Olympics Viewing Guide

The fact that the Summer Olympics only come around every four years makes them even more special. If they were held on an annual basis, it was take some of the luster away. I have always loved the Olympics and have some very fond memories dating all the way back to the 1984 games. That year Carl Lewis dominated the track and Greg Louganis owned the diving competitions. Louisville’s very own Mary T Meagher took home two golds in the pool. Of course the most famous star of the ’84 games was little Mary Lou Retton.
I remember little pieces of every Summer Olympics over the last 28 years and I’m looking forward to seeing what special moments come from this year’s Games!

I will watch as much of the Olympics as possible. I even recently added NBC Sports Network to my Dish lineup so that I could watch more events live. Of course, NBC will have a prime-time recap every night that I will also watch. Hopefully Jessica will get into the games a little bit so that she’s not annoyed at me every night for the next two weeks!
Here are the events that I consider “must-see”:
Friday, July 25th – Opening Ceremony
NBC – 7:30pm to 12:00am EDT (no live broadcast)
I’ve heard rumors that they are going to create artificial clouds and make it rain during the Opening Ceremony. I’m not really sure if that’s possible, but if it is, and they pull it off…I’m sure some farmers in the US would like to have some details on how to make that happen!
Wednesday, August 8th – Men’s Basketball
Team USA will play five games before this day, but this is when the medal round starts. Quarterfinals are on the 8th, semifinals on the 10th and the gold medal game is on Sunday the 12th at 10:00am EDT – the final day of the games. Team USA should win the gold, but don’t be too shocked if they don’t. Several other teams have multiple NBA players on their rosters…and this isn’t the ’92 Dream Team!
Wednesday, August 8th – Women’s Beach Volleyball Gold Medal Game
NBC Sports Network – 4:00pm EDT
No explanation needed here.
Saturday, July 28th – Road Cycling
NBC – 5:00am EDT
The road race is 250K (155 miles) for men and 140K (87 miles) for women. There is also a 44K (27.3 miles) Men’s Time Trail and 29K (18 miles) Women’s Time Trial. The TT races are on August 1st.
Thursday, August 2nd thru 7th – Track Cycling
NBC – 12:30pm EDT (Men’s Sprint Finals)
There are a total of 10 cycling events on the indoor track. Some individual, some team competitions. These are done on fixed gear bikes and being fast and aerodynamic is the key. Very exciting and fast sport!
Saturday, July 28th thru Friday, August 4th – Swimming
NBC Sports Network – various times
There are way too many swimming events to list them all. Just know that you will get to see some swimming action almost every day during the first week of the games. NBC loves their swimming, so you will no doubt see lots of coverage in prime time. Look for the Phelps vs. Lochte battles to be highlighted. Don’t be shocked if none of the world records are broken. Remember at the 2008 games when everyone was wearing the full-body suits and records were falling in almost every race? Well, the suits have been banned now, so if you see a WR this year – be very excited!
Saturday, August 4th – Women’s Triathlon
NBC Sports Network – 4:00am EDT
I’ll be up to watch this one live. New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt is probably the favorite to win gold, but USA’s Sarah Groff has been racing really well lately and has a great chance to bring home a medal. Gwen Jorgensen has also turned in some impressive races this year and could be in contention as well. USA won Bronze in the 2004 games and I like our chances this time around.
Tuesday, August 7th – Men’s Triathlon
NBC Sports Network – 6:30am EDT
Team USA Men’s team has some good stories, but neither Hunter Kemper nor Manny Huerta have a very good shot at a medal. After watching several ITU races this year, I don’t see how anyone can beat the hometown brothers, Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee. Baring and injury or crash, these two will be battling it out for gold and silver. 
Sunday, August 5th – Men’s 100M Finals
NBC Sports Network – 4:50pm EDT
This is probably the Track and Field event that gets the most publicity. This year’s race is being touted as the best ever! Everyone remembers Usain Bolt’s dominance from the 2008 games, but he’s going to have some stiff competition this time around. Fellow Jamaican Yahan Blake, who beat Bolt at the Jamaican Olympic Trials will be there, as will American’s Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay. Let’s just hope no one goofs up and that all four of these guys make the finals. If they do, it might very well be the best 100M race the world has ever seen.
Thursday, August 9th – Men’s 200M Finals
NBC Sports Network – 3:55pm EDT
Lots of the same guys as the 100M race. Bolt and Blake will be the favorites with the USA’s best hopes for a medal being Wallace Spearmon and Maurice Mitchell.
Sunday, August 12th – Men’s Marathon
NBC – 6:00am EDT
Two reasons to watch this race – American’s Meb Keflezighi and Ryan Hall.
Thursday, August 9th – Men’s 800M
NBC Sports Network – 3:00pm EDT
American Nick Symmonds knows how to run around a track twice. He has dominated this event in America since 2008. Kenyan David Rudisha holds the world record at this distance. As fast as Symmonds is, Rudisha is on another level.
Saturday, August 11th – Men’s 4×100 Relay
NBC Sports Network – 2:00pm EDT
The USA will go up against Jamaica in this very fast relay race. Team USA didn’t even medal in this event in 2008 – it’s time for redeption!
Thursday, August 8th – Men’s Decathlon (day two)
NBC Sports Network – All Day (final event, the 1500m, is at 4:20pm EDT)
This event crowns “the world’s greatest athlete”. Over two days, these guys will compete in 10 events. All involve running, jumping or throwing. The USA has had some awesome decathletes over the years (Bruce Jenner, Dan O’Brien, Bryan Clay), but two guys on this year’s team are even better – Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee. Eaton broke the world record in this even just a few weeks ago at the US Olympic Trials…and there is a real possibility that Eaton and Hardee will win gold and silver in London.
Sunday, August 4th – Women’s 100M Finals
NBC Sports Network – 4:55pm EDT
Allyson Felix got a lot of press after the drama surrounding her photo finish at the Trials, but as in the Men’s 100M race, Jamacia will send the favorite. Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce is the fastest in the world at this distance (10.70s). Team USA’s best hope is Carmelita Jeter, who ran a 10.92 at the Trials.
Wednesday, August 8th – Women’s 200M Finals
NBC Sports Network – 4:00pm EDT
American Sanya Richards-Ross has the Olympic experience but Allyson Felix won this event at the Trials. With Carmelita Jeter in the mix as well, the US could take 2 out of the 3 medals in this one.
Tuesday, August 7th – Women’s 100M Hurdles
NBC Sports Network – 4:00pm EDT
Lolo Jones gets all the press, but as much as I like her, I will be surprised if she makes the finals. Dawn Harper is America’s best hope to medal, but they will all be chasing Austrailia’s Sally Pearson.
Sunday, August 5th – Women’s Marathon
NBC – 6:00am EDT
Shalane Flanagan is a 10K runner. She is a three time USA Champion at the distance. After winning bronze at the 2008 games in the 10K, she has decided to change her focus to the marathon. In only her second marathon, she posted a 2:25:38 at the Trials. To no one’s surprise, a Kenyan, Mary Jepkosgei Keitany will be the favorite.
Believe it or not, that’s not even all the events that I want to watch…I just got tied of typing. Enjoy the games and Go USA!!

Full Olympic Schedule: http://www.london2012.com/schedule-and-results/#

Team USA site: http://www.teamusa.org/

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