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EYES ON LONDON: Flying squirrels and horse guards
EYES ON LONDON: Flying squirrels, horse guards and Call Me Maybe
By The Associated Press

LONDON (AP)  Around the 2012 Olympics and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of the games to you:



Watch your head for Flying Squirrels at the London Olympics. There's more than one of 'em.

U.S. Greco-Roman wrestler Ellis Coleman earned that nickname a few years ago because of his risky, signature move of the same name. Pint-sized gymnast Gabby Douglas earned the exact same moniker for the way she seems to fearlessly fly through the air on the uneven bars.

The two Flying Squirrels had a run-in Thursday  sort of.

"Oh my God, I think he wanted a picture with us today. He's pretty big, right?," said Douglas, asked whether she had met Coleman. "Yeah, I think so."

Turns out the photo never happened, though. Squirrels are hard to catch.

"We had to catch a bus," Douglas said, "so we didn't have time."

Dave Skretta  Twitter



The beach volleyball venue is taking up some prime London real estate: Horse Guards Parade, which is basically in the prime minister's front yard and not far from Buckingham Palace and Parliament, too.

So, what are the Horse Guards doing while their usual home is covered with sand? They're running through their usual routine across the street.

In a lesser-known changing of the guard, a group of blue-coated riders, some of them with shiny armor vests, sit facing another set wearing red. After measuring each other up for a few minutes, one officer barks out commands, they sheath their swords and ride off single file.

A friendly bobby explained that the different colors represent different regiments.

Jimmy Golen  Twitter



Geno Auriemma says one of his fondest Olympic memories remains having the chance to march in the opening ceremony of the Sydney Games.

Far be it from him to deny his U.S. women's basketball team the opportunity.

Some athletes and teams who compete on the first full day of the Olympics traditionally tend to skip the opening ceremony the night before, simply because it's a late night and hours and hours of being on your feet during the entry parade.

But Auriemma's team will march, and he's perfectly fine with that choice.

"They all march. They will," Auriemma said. "No question, it's difficult. But you know, marching in the ceremony is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, maybe. And it's something everyone should get to experience."

 Tim Reynolds  Twitter



Missy Franklin's dancing skills are on full display in the U.S. swimming team's video set to the ubiquitous song "Call Me Maybe."

The 17-year-old teenager boogies down the aisle of a plane and whips her long hair around while lip-syncing to the Carly Rae Jepsen tune that has inspired countless viral videos.

Michael Phelps, wearing sunglasses, bobs his head from his airplane seat at the beginning.

Brendan Hansen grooves underwater, including some robot moves, and real-life couple Rebecca Soni and Ricky Berens move in for a kiss when a singing Dana Vollmer pops up between them. Ryan Lochte, with a towel wrapped around his upper body, smooches into the camera, a move sure to delight his female fans.

Matt Grevers shakes his booty, a dancing Anthony Ervin takes his hat off and jauntily tosses it at the camera, and Eric Shanteau does the sprinkler while going down a water slide at the team's pre-Olympic training camp in France. The video, which includes other U.S. swimmers, was posted Thursday on USA Swimming's web site.

Even Jon Urbanchek, a special coaching assistant, gets in on the act. He turns 76 this summer.

Beth Harris  Twitter


EDITOR'S NOTE  "Eyes on London" shows you the Olympics through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across the 2012 Olympic city and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item, and get even more AP updates from the Games here:

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