Each day at the Olympics, I will preview the day's events and help you formulate viewing and reading priorities. I also may rant a bit, so please forgive me in advance.
CAN'T MISS EVENT
The men's 100-meter dash is the Olympic version of watching "Wheel Of Fortune." It's not complicated and easy to understand. How many times can you sit down to watch an athletic event that is so pure? The person who wins this race is the fastest human being on the planet. Period. Usain Bolt of Jamaica has held that crown since winning the 100 in Beijing. He's also the most charismatic track performer in London. And the rest of the field is full of intrigue. Bolt's countryman, Yohan Blake, edged him in the Jamaican trials. And two USA runners who could challenge for a medal — Tyson Gay (the 29-year-old former world champion in the event) and Justin Gatlin (who served a doping ban form 2006-10 but won the 100 at the U.S. trials this summer). The starting gun will fire at 1:50 p.m. Pacific Time.The finish line will be crossed less than 10 seconds later. I always hold my breath for the whole 10 seconds.
LADIES WHO GO THE DISTANCE
By the time you read this, the woman's marathon will be over. It began at 3 a.m. West Coast Time.With any luck, the USA could finish on the podium. The three-person contingent of Desiree Davila, Shalene Flanagan
LADIES WHO SERVE
Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor continue their quest for third gold medal in beach volleyball with a quarterfinal match at 11 a.m. Pacific.
A LADY WHO'S NOT AFRAID TO JUMP
Also at 11 a.m. Bay Area Time, Stanford diver Cassidy Krug will compete in the 3-meter springboard finals, with an outside chance at a medal.
TODAY'S PHRASE YOU SHOULD SAY WITH A BRITISH ACCENT JUST FOR FUN
Blimey, it's Roger Federer back at Wimbledon, keen to win a gold medal by defeating Andy Murray at 6 a.m. Western Colony Time.
NOW THEY'VE GONE TOO FAR
When the American flag came off its moorings and fluttered toward earth during the gold medal ceremony for Serena Williams on Saturday, where were the evil Olympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville? Thank heaven, their reign of terror will be over in seven days.
THE ONE ATHLETE YOU NEED TO WATCH TODAY
She could win a medal in the gymnastics vault finals. She has dazzled crowds around the world. And she is 37 years old. That is no misprint. Oksana Chusovitina of Germany is old enough to be the mother of her competitors. She actually won a gold medal in 1992 -- which was four years before Gabby Douglas was born -- as a member of the "Unified Team" consisting of former Soviet Republics. Then she became a German citizen. And she still vaults like a kid. She won a silver medal doing it four years ago in Beijing. Chusovitina has announced she will retire after these Games. She deserves a standing ovation after her last vault tonight, simply for proving there's a place for a mature woman in a sport that has been all about teenagers for the past three decades. Her final sprints down the vaulting runaway will begin at 6:50 a.m.