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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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Saturday at the Olympics: Swimming, volleyball, basketball, soccer

Michael Phelps begins his quest to become the first male swimmer to medal in individual events in three consecutive Summer Games in the qualifying heats of the 400-meter individual medley.

"I have a great opportunity to put a big cherry on top of my ice cream," Phelps told NBC’s Bob Costas.

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The hero of the Beijing Games — he won 8 gold medals in China in 2008 to add to the 6 gold and 2 bronze he took home from Athens in 2004 — will compete against reigning world champion Ryan Lochte, who beat Phelps in the U.S. Olympic trials. (10-10:45 a.m.; 12:30-1:30 p.m., NBC/Channel 5)

The U.S. women’s volleyball team opens play against South Korea. The Americans are favored to win the gold — which they’ve never done before (2 p.m., NBC/Channel 5).

The U.S. women’s basketball team — favored to win its fifth straight gold medal — opens play against Croatia (10:45 a.m., NBC/Channel 5).

The U.S. women’s soccer team takes on Colombia (10 a.m., NBC soccer channel).

NBC PRIMETIME (7-11 p.m., NBC/Channel 5) • First men’s and women’s swimming finals; men’s gymnastics qualifying; beach volleyball

MORE HIGHLIGHTS

Boxing • (6:30-9:30 a.m.; 1:30-4:30 p.m., CNBC) Middleweight and bantamweight eliminations.</p>

Archery • (9:15 a.m., NBCSN): The U.S. hasn’t medaled in this event since 2000.

Badminton • (9:30 a.m., MSNBC) and table tennis (noon, MSNBC) • No American has ever medaled in either event.</



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