Why you should watch the 2012 Summer Olympics
The 2012 Summer Olympics finally kick off in London with a massive opening ceremony, but the spectacle of the interpretive dancing and fireworks isn't the only part of this two-week sporting extravaganza that's worth watching. Even if you don't know Usain Bolt from Michael Phelps, here are plenty of reasons to tune in:
10. Some off-the-wall events
The bigger sports get the lion's share of the media attention, but there are lots of oddball sports that people medal in. Trampoline, table tennis, badminton, canoeing, BMX biking, and synchronized swimming ... there's really something for everyone, and now, thanks to the Internet, you no longer have to wake up at four in the morning to watch them.
See Team USA table tennis star Timothy Wang in action:
9. Royal watching
There's a good chance that Kate Middleton and some of the other members of the British royal family will be at a lot of the big events, so keep your eyes peeled for some fabulous dresses, great hats, and maybe even Pippa's much-buzzed-about behind.
Watch highlights from Kate Middleton and Prince Williams' Royal Wedding:
8. Patriotic feelings
Regardless of the country you're from or where you currently live, it's thrilling to see athletes from your nation compete and to watch the medal counts rise. Much like World Cup soccer, you may find yourself irrationally screaming your head off for someone whose name you didn't know a week ago.
Check out the best goals of the 2010 World Cup Qualifications:
7. The gymnastics
Let's be honest, while track-and-field events are great and swimming and diving get a lot of airtime, the sport that most people will watch is women's gymnastics. You know you want to see these pint-sized girls doing torturous-looking things to themselves on the uneven bars or the balance beam. Just don't try any of it at home.
All about Mary Lou Retton's Olympic victory:
6. You'll sound smart in four years
If you pay close attention to this year's Olympics, then in four years, when the Rio de Janeiro Summer Games roll around, chances are you'll be able to throw out a few key names and drop some knowledge about various rules and regulations to impress your friends.
Find out why Ipanema Beach in Rio De Janeiro is one of the world's sexiest beaches: