Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Watching the Olympics

I'm very much enjoying the Olympics at the moment.  NBC are covering it here and not only is it on NBC and CNBC (their news channel) they have also set up two Beijing Olympics channels so there is room for about 72 hours of coverage every day.  Disappointingly, the coverage is not as expansive as it first seems.  The two dedicated channels only run between 2.30am and 2.30pm, possibly because they are sharing bandwidth with evening channels.  The other two channels tend to show coverage repeated from these two.  Admittedly, that's still around 24 hours of footage a day.

I have to say I am disappointed about all the teams that had to leave early.  I haven't found the news story that explains it, but I watched the opening ceremony and there were hundreds of teams, yet most of them seem to have disappeared.  I assume it is a visa issue.  I know there are some Australians there, because I've seen them in the pool, swimming against the Americans.  And I know the Chinese are there (well, obviously!) because I've seen them playing basketball against the Americans.  There were a pair of Poles playing beach volleyball against the Americans, so Poland is represented.  Perhaps the other countries are in sports that haven't started yet.

That's the other curiousity.  Five days in, and the only sports so far have been swimming, basketball, beach volleyball and gymnastics.  I have to say I'm surprised the Chinese gymnasts weren't disqualified for using invisibility cloaks.  Seriously, they did!  An American would approach the four-inch beam, and the commentator would say, "Now Kandy Dinkins has to score 8.4 or better to beat Cheng Fei of China."  Kandy would then get 8.4 or so and then, there she would be again beside the assymetric bars and the commentator would say, "Following Cheng Fei's good performance, Kandy Dinkins needs to get 8.6 to pull ahead."  And the whole evening of gymnastics would continue in that vein.  I did see a Chinese gymnast once, but that was when he fell off the pommel horse.  Clearly holding onto a magic cloak while circling above a pommel horse is as difficult as it sounds.

I read an article about NBC's coverage before it all started.  They have this mad inventor who devises interesting new ways to place cameras in the action.  For example, there will be a bulls-eye cam in the centre of the archery target watching as the arrows approach.  And for the diving, they have a camera in a long plastic tube that goes into the water.  As the diver leaves the platform, the camera follows them down into and under the water.  Should be good to watch.

When are the archery and diving competitions starting?

No comments:

Post a Comment