not a certain win. He was defeated at his national Olympic trials by Yohan Blake.

Cycling: Men’s omnium

Canada’s Zach Bell competes in one of six events (four-kilometre individual pursuit) that make up the omnium event. Last April, he had been tied with Australian Glenn O’Shea going in the final 1-km time trial at the world championships, but the Aussie was faster that day.

Tennis: Men’s final

The gold-medal match will go without defending Olympic champion Rafael Nadal, who is injured. That could leave 2012 Wimbledon champ Roger Federer and rival Novak Djokovic to battle it out for the win.

Equestrian: Show jumping team

Canada is back to wrestle with archrivals the United States in Round 1 of the team final. The U.S. won gold at the 2008 Games; Canada silver.

AUGUST 6

Kayak: Men’s K1 1,000-metres

Canadian paddler Adam van Koeverden begins his pursuit of a fourth Olympic medal as his only 2012 event opens with preliminaries.

Canoe: Men’s C1 1,000-metres

The son, grandson and nephew of four former Olympians, canoeist Mark Oldershaw can win the family’s first medal – as long as he survives the preliminaries.

Basketball: Men

The new U.S. Dream Team of NBA stars takes on world No. 3 Argentina in its final game of the group stage.

Kayak: Men’s K2 1,000-metres

Hugues Fournel (whose sister, Émilie, is competing in the women’s event) and partner Ryan Cochrane could sneak on to the podium. But first: the preliminaries.

AUGUST 7

Athletics: Men’s triathlon

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