Monday, August 4, 2008

Beijing Olympics Start Friday: Let the Games Begin

Here's a quick preview of the upcoming Summer Olympics in communist China. The picture to the right is Beijing National Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest" for its unique skeletal structure. The main storyline surrounds American and University of Michigan swimmer Michael Phelps, who can become the most decorated olympian in history. Phelps looks to break the mark of 7 individual gold medals in a single Olympics set by Mark Spitz in the terrorist-marred 1972 Moscow games. Also in the pool, Dara Torres, a 41 year-old American swimmer, competes in the 50m Freestyle and anchors the 4x100m Freestyle Relay. Torres remarkably competed in the 1984 Los Angles Olympics, 24 years ago. In gymnastics, Shawn Johnson and Nastia Luikin lead a strong American women's team that will go head-to-head against the Chinese. Meanwhile, the men's 100m final is the most anticipated race in track & field. Tyson Gay (USA), Asafa Powell (Jamaica), and Usain Bolt (Jamaica) headline the race to become the man's fastest man. Also, Bernard Lagat, who recently recieved American citizenship is a gold medal favorite in both the 1500m and 5000m.

In men's basketball, the so-called "Redeem Team" looks to bounce back from a disappointing bronze medal finish at the Athens Olympics in 2004. The US finds itself in a very difficult group featuring Greece and Spain. The first game for the "Redeem Team" is Sunday morning at 10am against host-nation China and Yao Ming LIVE on NBC. In addition, these will be the last olympics for both baseball and softball. The IOC recently announced that both sports would be dropped from the 2012 Olympics in London. The US is heavily favored to win gold in softball.
The country of China is a story in its own right at the Games of the XXIX Summer Olympiad. The most populous nation has been criticized in the months leading up to the Games. Concerns have arisen over the heavy Beijing air pollution, press and internet restrictions, and human rights issues. Meanwhile, in athletic competition, China has a chance to surpass the United States in the medal count. The Chinese could sweep every gold medal in diving, table tennis, and shooting. In addition, China is very strong in gymnastics and badminton. While Yao Ming may be the most well-known Chinese athlete in America, track and field athlete Liu Xiang is even more prominent in China. Xiang won gold in the 110m hurdles in Athens and is the favorite to repeat in Beijing.

NBC has comprehensive coverage of the Beijing Olympics, with 3600 combined television and internet hours available. On, 2200 hours will be streamed LIVE. 25 Olympic sports will be featured in their entirety, including basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, tennis, and badminton. NBC will be on the air from 10am-1pm, 8pm-12am, and 12:35-2am daily, give-or-take a hour or so depending on the day. NBC worked with the IOC to move some of the key Olympic events to the morning, allowing them to air LIVE in primetime on NBC. Some of the LIVE primetime coverage includes all swimming finals, 4 key nights of gymnastics, men's and women's beach volleyball, and the men's and women's marathon. Meanwhile, the USA network will feature men's and women's basketball, along with other team sports, from 2am-12pm daily. MSNBC will have 12 hours of coverage per day, from 5am-5pm. CNBC will be the home to boxing in Beijing, with LIVE bouts at midnight and taped coverage from 5-8pm. Don't forget about OXYGEN, which will have 20 combined hours from 6-8pm focusing on gymnastics, tennis, and equestrian. It should be a fun next couple weeks and it all begins with the Opening Ceremonies Friday night at 7:30pm on NBC.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone

I'm new to this , but I guess I shall be spending quite a bit of time here as there seems to be so much going on! I'm hoping to make some new friends
Keep smiling, Dennis from [url=]Personal Loans[/url] website!