The first full day of competition at the Games of the XXX Olympiad kicks off Saturday in London, and whether you're away from your television or just not a huge fan of the day's televised events, have no fear oh Olympics aficionado. If you have an Internet connection, then you're all set.
Live coverage of the Olympics will be featured throughout the Games on nbcolympics.com, so grab a seat at Starbucks, order yourself a $14 latte (if only I'd known that people would actually pay that much for coffee. Oh well, hindsight being what it is) and enjoy some of these highlights from Saturday's competition.
Women's Basketball: Group A - United States vs. Croatia (11:45 A.M. EDT)
The latest incarnation of the men's "Dream Team" featuring LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant may have hogged all the headlines leading up to the London Games. However, the U.S. women's team isn't exactly a group of slouches, especially given that the team will be gunning for their fifth straight gold medal in London and have won 33 straight games at the Olympics.
Team USA head coach Geno Auriemma has loaded the team with familiar faces from the University of Connecticut, including two-time Olympic champions Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird. There are also stars present from Connecticut's arch-nemesis Tennessee, including forwards Tamika Catchings and Candace Parker, who may just throw down a dunk, which would be an Olympic first for a woman.
Brittney Griner of Baylor, the 2011 Naismith Award winner, won't be at the Olympics, but the American women are still the overwhelming favorites to win gold, beginning with what amounts to a tune-up against Croatia.
Still, as Auriemma recently told FOX News, simply winning isn't enough for the United States in his eyes, as he feels that it's just as important that the Americans do so with all the authority they can muster.
"We would love to play basketball the way Spain plays soccer. Always moving the ball. We don't want to be like Italy and win 1-0. If it's going to be ugly I think we're going to harm the game more than help it," said Auriemma. "So just winning is not going to be good enough."
Men's Swimming: 400m Individual Medley Final (2:30 P.M. EDT)
One of the most hyped and publicized showdowns of the 2012 Olympic Games will take place in the pool at the London Aquatics Centre, where Americans Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte will face off twice, beginning Saturday in the 400m individual medley.
The 27-year-old Phelps holds the world record in the event, setting that mark at the Beijing Games four years ago with a ridiculous time of 4:03.84. Phelps is not only competing in what he says will be his final Olympics but is trying to make Olympic history yet again by becoming the first male swimmer to win an event in three straight Olympic Games. The significance of these facts isn't lost on Phelps, according to a report by the Associated Press via ESPN.
"This is the last competitive meet I'm going to have in my career," Phelps said. "It's big. It's something I've never experienced. I'm going to have a lot of firsts and a lot of lasts this week."
The medley isn't going to be a walk (or swim, as the case may be) in the park for Phelps, however. The 27-year-old Lochte is every bit Phelps' equal in the event, having just beaten Phelps at the U.S. Olympic Trials, and this showdown is one of the highlights of not only Saturday's action but all of the Olympics as well.
Women's Handball: Group B - Norway vs. France (4:15 P.M. EDT)
I will freely admit that there's probably no writer here at Bleacher Report who has been imploring fans more to watch the handball competition than me, as outside of maybe water polo (which is basically handball in a pool) there is no other team sport at the Games that combines excitement and a level of uniqueness that just makes it all feel more...Olympic.
Handball is a fast-paced, physical, high-scoring game that features elements of basketball, soccer and rugby all mixed together into a game that has to be watched or played to be truly appreciated.
Saturday afternoon's matchup between France and Norway features two medal contenders, including the 2008 gold medalists in the Norwegians in a rematch of the finals at the 2011 world championships, won by Norway 32-24.
Not only will the French women be looking for a measure of payback for their loss in Brazil a year ago, but they will also be trying to keep to keep pace with their male counterparts, who won the gold in Beijing four years ago and are one of the favorites at the London Games.