The 2012 London Olympic Games kick off with the traditional Opening Ceremony, which will take place on Friday, July 27 at 9 p.m. London time, and will be broadcast on NBC at 7:30 p.m. local time.
The event will be broadcast from London's Olympic Stadium and is scheduled for three hours. That's enough time for the traditional lighting of the Olympic Cauldron, the Parade of Nations featuring athletes from every country participating in the games, and a performance from Paul McCartney. There are expected to be 10,000 athletes in the parade, equal to the number of volunteers needed to run the event. They'll both be dwarfed by the number of spectators: 60,000 fans are expected to show up.
Mariel Zagunis will be holding the flag for Team USA. The 27-year old fencer is in London looking for her third gold medal in as many Games.