This evening, the finest athletes the United States has to offer will march into the Olympic Stadium, showcasing the Red, White, and Blue.
It's probably the single most admirable moment an athlete can experience, other than actually winning a gold medal.
It was reported that Michael Phelps won't be joining the other U.S. Olympians in the stadium.
Believe it or not, he has a pretty good reason for skipping out on Friday's opening ceremonies.
Phelps, among several other athletes will be skipping the opening ceremony on Friday night in order to prepare and be well-rested for early competitions on Saturday morning.
It's been four years since we've had the opportunity to watch our finest and best athletes represent us.
The colors they wear in their events, whether it be Tyson Gay in the 100 Meter run, Phelps in the 200 Individual Medley, or LeBron James as part of Team USA basketball, are representative of everyone in our country.
That's a special opportunity for everyone in this country.
There are several U.S. Olympians who have very, very good chances to bring home gold.
Phelps is expected to go out with a bang in his final Olympic performances. Team USA basketball has had little trouble in tune up games leading up to their debut in the 2012 Games.
As shown in the 2008 Beijing Games, Usain Bolt proved himself to be the fastest man in the world. And he wants to improve on that. He's gone on the record saying he wants to run a 9.4 100 Meter dash.
The USA's best hope for toppling Bolt in the track and field sprint competitions rests with Tyson Gay.
Team USA Soccer also has a solid chance at repeating as gold medalists. With the world's best goal keeper, Hope Solo, we have a solid chance.
It's an interesting time for us. Usually, it takes a great national disaster to unite all of the country.
What's important to realize is the Olympics provide an opportunity for us to gather and watch our champions represent us on a global stage.
That's pretty special.
And it all begins tonight as our champions march into that stadium tonight wearing our Red, White, and Blue.
Chris Siers is the sports editor of the Times-Gazette. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.