Get ready for two-plus weeks of non-stop coverage of the Summer Olympics from London.
Men and women from the U.S., China, Russia, the host U.K. and other nations are going to put on a dazzling display of athletic prowess in the swimming pool, at the track-and-field stadiums, and at other locations in the London area.
Canadians will have high hopes after Canada's performance at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, when Canada won the most gold medals with 14, and won a total of 26 medals. They'll be hoping that results on the slopes and the ice will translate to a great showing in water, on courts and on tracks.
It's unlikely to happen.
The 18 total medals that Canadian athletes brought home from the Beijing Olympics is the more realistic target for the London games. Canadians have won three gold medals at each of the last four Summer Olympics; that would likely be a realistic target for Canadian athletes once again.
If Canada can win five gold medals, or match the 22 medals that it won in Atlanta in 1996, then Canadians should view the results from London as an overwhelming success. A breakthrough into the top 10 for gold medals, or overall medal count, might be asking a little bit much.
The Summer Olympics are a much bigger event than their winter counterpart. There are bigger events, more athletes and more competitions. Most countries throw far more money at the Summer Games. In many nations, the Winter Games are an afterthought.
Not only do Canadian athletes suffer from a funding gap compared with other nations for the Summer Olympics, but they have fewer opportunities to train due to climate. They have access to indoor venues, but they still only get a few months a year to practice outdoors. Top athletes from the U.S. and other nations have the opportunity to train year-round.
It's also the fourth straight time that the Summer Olympics will be held overseas. There won't be sporting events in prime-time. If an event happens at 8 p.m. in London, it will air at 1 p.m. in Saskatchewan. Canadians have several options: wait for the highlights in the evening, play hooky from work, or watch it via live streaming on TSN.
Enjoy the Olympics. Cheer for the Canadian athletes. Hope for the best. Celebrate the moments when a Canadian comes through, as expected, and wins a medal, and be proud when a Canadian stuns everybody with a surprise top-three result.
But don't expect a showing remotely close to what happened in Vancouver more than two years ago. The Vancouver Winter Olympics has left many legacies for Canada, but they won't automatically translate to great results in London.