Are We There Yet? Mining the Minutes to London
For those ready for your next big heaping spoonful of media spectacle, the countdown has reached 16 days, 10 hours, and 43 minutes to the start of the Opening Ceremony for the Olympic Games in London.
Shoot. Now it’s 42 minutes. I need to write fast.
To see a countdown clock, try the London 2012 site. It keeps the clock ticking at the top of the page. Furiously ticking.
10 hours, 41 minutes. And I haven’t even edited this thing yet. It can take a long time to embed a link when you’re in a hurry …
Just to add, briskly: You know, the games don’t actually begin with the Opening Ceremony. Sure, it’s the ritualistic start, but the first competition comes two days sooner — so subtract another 2 days, 05 hours and no minutes if you want to count down to the start of the games.
The two teams squaring off in that first match will be — uh oh. I need to look this up. More time. Gonna kill me. Wait. Right back.
And the answer is Women’s Soccer, First Round, Group E, 4 p.m. start at Millennium Stadium, wherever that is. Well, it’s in Cardiff. Another quick click, and we learn it’s along the banks of the River Taff in Wales. This website tells us everything, as long as we have time to click.
Millennium. Had to double-check that one. 34 minutes.
Match will be Great Britain vs. New Zealand. Good, the host team leads off the games. As it should be. Probably favored over those nimble Kiwis. Well, I looked them up. Another word might be improving. Watch out for those Football Ferns, as the team is called in New Zealand. Captain Rebecca Smith, who is quite excellent, says this about the lead-off match against the Brits:
“To play Great Britain in the opening game of the entire Olympics, it doesn’t get any better than that.”
16 days, 10 hours, 31 minutes.
Let me just hedge her bet a bit here and remark that, if Captain Smith scores a couple of flashy goals (which is always possible) to lead her Football Ferns to an upset win, it actually will get a lot better. This is the danger of using cliches. But she is being humble and sporting, so we’ll cheer her for that. No telling how many sound-alike questions she’s had to field about this in the past 2 months, 20 days and too many minutes. Plus, she must be nervous about now. The whole world will be watching.
Tick. Tick. Tick.
Did you know that at the Beijing games in 2008, during any average one minute of the broadcasts going around the world, 160 million people were watching Olympic events on TV. (I found this in an IOC report compiling audience statistics on television and online use during Beijing Olympic broadcasts. Took awhile, though.)
When the Football Ferns play, theirs will be the only event. Gulp.
Let me admit the truth now. We’re down to 10 hours, 06 minutes. This is embarrassing, but the facts are right. The story is done. Kind of. I can always add more later.
I’m not setting any Olympic speed records today. Maybe later. I’m in training, like the Ferns. Anything can happen. Cue the anthem.