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London 2012: What to watch, Tuesday, July 31st

Don Landry
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Canada's Elisabeth Black and her teammates have made the final in team gymnastics. (Reuters)

Shazam!! We're all about Canadian gymnasts on "Day July 31st."

The women's team event goes off today, with Canada in the final eight. Like Lloyd Christmas said in the movie Dumb and Dumber, "So you're saying there's a chance."

Yes, there's a chance the Canadian women could grab a piece of the podium, albeit a slight chance. There are powerful, powerful contortionist empires competing, including the United States, China and Russia. Or, to reference another movie, "The Usual Suspects."

[Related: Justin Bieber congratulates Canadian gymnasts]

The Canadians need to battle not only the cream of the gymnastics world, but might have to be aware of the "I'm just glad to be here" monster, too. After all, it was a surprise that they made the final eight, with not a whole lot of experts picking them to do so. Heck, they might not have even expected it.

Watch for the Canadian girls to gather around just after each discipline and yell "Shazam" before they bounce over to the next one. Why? No idea. But it works for them, so they'll likely keep it up. Wonder if they know the word "shazam's" association with a terrible kids' TV show from the 70's?

At the outset of the men's team gymnastics event, TSN's Rod Black called it "the Stanley Cup for gymnasts." Since women don't get to compete for the Stanley Cup, we'll call this the "Women's World Cup for Gymnasts." Wait. Pretty sure there must already be one of those. If I come up with something else, I'll blurt it out in the middle of another sentence, later in this column.

[Photos: Canadian gymnasts]

Just make sure you tune in to CTV at 11:30 am ET, to see if our girls can pull it off. If they do, it will raise another question: How will they be accommodated on "the white couch," in the CTV studio? As we saw Sunday, when medallists Emilie Heymans and Jennifer Abel were interviewed, the white couch has room for only two. Team gymnastics is comprised of squads of five. I'll be rooting for Canada anyway but now I have a second reason to want them to hit the podium: The possibility of them forming a human pyramid so they can all fit on the white couch!

Speaking of Heymans and Abel, their bronze in a synchro diving event has me thinking of another Canadian duo, Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion. They have a good shot at gathering up another podium finish for this country, in the 10 metre synchro diving event. 10 am ET, CTV.

Is the Canadian women's soccer team back on the trolley? After coming oh so close to drawing with Japan in their opener, they bounced back by breezing by the South Africans. Now, a stern test, as they close out Group F preliminary play with a toughie against Sweden. Call them evenly matched. In 6 meetings since 2006, each has won three, with Sweden downing Canada, 2-1, at the 2008 Beijing Games. 9:30 am ET, Sportsnet.

[Photos: Canadian women's soccer]

I know what you're thinking: "Say, aren't the guys doing anything on Day July 31st?"

Why yes. Yes, they are.

British Columbia's Brent Hayden is in his third Olympic Games and has yet to earn a medal, although there've been high hopes. He and his teammates failed to qualify in the 4 x 100 metre relay earlier in the games, so his pool drought continues. "Pool drought" is a bit ironic, isn't it? The pressure mounts on Hayden and he'll make an attempt at qualifying in the 100 metre freestyle. He's supposed to be pretty good at that, with the exception of starting and turning. In a world where the difference between winning and losing can be tenths or even hundredths of a second, no wonder he's been working hard at rectifying those difficulties. Can he do it? Watch him in the 100 metre freestyle heats, at 5 am ET, on CTV. If he swims well there, you'll see him again in the semi's, at 2:30 pm ET, again on CTV.

[Photos: Canadian swimmer Brent Hayden]

Oh, I almost forgot, fellow babies: Shazam!

Curious abut what might be coming up on "Day August 1st"? Here's the broadcast consortium's entire schedule.

More London Olympics coverage at Yahoo! Canada Sports:
Photos: New faces on Canadian Olympic team
Video: Milos Raonic's summer of tennis travel
What's on the line for Canada's women's soccer team?

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