Tonight, the London Games open (NBC, 7:30 p.m. ET), and tomorrow, the swimming competition begins. We asked three-time 1984 gold medalist Rowdy Gaines, who’ll be calling his sixth Olympics for NBC, to pick the five races you don’t want to miss. The times listed are when the finals will be streaming live on NBCOlympics.com before airing on NBC in primetime.
1. Men’s 400m IM (Sat., July 28, 2:30 p.m. ET): It’s the very first final on the very first day of competition, and it’s the two best swimmers on the planet — Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte — in the decathlon of swimming. It’s one of only two races that they’ll be swimming against each other. Everybody’s pointing at the 200 IM final on Aug. 2, but the 400 IM is the one I’m looking forward to because it will set the tone for the rest of the Olympics for both of these guys. If you’re gonna push me over a cliff… I think Ryan has the edge in the 400 IM and Michael has the edge in the 200 IM.