The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially the Games of the XXX Olympiad, will take place in London, United Kingdom, from July 27 (when the opening ceremony is held) until 12 August 2012, During the course of the Games, Miami University's SCOTT USHER, assistant coach of the RedHawk men's swimming team and a former Olympian from the University of Wyoming, will be writing a blog that offers insight about the events that were the highlight of his career as well as personal commentary about the London Games themselves.

During his swimming career, Usher was a member of the U.S. National Team, competed in the 2004 Olympics, qualified for the World Championships four times between 2004-2007, earned a bronze medal at the 2005 Pan-Pacific Championships, and earned bronze at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials.

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The Olympic games are a massive celebration of athleticism and competition between the countries of the World. After weeks of build up to the Olympic games the first event to really start the competitions is the opening ceremony.

The opening ceremony is the first opportunity for Team USA to be completely united. This event starts hours before what you see on television.  All of the Team USA athletes are being organized outside of their suites two hours in advance wearing their flashy opening ceremony gear. I honestly have never seen so many Americans wearing berets before, but they were in style that evening.

The large number of amateur athletes that are present in the Olympic Games makes the opening ceremony full of electrifying excitement and anticipation. During the waiting time, a lot of the swimmers had their first chance to see the elite athletes from the other sports. It was particularly exciting to see people like Allen Iverson, Josh Hamilton, Jennie Finch and Andy Roddick. We, of course, had to go up and personally introduce ourselves and get their autographs. It wasn't surprising that the guy's favorite star was Jennie Finch and the girl's was Andy Roddick.  

As the official ceremony was about to start, berets are on everyone's head and cameras in their hands. Athletes are running everywhere like little kids trying to take as many pictures as possible, knowing that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

If you are a follower of the Olympic Games on television and have the opportunity to watch Team USA walk out carrying the USA flag, I would recommend looking behind the chosen individuals that are carrying the flag. If you find the athletes behind them, spinning in circles from the dizzying effects of the moment, there you will find true love and passion for a sport and a country.  You will be able to see it in the endless smile and their eyes that can't stop darting from the fans, to the stage performers and to the Olympic torch high above. These athletes, walking out and parading behind the high held USA flag, have a heart rate that is the highest it has ever been, and probably will ever be, from the overwhelming excitement of the Olympic opening ceremonies. I know mine was.

NEXT ENTRY: Mon., July 30 - Scott Usher's memories of Athens' Olympic Village