Like so many other summer blockbusters, the gold medal match in the women's soccer tournament at the London 2012 Olympics is a sequel.
Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe and rest the U.S. women are looking to avenge their defeat to Japan in the final of the 2011 World Cup. That hard fought match went to penalty kicks and was clinched by the Nadeshiko, 3-1.
The U.S. women appeared set to take another match to penalties in its semifinal against Canada when Alex Morgan scored a stunning goal with her head in the 122nd minute. In the other semifinal, Japan held on for a relatively straightforward 2-1 win over France.
"I think the fact that we lost the World Cup and the way that we did gives us even more passion and desire to go out and perform tomorrow," Wambach told reporters on Wednesday. "The truth is, this is going to be a great day, a great day for soccer, a great day for women's sports, and something that hopefully we'll be able to remember for the rest of our lives – and hopefully it's in a good way."
Will Japan be able to win a second consecutive international title? Can the U.S. avenge its defeat at penalties? Who will the heroine be tonight?
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Hours after the closing ceremony actually ended in London, NBC played back some recordings of athlete interviews done on the floor of the Olympic Stadium in the immediate aftermath of the performance by The Who.
Up first, 17-year-old swim star Missy Franklin summed up the feelings of everyone who has been contributing to this live blog for the past 17 days.
"I can't believe it's over," Franklin told Michelle Tafoya of NBC.
Thanks for enjoying (and/or not enjoying) everything that has happened during the London Olympics with us.
CLICK HERE to check out all of our coverage and to re-live (think of it as a form of tape delay) your favorite moments.
NBC has returned from your local news and its new sitcom with.. The Who. It's midnight on the East Coast and well past the bedtime of all the band members in the UK.
|@ Blueskyfox : Sorry @NBC, not playing your switch-and-bait game trying to get me to watch your monkey show. #SwitchingChannels|
|@ Dowminator : Really! I want to see The Who more than I want to watch NBC's newest comedy...|
|@ GlennaRegan : Seriously, NBC? Animal Practice preview? You can't interrupt the Closing Ceremony with a promo for your dumb new show...|
|@ davewordnerd : How desperate is NBC? Gotta interrupt tape-delayed Olympic closing ceremony to show a stupid sitcom?|
|@ ashleyesq : Leave it to NBC to split the #closingceremonies...for those that care, apparently the end end will be on at 11:00|
|@ davidlasseter : Oh, so you have to sit through Animal Practice to get to The Who. NBC using the whole fist on us.|
With everyone knowing that The WHO already played in London hours ago but still waiting to see them during the Closing Ceremony broadcast, NBC decides to debut a new sitcom. So, you have to wait for this to see "Baba O'Riley" and "See Me, Feel Me" and "My Generation."
With Take That performing, the fireworks began.
The many petalled Olympic cauldron begins to come apart and after a puff of smoke, a red, lit Phoenix hovered above the flames.
Our opening ceremony proclaimed that these would be a Games for everyone. We can say that these were a Games by everyone
The spirit of these Games will inspire a generation. When our time came, Britain, we did it right
Lord Coe, the athlete turned politician delivers his second speech of, saying it was "A wonderful games in a wonderful city. We lit the flame and we lit up the world."
|@ NathanWurtzel : Chance of Pele lighting the Olympic torch in 2016? 100%?|
|@ dazgale : Alright, Rio. This is impressive and all. But do YOU have Fatboy Slim DJing inside a giant octopus? I don't think so. London - 1 Rio - 0|
|@ sportspickle : It's like this every day in Brazil.|
The Brazilian performance begins with a tap dancer dressed a street sweeper begin scolded by security type. But soon CARNIVAL has them both.
The stadium was lit up green and yellow as the Brazilian anthem plays. The hosts of the 2016 Olympics then had the chance to give the world of glimpse of what they'll have on offer in four years. Expect Samba.
NBC cameras show athletes talking amongst themselves as Olympic flag is lowered, folded and prepped for transfer to Brazil.
The national anthem of Greece is played to honor the birthplace of the Olympics as the Greek flag is raise, to flutter in the wind near (but not too near) the Olympic cauldron.
Jessie J struts out to meet May in the middle of the stadium, where she begins singing "We Will Rock You." The crowd ate it up.