Thursday, August 14, 2008

Olympic Schedule...Are You Following It?

Originally published on My Life Is Like A Song on August 14, 2008

Is it just me or is the Olympic schedule a bit confusing to follow? I am (normally) an intelligent and resourceful woman, so I don't think it's just me.

There are some events that I am really hoping to catch, but I'm concerned that I will miss them. Perhaps watching in fast forward isn't helping (I'm only half-joking there). I am recording the CBC coverage from 6pm in the evening until noon the next day. That is 18 hours of coverage a day. So, I am finding myself fast forwarding through much of the coverage - in-studio talking, events I'm not interested in or heats for events I am interested in. I have to decide sometimes that life is too short for heats. Give me finals. Who needs to see Michael Phelps having a leisurely swim (especially when he has 8 races with 3 heats/finals each).

The other issue is actually a great thing, that I would have loved at past Olympics but this time, is not helping me. I believe that the majority ofl events are being covered by CBC and its affiliates. You want to see a whole basketball/baseball/soccer game? Then TSN has you covered (they are showing the longer lasting events). You like horse jumping/dressage or sailing? Then change the channel to "Bold" (digital channel) and it's covered. You want to see badminton, table tennis or fencing? Then head online to and it's covered on one of its 9 online channels. If there's an event going on, I believe that it is being covered.

The only problem with it this time around is that the events are broadcast live. So, if you want to see the event, you have to be at your computer in the middle of the night. There are not many "on demand" features. They do have some videos of some races, but nothing really substantial. A few minutes here ... an interview there...

I would have loved to have seen the Federer/Blake tennis match (two of my current favourites). It was on CBC online last night and probably shown on TSN. To be honest, I didn't know they were playing each other. There's too much to follow, that tennis fell off my radar (I'm so used to those 2 week tournaments that I didn't realize how fast this one was happening).

So, I am giving myself a challenge and that is to figure out the schedule for the next few days because I'm going away, so if CBC is not going to give me what I don't want to miss, perhaps I should record TSN or Bold.

In the past, I have managed to get my hands on a schedule which showed when events were happening...for example, the 100m men's race is on this date at this time...and will be showed at this time (if it's not live).

I didn't find one of these yet...nothing comprehensive and easy.

TSN have an Olympic schedule which shows when events are being held (red) and when medals are being awarded (in yellow)

This helps a bit for those sports where I'm only interested in medal rounds. and have daily schedules but they don't necessarily have specific times for events. They tell you what they will be showing in 3 or 6 hour segments.

For example if I want to record on more than one station, it could be helpful to know which hour what event is being held at, so I don't have to record 18 hours on two channels. CBC have shown some of the times but it's not comprehensive and specific enough.

OK, hope you don't mind my live research blogging. I have found a schedule on the official Olympic website. You can click on any sport and get a detailed listing of events and times. So now I know WHEN events are being held. I'm not guaranteed that it's when my broadcasters will show them, but at least it gives me an idea.

For example, here's what I want to record:

Athletics 100m Final men: Saturday August 16th 22:30 Beijing time which means 10:30 am on Sunday EST (semi-finals are two hours earlier)
Athletics 100m Final women: same time as the men's but on Sunday in Beijing (Monday here)

Diving 3 m springboard: Tuesday August 19th 20:30 in Beijing (Wednesday at 8:30am). This is one of Canada's medal hopes - Alexandre Despatie...hopefully his broken foot is completely healed and he's had enough preparation time.

Rowing is another sport where we have medal hopes. The medal events are being held Monday morning (after 3am) in Eastern Canada.

Let's not forget our flag-bearer - Adam van Koeverden. The kayak medal races are being held next Friday and Saturday.

Simon Whitfield is racing in the triathlon on Monday 10pm EST. Wouldn't it be great if he could win a medal after his amazing gold in Sydney.

The men's tennis final is on Sunday at 16:00 (Beijing) so Monday 4:00am EST. This will be shown on TSN. The women are a day earlier - possibly later unless 4 matches are played at the same time.

The NBC schedule seems to be similar with different stations showing different sports at different times. Their schedule is interesting because it does show it graphically by channel and by sport.

Well, I'm exhausted. I won't be able to catch everything I want with the schedule I have this summer. So I'll stick to my favourites. Try to catch those and hope they're televised when I record. Hope the schedules I have posted help you find some of your favourite events.

I am posting this without proper editing because I need to go get packed (so I apologize if it's not too clear). I am leaving in the morning for 4 days. Maybe next week I'll have more time to explore more coverage.

Unless I get great inspiration before I go or blog from the BlackBerry, this is it until next week. Have a great weekend.

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