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2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony Preview: Schedule, Team USA Flag Bearer And More

The Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics takes place Friday, July 27. 10,000 athletes will be in the Parade of Nations, including Team USA flag bearer Mariel Zaguns.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 25:  General view Olympic Ring as the sun sets in the Olympic Park on July 25, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 25: General view Olympic Ring as the sun sets in the Olympic Park on July 25, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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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.

Stick with this StoryStream for results, news updates and more about local athletes in the 2012 Olympic Games. For full coverage of London 2012, head over to SB Nation's Olympics hub.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.