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Mid-Week Poll: Will You Watch the Winter Olympics?

The television event of the season starts this Friday when NBC will air the opening ceremonies for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Are you an Olympics fanatic? Which events will you watch?

I’ve never much gotten into the Olympics, personally, but I understand how they can become an obsession for some viewers. Mrs. Z is partial to the figure skating competitions, and tends to get engrossed in hours and hours of watching those during most Winter Olympic years. I won’t lie; I’ve sometimes wound up sucked into watching a fair bit as well. There’s something hypnotic about the sport, which is probably why it’s so popular.

What are your favorite Winter Olympic events? Vote for as many options as you’d like.

Which Winter Olympic Events Will You Watch?

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20 comments

  1. William Henley

    There are a few sports I will make sure to catch, like figure skating, curling and ice hockey. But I will watch as much as I can. I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed, but as it is only every couple of years, I tend to watch.

    During the summer, though, there are a couple of sports I’m obsessed with, and will torrent or YouTube certain events (such as gymnastics) that I will watch again and again. I will also grab stuff from all over the world – I like to know how other countries are doing, and not the highlights we get from NBC. I’ve seen them focus on a US athlete for 5 minutes before while 2 or three other countries are competing. I really hate that.

    What I would love to get is the raw video feeds. Many of the events, it seems as if the country provides video feeds to all the different networks, and they pick their own camera shots and add their own commentary for their particular country. That way you don’t have 200 cameras at each venue. If I could get that raw video feed, I would be happy. I bet the IOC won’t ever allow that, though.

    BTW, IOC, I only torrent after I watch the event on NBC.

    • My DVR was on the fritz for one of the recent Olympics and my friend let me use his on demand account online to watch some events. They were all untreated raw footage with no commentary and no editing and it was AWFUL! Just painfully, un-watchably boring. Gymnastics was the worst as without the commentary it’s actually really difficult to tell if what you’re seeing is good or bad unless you’re a gymnast yourself. It made me realize that much of the reason I enjoy watching the Olympics is because of the stories they wedge in. I do agree that it’d be nice if they focused more on competitors from other countries, I imagine many of their stories would be even more compelling.

      • William Henley

        I do have a few gymnastics raw footage. I also have a few in Dutch and Russian, which I don’t understand. Gymnastics is like the one sport I get – probably because I watch it so much.

        The commentary is not really my issue. But if we are going to focus for five mintues of such and such person warming up, talking to her coach, stretching, removing her jacket and pants, pulling her leotard out of her butt crack, when there are four events in women’s gymnastics going on simultaniously, you really are missing a lot. I think the best feeds I have came from, I think its called Sports1 or something. They are Dutch, I think. Best Olympic Gymnastics coverage there is. CBN isn’t bad, unless it is a year that Canada actually has a chance – a couple of years ago, they spent like half an hour doing stories on their athletes while China, Russia and the US competed, but it was like the only time I have ever seen the Canadians in that sport. I actually didn’t even know they had a team.

        Point is, most Olympic coverage I have seen sucks on events such as gymnastics and diving when it comes to showing other athletes. I think Curling was shown for the first time on OTA broadcasts in the US during the last Olympics (or maybe it was the one before), and most Americans were like “What the heck is this?” as we had never seen it. And for the summer Olympics, many sports get zero to little coverage, such as Rythmic Gymnastics.

        Luckily, with Gymnastics, at least, USA Gymnastics posts a LOT of their stuff in HD on Youtube.

  2. There are three channels here that shows the olympics from about 7AM to 9PM every day. I’ve bought extra harddrives so I can record all of it, to make sure I won’t miss a second. I’ve also made sure that I’ll be able to stream the tv-channels from home to my work. So, I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be watching quite a bit of the olympics 🙂

    The only thing that’s making me a bit sceptical is that this is the first time ever that the national public broadcaster does not have the broadcasting rights for an olympic games. That also means that this’ll be the first olympic games with commercial breaks.

  3. I’m inexplicably a huge fan of the Olympics. I have no interest in sports of any kind (I still don’t know who competed in the Superbowl, much less who won) but I find myself glued to the TV for the duration for both Summer/Winter. I even leave it on at work during the day.

    • I don’t however get into the popular sport-sport Olympic events; hockey, basketball, etc. For whatever reason those put me to sleep, but then I’ll watch cross country skiing no problem. I really don’t understand it.

  4. Chris

    I’m Canadian so it’s kind of in my DNA to watch the Hockey, I’m hoping we’re able to successfully defend our gold medal from 2010. Beyond that, not really interested in much else.

  5. Kyle

    As the Olympics are in Sochi i probably wont be watching much of any events but will be following ice hockey the whole way through. I voted for snowboarding as well because i have enjoyed watching in previous Olympics.

  6. While on the topic of sports events. I find it fascinating that broadcasters are actually using foley artist for the live broadcasts to add sound effects and “sweeten” the sound.

    Here’s a short video of a soundman discussing his tricks for ski jumping:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDHS-TklEvM

    Unfortunately, it’s in Norwegian, but it should be interesting anyway. He’s demonstrating some of the sounds he’s using: cheering crowds, cowbells, barking dog(!), helicopter, various swooshing sounds for the jumper, and even a couple of sounds specifically made for the slow motion replays.

      • EM

        English is a source of numerous loanwords in other contemporary languages across the globe. Given its success as a lingua franca, the loan phenomenon is a logical development, particularly in cases where the borrowed word denotes a concept devised or popularized in the English-speaking world and fills a gap in the lexicon of the borrowing language. On the other hand, it can be strange or even downright annoying, even to those of us who appreciate the English language. One pitfall to watch for is a change in meaning in the borrowed language. For example, in French, cheese does not mean “cheese”; rather, it’s short for cheeseburger.

        • Funny you should mention that. Even today, while typing out an interview, I struggled to conjugate the verb ‘masteren’ (a Dutch loanverb taken from the English ‘to master’). English is, indeed, the lingua franca. It’s everywhere! In our ads, in our movies, in our texts … much to the chagrin of certain nagging people who strive to keep the Dutch language ‘clean’ and free of influences.

          • William Henley

            English is such a cornocopia anyways of languages. We have gone way past our Germanic origins and taken in words from numerous languages. Then through the influence of television, movies and the Internet we influence the languages that originally influenced us.

  7. Elizabeth

    In year’s past, I’d watch as much of the Olympics as I could. But as I’ve gotten older and seen the games awarded to countries with massive human rights violations like China and now Russia, it’s left a sour taste in my mouth. And since I’m a member of the LGBT community, Russia’s anti-gay policies hit even closer to home. The IOC leader’s recent comments telling people to ignore Russia’s policy of hate and prejudice was the last straw. The Olympics are supposed to be about the world coming together, about acceptance and tolerance but to me they’ve revealed themselves to about one thing only: money.

    • Timcharger

      So are you NOT going to watch the Winter Olympics?

      You must want to see what kind of statement the athletes may make during the parade of nations or on the medal podiums? No?

  8. Timcharger

    Will I watch the Winter Olymipics?

    Josh, where’s the choice that Wifey controls the remote for the next 2+ weeks?

    —–

    There is a fun game to play while watching:
    Watch the commercials and tally up what consumer products we (mainly moms) must buy to enable their children to have an opportunity once every 4 years to go-for-the-gold.

    My kids can’t win gold because… I use Verizon instead of AT&T, or drink Pepsi instead of Coke, or didn’t wash their clothes with Tide.

    Just give my sports beer commercials, I actually do drink beer while watching sports.

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