London 2012: Busiest, Must-See Days in Olympic Swimming Schedule
Swimming may not be the most glamorous sport we'll see over the next few weeks in London, but it will be among the Olympics' most watched events. As such, there are going to be several days of must-see TV.
How many gold medals will Michael Phelps add to his already impressive career total? And how will he handle finally having a real rival in Ryan Lochte?
Will a country other than the United States make headlines in the pool? Tune in on these days and you'll find out.
Saturday, July 28th
Day 1 of Olympic swimming starts off with a bang.
There will be 15 total swimming events on the 28th. Four gold medals will be handed out, and we're sure to see some incredible races in the heats and qualifiers.
But nothing lives up to Phelps vs. Lochte, part one. The world's two best swimmers will meet for the first time in London in the 400-meter individual medley.
Lochte has beaten Phelps in this event in the past, but never on such a grand stage. This is the pinnacle of swimming as a sport. The 400-meter individual medley will be our first taste of whether or not Lochte is truly on par with Phelps.
Sunday, July 29th
Day 2 promises to be just as exciting in the world of Olympic swimming as Day 1.
In terms of total events, the 29th will host the most in the pool throughout the Games. 18 races will take place on Day 2, and four gold medals will be handed out.
The most high-profile event of the day should be the men's 400-meter freestyle relay. While the Americans traditionally have success in the event, Australia is the current favorite to win.
Team USA will be led by Michael Phelps and Beijing hero Jason Lezak, and Australia will go as far as James Magnussen takes them. It promises to be an excellent race.
Other notable events of the day include the men's 100-meter breaststroke (where Japan's Kosuke Kitajima will look to break his world-record time from Beijing) and the women's 400-meter freestyle.
Tuesday, July 31st
Even though it may be overshadowed by the MLB trading deadline and doesn't offer any individual matchups as enticing as Phelps vs. Lochte, July 31st will give us an excellent day of Olympic swimming.
11 total races will be held on the final day of July, including four in which gold medals will be awarded.
For women, the day will be headlined by both the 200-meter individual medley and butterfly races.
Michael Phelps leads the day for the men, as he will be racing in the men's 200-meter butterfly looking to add to his record 14 career gold medals.
Don't expect the 31st to live up to either of the first two days in the pool, but it should be an excellent day of swimming.
Thursday, August 2nd
August 2nd will be the final true must-see day of Olympic swimming, but it sends the sport out with a bang.
12 total races will take place on the 2nd, four of them for gold medals.
Both genders will have their 200-meter backstroke races, and women will have their 100-meter freestyle.
However, none of that compares to Phelps vs. Lochte, part two. They will meet once again in men's 200-meter individual medley for what might be the final time.
Phelps has claimed that he will retire from competitive swimming after the Olympics. The stage will have been set from their earlier matchup in the 400-meter IM.
What we'll have is the two best swimmers in the world racing in what might be the finale for the greatest of all time. On paper, this may be the best individual race in swimming history.
For that reason alone, you should tune into NBC on August 2nd for an amazing day of Olympic swimming.
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