Michael Phelps the 14-time gold medal winner from the United States will spend the London Olympic Games opening ceremony the same way he spent three prior opening ceremonies. He told reporters on Wednesday he would not be marching with his fellow teammates because he will be back in the Olympic village resting because he has an even early Saturday morning.
Phelps will start the first of his seven events with an early race of the 400 IM on Saturday. That is only hours after the opening ceremony will end at the Olympic Stadium. Phelps is scheduled to swim his first heat for the 400 IM at 10:00 am and then the event’s final later Saturday evening. He said that marching and standing around for over four hours is not the best of training techniques for the most difficult of all swimming events in the Games.
Phelps not marching is not uncommon, as a number of Olympic athletes do not participate at the opening ceremonies. Archers also have early events taking place on Saturday, as well as others who participate in team sports. During the 2008 games, the equestrian team members from the United States watched the opening ceremonies from more than 1,000 miles away. The event was held far away in Hong Kong during the Beijing Games.
Phelps most likely will watch the opening ceremony on television, but there might be a chance that something even more pressing will be on the tube. The HBO drama The Wire also plays at the same hour and it is set in Baltimore, Maryland his hometown.