Fourth-Place Medal

100 days to go: Key dates before London Games

Maggie Hendricks
Fourth-Place Medal

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Carmelita Jeter and Alyson Felix (Getty)

With just 100 days left until the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, the run-up to the London Games will come fast and furious. Though there are 16 days of glory, there are several more dates you should know about that will give you sneak peeks at who you'll see compete in London. Check here for a complete schedule of what will be televised on NBC and NBC Sports Network.

Circle these dates on your calendar. All times are Eastern.

May 12: USA women's basketball will face China in its first exhibition at the KeyArena in Seattle. China won the FIBA Asia gold medal in 2011 and will be a good test for the U.S. team, which has won gold in the last four Olympics.

June 21 — July 1: USA Track and Field trials will pick the U.S. men's and women's teams in Eugene, Ore. The U.S. team trials in both swimming and track are unforgiving. You win, you're in. Slip up for a second, and the Olympic dream is over.

Key events include:
• June 23: Women's 100 meters, where reigning world champion Carmelita Jeter will start her march to gold.
• June 24: Men's 100 meters, starring Walter Dix, who won silver at the 2011 world championships. Alyson Felix will also compete in her first event as she tries to win the 400 meters.
• July 30: The final of Felix's other event, the 200 meters, will be contested on this day.

June 25 — July 2: In Omaha, Neb., the U.S. will choose its Olympic swim team. Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte will continue their friendly rivalry while teenager Missy Franklin will try to make the team just months after prom.

Key events include:
• June 26: Lochte is the the reigning 200m freestyle world champion, but Phelps is the reigning Olympic champ. This face-off will be fun.
• June 30: Franklin will try to make the team in 200m backstroke, the event in which she holds the world championship title.
• July 1: Tune in to see if 40-year-old Janet Evans, the golden girl of the 1988 and '92 Olympics, can come back and make the team in the 800m free.

[ Related: Martin Rogers: Is Olympic host city London ready for the world? ]

June 30: If the U.S. men's gymnastics team wants to surprise the world with another team medal like it did in 2008, the journey begins in earnest June 30 in San Jose. The Olympic team will be announced at the conclusion of finals.

July 1: The women's gymnastics team will be named after the conclusion of the gymnastics trials in San Jose. Nastia Liukin, the 2008 all-around champion, will be competing for one of the five spots, as will her teammates from Beijing, Shawn Johnson and Alicia Sacramone. They will be competing against young up-and-comers Jordyn Wieber, Gabrielle Douglas and Aly Raisman. The U.S. has enough depth to create two Olympic-caliber teams, so hard decisions will have to be made.

July 12: After training starts July 6, USA men's basketball takes on the Dominican Republic in Las Vegas in the team's first exhibition. If the NBA Finals go a full seven games, this exhibition is just 16 days after the Finals' last game.

July 16: Both the men's and women's basketball teams will face Brazil in exhibitions at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The women's game tips off at 5:30 p.m. ET; the men start at 8 p.m.

July 27: Olympic Games open in London!
Mark these dates on your calendar, and be sure to watch every bit of the Olympic Trials that you can. Even better, attend an event! Watching the Olympics carries so much more weight when you have seen the people who missed their dream by one second, one inch or one point.

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