Former Colorado preps to watch for this week in the Olympics

(Via alobos Life on Flickr)

(Via alobos Life on Flickr)

Although Opening Ceremonies takes place on Friday, the Rio 2016 games are officially underway Thursday with the start of soccer group play.

The U.S. women begin their journey toward the gold, and former Mountain Vista standout Mallory Pugh is looking to play a major role. The Americans play New Zealand at 4 p.m. MDT.

With the games officially underway, there are several events now through Sunday with Colorado athletes participating.

Women’s Soccer: Canada vs. Australia, Wed. 1 p.m.

Valor Christian alum Janine Beckie gets her Olympic career started with Team Canada’s first game in the afternoon. She played college soccer at Texas Tech.

Both of Beckie’s parents are from Saskatchewan, and her three older siblings were born in Canada. She has dual citizenship.

Women’s Soccer: USA vs. New Zealand, Wed. 4 p.m.

Mallory Pugh became the youngest player U.S. women’s history to play in an Olympic qualifier this year. In her 14 appearances with the national team, she has scored three goals and could break out over the next few weeks as the next star for the defending World Cup champions.

Cycling: Road men’s race, Sat. 6:30 a.m.

Boulder grad Taylor Phinney gets an early start to the 2016 games as he hits the road for Team USA in the men’s road race Saturday morning.

Phinney has several world championship gold medals to his name, but is looking for his first Olympic medal.

Women’s Basketball: Serbia vs. Spain, Sun. 11:15 a.m.

Danielle Page, a 2004 Lewis-Palmer graduate, takes the court for Serbia in their first game against Spain.

In her four years at Nebraska, she averaged seven points and five rebounds per game. She has spent most of her career playing international basketball and obtained her Serbian citizenship in 2015 in order to play for the national team.