The Opening Ceremonies aren’t until Friday, but the Olympics actually start today, 400 miles away from London. Soccer and archery start early, so as not to wear out the athletes with the number of games that are required, the Detroit Free Press explains. The US women’s soccer team plays France today in Glasgow—Hampden Park is the Games’ only Scottish venue—and then Colombia plays North Korea.
Though 37,000 fans are expected to watch the doubleheader, there are 52,000 seats—and 80% of the tickets that will be used were actually given away, since women’s soccer isn’t all that popular in the area. The players are staying in a normal hotel, not an Olympic village; they’ll be preparing for another game in Glasgow while other athletes are attending the Opening Ceremony; and they won’t even necessarily play in London unless they make it to the gold medal game. Even so, they’re excited to start: “It’s like ‘unleash the beast,’” Hope Solo says. “We’re waiting for somebody to unleash us.”