The opening ceremony at the Olympics is a time to reflect upon the significance of the world’s premier athletic event and to catch a glimpse of the athletes that will be participating.
Unfortunately for the US, one of the country’s biggest stars will not be joining the rest of his teammates when they march into the stadium waving the red, white and blue.
American swimmer Michael Phelps, a 14-time gold medalist who is trying to become the most decorated Olympian of all time, will refrain from marching with the US athletes because he is competing in an event the next morning, USA Today reports.
Phelps did say, however, that he plans to walk during the closing ceremony. He cited his early heat as the reason for his absence.
"That’s one of the downfalls swimmers have of competing early in the Olympics," Phelps said, "but I kind of like going first."
While Phelps catches some Z’s for his big race, the opening ceremony, estimated to cost nearly $42 million to organize, will take place on Friday evening in a worldwide broadcast. The spectacle will be directed by famed film director and producer Danny Boyle.