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GlobalPost takes you from London to far-flung training grounds, where some of the most inspiring contenders began their journey. We've got underdogs, heavyweights — and a pub's eye view of the events. Check here for the latest Olympics news, analysis and results.

Best Olympic photos: opening weekend at 2012 London Games

Best images from first two days of official competition at the 2012 London Olympics.

Best Olympic photos: opening weekend at 2012 London Games

London and sites beyond teemed with excitement and action this weekend as the 2012 London Olympics began in earnest.

From swimming and beach volleyball to basketball, gymnastics and weightlifting, medals are starting to glitter around the necks of the world's athletes.

The first gold medal went to Chinese shooter Yi Siling in the women's 10-meter air rifle event.

Swimmer Ye Shiwen, 16, earned another gold for China and the first long-course women's world record since the ban on performance-enhancing swim suits. 

Among other highlights were swimmer Ryan Lochte's dominating performance in the men's 400-meter individual medley, relegating the great Michael Phelps to fourth. They later teamed up to win silver in the 4x100 freestyle relay.

Americans also led the charge in gymnastics, with the men leading qualification ahead of favorites Japan and China.

Great Britain was hoping to cheer loudly for Mark Cavendish and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins in the men's road race, but it was Alexandr Vinokourov of Kazakhstan who finished first.

New Zealand rowers Hamish Bond and Eric Murray set a world record, but it didn't even get them a medal. They won their heat in 6 minutes 08.50 seconds to advance to the semifinals.