The Olympics start tonight, so that means all of your regularly scheduled broadcasting is absolutely ruined. The winter games are being held in South Korea this year with participation from 90 countries and over 2,900 athletes whose disciplines range from curling to skiing to hockey. The games will last the typical two weeks and will be full of highs and lows as always, but here are the things we will be paying attention to…
Most Likely To Surprise
If there was one shock heard around the world, it would most likely be the fact that South Korea and North Korea will be walking together in the Opening Ceremony. Considering that the North hasn’t competed in an Olympic sporting event or any international sporting event in only God knows how long, this is a very big deal. Also tying in the fact that the North and South have been divided since the 1950 war, never signed a peace treaty, and the 1988 games in South Korea were boycotted by the North adds another layer of interesting spice to the whole ordeal without even bringing up the fact of the recent missile tests, political disruption, family assassinations, and whatever else is going on in the crazed country. I wonder what the over-under is on a North Korean defecting during the games is?
Americans To Watch
Enough about other countries, what about our own? Thankfully, this Olympics should deliver some pretty high-end talent as a lot of veterans are making a return…
- Lindsey Vonn – Unable to compete in Sochi because of injuries, look out for her making waves on the snow and trying to add more medals to her 2010 medal collection.
- Mikaela Shiffrin – A slalom specialist that just so happens to be the best in the world at slalom skiing. I don’t think you can beat best in the world.
- The US Snowboarding Team packs a hefty punch this year.
- Kelly Clark – Medaled in the halfpipe in three of the last four Olympics
- Jamie Anderson – Gold medalist of slopestyle in the last Olympics, she will be out to defend that title.
- Julia Marino – Among the best in the world at slopestyle and big air, she will be out to try and make a mark and add some shiny new jewelry to her trophy room.
- Shaun White – Mr. Fantastic is back again and is riding a crazy high right into the Winter Games after scoring a perfect 100 on his last ride of his last event in the halfpipe. However, in Sochi, he fell flat and missed the medal stand altogether which means he’s going to be coming with a vengeance as well.
- Shani Davis – At 35, this speedskater who has won four medals will probably be attending her last Olympics. With fire fueling her since coming home empty-handed in Sochi, she wants to leave these games on a high note.
Who Won’t You See?
- Anyone from the NHL. The NHL demanded that the International Olympic Committee insure their players during the Olympics like it did in Sochi. However, something must have happened in the IOC office because this time around they forbade any national team from selecting NHL players. It’s like Miracle On Ice only no super doped up Russians.
- Speaking of Russians! Russia won’t be there. North Korea will be there, but Russia won’t be. Let that sink in for a second. Russia won’t be there for more serious reasons though that involve an official ban due to not following anti-doping laws. However, some Russians will be able to compete if they are able to prove they are in compliance with the anti-doping laws. If approved, they will compete under a neutral flag and will be referred to as Olympic Athletes from Russia. If one of these athletes were to win a gold medal, they will not hear their national anthem play but instead, hear the official Olympic anthem. Suckers.
Where To Watch The Action?
NBC paid $4.38 billion for broadcasting rights from 2014 to 2020, so the game should be available to virtually anyone who has a tv. Outside of the general NBC channel, you can also find events on NBC Sports Network, CNBC, USA, and the Olympic Channel (why does anyone have that channel?). If you want to watch specific events thankfully all events will be available via live streaming through the NBC website and the NBC Sports app.
Written by Brian Flick