What you probably didn’t miss from weekend one of the Olympics

What you probably didn’t miss from weekend one of the Olympics

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South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh celebrates after winning the men's 100-meter breaststroke swimming final on Sunday, July 29, 2012. (AP/Matt Slocum)

By the end of the first official day one of the Olympics, it appeared, at least to me, that there were just not enough events to appropriately entertain the masses. I didn’t exactly spend my day glued to the television and/or computer, but by the end of the night, I felt like I’d seen the men’s gymnasts compete so many times I was bored with their impressively large arm muscles (though I at first missed 39 year old Bulgarian competitor Jordan Jovtchev. Dear god!)

And poor Mary Carillo; it was up to her to take over for Bob Costas late in the evening, recapping what appeared to be some sort of America’s Funniest Home Videos, best-of-falls set of clips. I could be wrong though; the sound was off in the bar I was at (as apparently all bars in Chicago have turned into Olympics-watching destination locations) so they could have all just been coincedentally terrible performances that Carillo and her team of producers had gathered for some other noteworthy reason.

The biggest thing that dominated the weekend though, was not an unsurprising loss by Michael Phelps and win for new golden boy Ryan Lochte, or a tearful Jordyn Wieber not making it past the qualifying rounds, was the decision on NBC’s part to allow all events to stream live on their website, but to hold the big ones in some sort-of television purgatory until the evening primetime broadcast had finished. Well, at least that’s what I was hoping would happen; as of the time of writing, the Gold Medal broadcasts for events like Men’s Swimming 400 meter IM final from Saturday still do not appear to be online. Yet anything involving the less-popular women’s weightlifting is ready for my fascinated eyes. What am I missing, oh fellow Olympic devotees?

Swimming, at least for this first week, appears to dominate the coverage as per the usual. As a former competitor, I have absolutely no problem with this; it’s the one opportunity every four years that us water babies get the attention we deserve, as it’s not as if ESPN is streaming swimming whenever they get the chance. But it’s a little puzzling as to why this is the case, though we can probably all assume it’s because of the beautiful people and the equally visually appealing water aspect of the whole thing.

Going forward, I get the feeling gathering and watching coverage, for work or pleasure, is going to be a bit of a piecemeal affair for all fans. After all, this isn’t the time zone situation we had during the Beijing Olympics, where we could all just wait patiently to leave our place of business, make a TV dinner and enjoy everything like it was brand new information.

Sigh. Weren’t those the golden years though?