Your Olympic TV Strategy



So the Olympics got off on the right foot with some totally insane opening ceremonies. I wish I had a legion of people in boxes at my command that I can make pretty patterns with. That was awesome.

Listen, I'm all for praising the world's elite athletes. Most of the competitors have more muscles in their wrists than I do in my whole body — and they got them without typing all day like I do. But I don’t feel like settling in to watch five hours of television a night. I'm lazy, but even I have limits.
 
I believe that you can get the whole Olympic experience with just an hour a night, the same amount of time you'd waste on Law & Order reruns. In fact, I took the liberty of scouting out an hour-a-night game plan. (This is the only athletic strategizing I'm going to do all year.) Follow it, and you'll see a little bit of all the events and know enough to sound all caught up the next time you're out with your bar trivia team. But you'll also be able to, you know, take a walk in the sunshine, talk to your loved ones, waste time on the Internet, etc.  
 
Here goes:
Tuesday, August 12
When to Watch: 10:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Look Out For: Crazy-good superman swimmer Michael Phelps does his bionic man thing in the pool, while the women's gymnastic team has its finals.
 
Wednesday, August 13
When to Watch: 11:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Look Out For: Same sports as yesterday, with genders reversed: The men have their individual all-around gymnastics competition while the women swim the 4 x 200m free relay.
 
Thursday, August 14
When to Watch: 10:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Look Out For: Michael Phelps again, this time swimming the 200m IM. Some other people who aren't Michael Phelps try for the gold in the 200m breaststroke and 100m free. Plus, you'll catch the beginning of the women's all-around gymnastics competition.
 
Friday, August 15
When to Watch: 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Look Out For: By now, you're probably sick of swimming, so skip the late-night swimming finals for some refreshingly landlocked track and field: the men's shot put final, the 100m, and more.
 
Saturday, August 16
When to Watch: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Look Out For: You'll see some waterpolo and beach volleyball, but the real fun is in the trampoline. Whee!
 
Sunday, August 17
When to Watch: 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Look Out For: A little of everything. Some individual gymnastics, some medal track and field events, and some diving. Look at how well-rounded you are.
 
Monday, August 18
When to Watch: 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Look Out For: Jumping! Track and field action features men's 400m hurdles, long jump, and women's pole vaulting. (Gymnastics also, but we're getting bored with the pommel horse by now.)
 
Tuesday, August 19
When to Watch: 10:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Look Out For: Who ever thought they'd give out medals for BMX biking? It's like, totally extreme.
 
Wednesday, August 20
When to Watch: 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Look Out For: Track and field finals. We're panting just thinking about them.
 
Thursday, August 21
When to Watch: 11:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Look Out For: Diving, volleyball, and — yes — more track and field.
 
Friday, August 22
When to Watch: Any hour between 8:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m.
Look Out For: This weekend, it doesn't matter when you tune in. It's all track and field events. But look out for the decathlon. I can't even do one thing right, let alone ten!
 
Saturday, August 23
When to Watch: Any hour between 8:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m.
Look Out For: Relays and long jumps and pole vaults — oh my! The track and field events just never end.
 
Sunday, August 24
When to Watch: 10:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Look Out For: Closing ceremonies. Bid the Olympics XXIX goodbye, and go out to the movies or something.
 

 

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Marisa LaScala

Marisa LaScala
Elmsford, NY


Associate Editor Marisa LaScala joined Westchester magazine in 2003, and ever since she's blown every paycheck at the Greenburgh Multiplex. She also staunchly defends Richard Kelly, doesn't mind spoiling the endings of trashy movies you're curious about but don't want to pay to see, wishes the Hold Steady would come back and rock out Westchester, misses Arrested Development more than anyone can imagine, and still watches cartoons and Saturday Night Live. You can find more of her cultural criticism at www.popmatters.com, where she is a staff writer.

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