For years, they have been training, dreaming and waiting, and now comes their appointment with destiny. This week, they and their competitors from around the world will begin descending on Sydney for the 27th Olympic Games. I am referring, of course, to the team Time has assembled to cover this quadrennial celebration of excellence. We're sending nearly two dozen editors, correspondents, photographers and logistics coordinators to the Olympic Village, and every one is a champion.For some of them, it's a short commute. Time's Australian edition has its headquarters in Sydney, and editor Steve Waterson and his colleagues have been working for years to get enough credentials, press-center space and hotel rooms for the entire operation. He, Time Europe editor Chris Redman and Time U.S. senior editor Bill Saporito will supervise our coverage of the big contests and the standout athletes, several of whom we profile in this week's issue. We have a few standouts of our own. Vern Bowrey, publisher of the Australian edition, was coxswain of that country's coxed fours at the 1972 Munich Games (narrowly missing a medal). And some members of our team have been to more Games than most athletes. Senior editor Bob Sullivan will be covering his sixth Olympics, having spent time at our sister publication Sports Illustrated. Washington correspondent Barry Hillenbrand has worked four Games. And few journalistsŚor athletesŚin Sydney can match the versatility of Susanna Schrobsdorff, who has not only handled our logistics for numerous Olympics but also covers the gymnastic events. London staff writer Kate Noble will be following the European competitors and Beijing correspondent Hannah Beech the Asian entries. Senior editor Belinda Luscombe, herself a Sydneysider, will be looking at the offbeat side of the Games. You can see their efforts in this and the next few issues of Time, as well as on our special Olympics website at www.timeasia.com/olympics2000. In print and online we hope to capture all the drama, excitement and sheer fun of the Sydney extravaganza, as well as a fair measure of the local color. Says Sullivan: I expect much good cheer, terrific Balmain Bugs and weather so nice I can leave my Akubra and Dryzabone at the hotel. For a translation, see our Olympics coverage.