The Olympics Technically Started Today…Wait, What?

The women’s soccer tournament has begun in Glasgow, and the U.S. team will have to watch the opening ceremonies on TV just like the rest of us.

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Alex Morgan #13 of USA is congratulated by Megan Rapinoe after scoring during the London 2012 Olympic Games match between United States and France, at Hampden Park on July 25, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Getting pumped for Olympics to start? Well, you’re already missing it.

Women’s soccer kicked off Wednesday in Glasgow, Scotland’s Hampden Park. Great Britain took on New Zealand at 8 a.m. PDT, and the U.S. played France at 9. That means Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, Hope Solo, and the rest of the gang will be more than 400 miles from the Olympic Park in London during the opening ceremonies on Friday, which is kind of a bummer.

But the U.S. players must have expected as much: this is the fourth Olympics in a row in which the U.S. women’s soccer team has begun play before the Games officially opened. The Olympic committee has determined over the past few years that the women’s soccer players must take the field before the opening ceremonies because the extra days that are needed to play all the games necessary with a sufficient amount of rest time in between matchups.

(READ: From Pariah to the Pinnacle: U.S. Women’s Soccer Goalie Hope Solo)

Unfortunately, this is the third year the U.S. women’s soccer team will not be able to march in the opening ceremonies. “I would love to be in the opening ceremonies,” two-time Olympian Lauren Cheney told the Los Angeles Times. “I’ve never experienced it. [But] I can’t say I’m, like, sad about missing out.”

The entire women’s soccer tournament will take place outside of the host city, with the exception of the final gold medal game in London. So to make it to Olympic Park at all, the U.S. has to beat 5 teams. But they’re off to a promising start: on Wednesday, the U.S. team beat France, who was ranked sixth in the latest FIFA rankings and has won 17 consecutive games since losing the game for third place in last summer’s World Cup. Alex Morgan scored twice in the 4-2 win, with Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd also contributing goals.

The team will certainly want to make it to London, if only to get a shot at playing in front of a bigger audience: Olympics officials said that around 37,000 fans were expected at the U.S.-France, Colombia-North Korea doubleheader Wednesday, but that 80 percent of those tickets had been handed out for free to local schools and clubs. And those fans did not even get to see both games as scheduled: North Korea’s team refused to take the field for over an hour after Olympic organizers accidentally displayed the South Korean flag on the jumbo screen instead of that of North Korea.

MORE: The Swift Kicker Behind Japan’s Women’s Soccer Rise

5 comments
SCH618
SCH618

How do you get a job writing for TIME when you can't even spell Colombia properly? Both you and your editor should be ashamed of yourselves.

You offend an entire country by not bothering to Google something that in a few seconds will tell you the difference between a country in South America and the capital city of South Carolina.

Nick Carbone
Nick Carbone

 Thanks very much, we corrected the error yesterday.

Naill@twieer.com
Naill@twieer.com

 We must be supported for Woman's sport with other encumbrance.

Naill@twieer.com
Naill@twieer.com

Woman's sports is deluged with requests for the world all of woman.

Godzilla1960
Godzilla1960

Women's sports will never take off for the simple reason that they are not supported by women.  Women's sports are dependent upon a male audience.  

I am a man who watched both opening women's soccer games on television, have attended WNBA games as well as women's soccer games, and whole heartedly support women's sports, but the sad reality is that the majority of women who watch sports do so to have more time with their husband or boyfriend, not because they love the sport.

Title IX will ensure young women still have the opportunity to compete, but it is women who have doomed women's sports as spectator entertainment.