The opening ceremony for the Games of the 31th Olympiad in Rio De Janeiro will take place on Friday, however, it's today (Wednesday) that the Olympics officially start play.

Sports with longer schedules have traditionally started before the opening ceremonies so they do not have to finish their tournament/medal events after the closing ceremonies.

This year, four events will start play before the torch is lit.

On Wednesday, the women's soccer tournament gets started up with group play games for its 12 teams. The United States national team plays at 6:00 P.M. against New Zealand in Group G.

On Thursday, the men's soccer tournament gets underway with 16 teams getting their first group play games in. The United States did not qualify their men's team in this competition.

And on Friday, men's and women's individual archery gets started with the ranking round (cuts to the knockout bracket) and will conclude in time for the opening ceremonies at Maracana Stadium. Four Americans are competing in archery this year, three for men's team and men's individuals and one archer in women's individual.

The United States is sending the largest delegation of athletes to these Olympic Games with 554 athletes. Hosts Brazil are 2nd at 465 athletes and China and Australia are the only other nations to send over 400 athletes.