07/23/2012 12:42 pm ET

'Today' Kicks Off 2012 Olympics Coverage: Matt Lauer Reports Live From London (VIDEO)

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Matt Lauer appeared live from London on Monday, kicking off NBC's coverage of the 2012 Olympic games.

"Today" has officially camped itself in London's Olympic Park and will serve as a key part in the network's coverage of the games. "Today" executive producer Jim Bell is also serving as the executive producer of NBC's coverage of the London Olympics.

As Lauer prepared to go live on air, he said he saw some "stragglers" hanging out in Olympic Park, an area that is not yet open to the public. When he asked the group what they were doing in London, they told him they were members of the U.S. diving team. Lauer then conducted a live impromptu interview, telling them that he thought it was "so weird that [they] were just hanging out here."

The network's Olympics coverage gives the morning program a chance to fend off ABC rival "Good Morning America." The ABC morning show knocked "Today" off its perch as the undisputed number one morning television program, ending "Today" 16-year winning streak in total viewers. "GMA" also beat "Today" in total viewers after NBC replaced its former co-host Ann Curry with Savannah Guthrie, and came dangerously close to surpassing the NBC morning show in the coveted 25-54 age demographic.

The rest of the "Today" show gang will arrive in London on Wednesday. The Olympics opening ceremony will be broadcast on NBC on Friday, July 27 from 7:30 p.m. through 12:00 a.m. (EST).



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