Most people watch the condensed prime time NBC version but that will never include live coverage since the games are in Beijing, China. Live coverage usually starts at 1 am and runs all night long. Opening ceremonies will be broadcast on NBC tonight and live coverage starts Sat at 1 am with a wide variety of sports including boxing, soccer, fencing, shooting, badminton, and equestrian. The coverage will run all night long and includes a rebroadcast of the prime time show. I know this is odd, but I just love watching an unfamiliar sport contested live during the Olympics. You might find me up at 3 am watching the men's whitewater kayaking final, or the judo competition... heck, I'll even watch fencing, table tennis, handball or trampoline. I love it all.
T V schedule is on the NBC Olympics website.
Some of the highlights of USA athletes to look for:
- USA swimmer Michael Phelps, arguably the best swimmer in history, could win 8 gold medals. His 8 event, 17 race schedule is one of the most ambitious athletic feats in Olympic history. The Speedo company is offering a $1,000,000 prize to Phelps if he can match Mark Spitz feat of winning 7 gold medals.
- The USA Basketball team was defeated in 2004 in Athens, but this year with Kobe Bryant and Lebron James, they've made it clear nothing less than gold will be acceptable.
- One of my favorite sports, track and field, will feature an incredible field of 100 meter sprinters. We could see a world record. USA's Tyson Gay just ran a 9.68 in the trials - which would have shattered the world record but was wind-aided. Nevertheless, the fastest 100m ever. He will face 2 Jamaicans, world record holder Hussein Bolt (9.72) and former world record holder, Asafa Powell. Both these guys have run in the 9.7's. The winner of this race usually can claim the title of "world's fastest man."
- Being a "masters level" athlete (old guy that still competes), I'm particularly partial to the older athletes who have maintained superlative physical condition and are competing in the Olympics while in their 40s. USA swimmer Dana Torres (41) and USA polevaulter Jeff Hartwig (40) will represent the USA. Hartwig competed for the USA team in 1996. His personal best is 19'9 1/4".