Five-Ring Circus

Hey, Look, the Olympics Just Started

A volunteer jumps in front of the Olympic rings at the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro on August 1, 2016 ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images

The opening ceremony isn’t until Friday, but the Olympics officially kicked off at noon on Wednesday with a women’s soccer match between Sweden and South Africa at Rio’s Estádio Olímpico João Havelange. Every team in the women’s soccer competition is playing today, on what Google’s Olympic calendar refers to as “Day -2.” The U.S. women, who have won three consecutive gold medals, start off the competition Wednesday night at 6 p.m. ET against New Zealand in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

The men’s soccer competition begins on Thursday. Other than soccer, men’s and women’s archery are the only events that will start before the opening ceremony, which begins at 7 p.m. ET on Friday (but won’t be televised by NBC until 8 p.m.).

See more of Slate’s Olympics coverage.

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