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Eyes on London: Nerves, Michael Phelps slow, first gold

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, July 28 2012 9:05 a.m. MDT

Australia's archery coach James Park and a handful of athletes got an early start, heading out on the Tube to Green Park to find a place to cheer along their countrymen participating in the cycling road race.

"We're just spectators today," said Park, who will no doubt be backing sprinter Matt Goss.

Mark Cavendish has a chance to give host Great Britain its first medal. But Goss could challenge if it comes down to a sprint finish.

The race goes through London's streets, then into the Surrey countryside and ends outside Buckingham Palace mid-afternoon.

—Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer

VIEWS FROM CHINA

Here's how some users of China's Sina Weibo microblog site felt about the start of the London Olympics:

— Onlooker: "I was most impressed by the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games which cost only $42 million — less than half of what was spent at the Beijing Olympic Games."

— Timo in a dream: "Compared to the Beijing Olympic Games, I like the opening ceremony of the London Games which interprets the culture in a simple way and it's easy to understand."

— Fan Fan: "The cost of the London Olympic Games was decided by British taxpayers, but Chinese taxpayers did not even know the cost of the Beijing Games."

— Liurong: "Two different styles, what the Beijing games brought to people was unparalleled."

—Henry Hou

TWO-WAY TRAFFIC

At 7 a.m. fresh-eyed fans were streaming into Olympic Park ready for the action. On their commute, they couldn't help but notice the stragglers going home in the opposite direction. And some were still in party mode.

Near King's Cross station in central London, in an apparent attempt to inject some Winter Olympics ice dance action into the celebrations, one man picked up his girlfriend and straddled her on his shoulders before (successfully) spinning her around two or three times and gently placing her back down on the footpath, giving the early morning travellers their first smiles of the day.

—Dennis Passa — Twitter http://twitter.com/dennispassa

COMING UP

Beach volleyball in the heart of central London will highlight Olympic competition Saturday, along with the first swimming medals. American rivals Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte will face off in the 400-meter individual medley.

Two-time U.S. defending gold medalist pair Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor will be the feature match in the beach volleyball grandstand.

"It's amazing. Just this area in itself is so special," Walsh Jennings said. "You have the Horse Guards right there and the changing of the guard and you get to see this and all the historic culture. Really, really cool. I've been picturing this for so long, and to see it in person and have it come alive is awesome."

—Janie McCauley — Twitter: http://twitter.com/JanieMcCAP

FLASHBACK — BERLIN 1936: "Reichsfuehrer Adolf Hitler, attired in a brown uniform and smiling genially, formally launched the Eleventh Olympiad today amid ceremonies dazzlingly brilliant despite dripping skies marked by vividly contrasting demonstrations obviously fraught with political as well as sporting significance. ... The big United States delegation, surpassed in size only by the Germans who formed the procession as rear guard, was accorded a doubtful reception. Changing plans suddenly overnight to avoid the appearance of giving only a modified Nazi salute under the original intentions to extend arms with hats in hand, the Americans reverted to the former custom of doffing their hats and placing them over the heart while giving 'eyes right.'"

— The Associated Press, Aug. 1, 1936

EDITOR'S NOTE — "Eyes on London" shows you the Olympics through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across the 2012 Olympic city and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item, and get even more AP updates from the Games here: http://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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