So, I guess the way to break down any political resistance I may have had to watching the Olympics is employing Zhang Yimou. Dirty pool, Chinese Olympic Committee–dirty pool.
Anyway. The NBC family of networks is offering a pretty impressive smorgasbord of events from which to choose (and if you can get the CBC coverage, either by virtue of being Canadian or by being close enough to the border to steal it, you’re even better off). How can you divide up your Olympic experience in the most efficient manner? We’d like to suggest a couple of dishes each day from the Olympic buffet, one a comforting standard and the other a touch more exotic. Note that some events are being broadcast live in North America and some are not, so be careful of spoilers whle checking official sites if you care about that kind of thing.
Saturdays’s Blue Plate Special: Swimming in primetime. You may have heard of this guy named Michael Phelps who is part dolphin or something. He’s going for 8 gold medals, although he’s shaved off his Mark Spitzian moustache to do it (resistance, you know). His first hurdle is tonight, in the 400 IM, an event in which he’s already lowered his own Olympic record today. His grill-wearing buddy Ryan Lochte might have something to say about the quest.
Saturday’s Chef’s Special: Men’s cycling road race, afternoon on NBC. All those guys you’ve heard of in the Tour de France (because you do watch the Tour de France, right?) will be biking past some of the most stunning sites in Beijing. They’re going to be cycling along the Great Wall of China, for heaven’s sakes. An amazing Olympic competition alongside some of the best opportunities to enjoy one of the benefits of the Olympic Games, the way they open up countries and cultures to the rest of the world. Also a first opportunity to see how Beijing’s overwhelming heat and humidity (coughpollutioncough) affect athletes in outdoor sports.