Your Sunday Olympic Viewing Guide (For Obsessives and Fanatics)

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Your Sunday Olympic Viewing Guide (For Obsessives and Fanatics)

This is being written in conditions of extreme jet lag and fatigue, following a grueling 18-hour transatlantic travel debacle, so the preamble is going to be very short today. For full background on these guides, check out yesterday’s post. But here’s how it works, in short:

1. Using both NBC’s various TV channels and their excellent live streaming service, I will show you how to watch the Olympics with an unmatched level of obsession and completeness.

2. My focus is on catching every event where a medal is at stake, regardless of sport and nationality, and every team sport match featuring America.

3. We will watch this live, because we may be many things, but we’re not tape-delay punks.

For a handy one-stop schedule of each event for the full two weeks, I made this spreadsheet to aid in your quest. Refer to it as needed.

Let’s get to day two!


All times eastern

8:00 a.m. — Women’s Archery – Team Round of 16 — Computer

I’m ashamed to admit I missed all the archery on Saturday due to my travel, and hence totally whiffed on an epic U.S. silver medal run. I am going to make up for that big time on Sunday by watching every conceivable match. It’s a little depressing that the U.S. couldn’t field a team, but honestly, I love archery so much that I don’t even care. I’m going to pick a Cinderella right now and make them honorary Team America…and that team is…Chinese Taipei! Let’s go, country-I-mostly-know-in-sports-from-the-Little-League-World-Series! Beat the South Koreans!!

10:00 a.m. – Women’s Beach Volleyball — Fendrick/Sweat vs. Poland — NBC

This is the U.S. second team, and I’m not sure exactly what to expect, but I’m thrilled they’re on in the morning, giving me a chance to see what they’re all about. I’m still holding out hope for a repeat of the 2012 glory, when the gold medal match featured both U.S. teams.

10:00 a.m. — Shooting — Women’s 10m Air Pistol Finals — Computer

It’s cool and all that an American won in yesterday’s rifle event, but I’m still pretty upset that the Chinese shooter nicknamed “Shooting Beauty” only took bronze.

10:00 a.m. — Tennis — Early Rounds — Bravo

This is a nice option to flip back to in dull moments. Nothing monumental at stake, but it’s solid mid-morning filler.

11:00 a.m. — Women’s Basketball — U.S. vs. Senegal — NBCSN

I feel the same way about women’s basketball as I do about the men’s—no thanks. If the U.S. is too good at a certain event, it stops being fun.

11:15 a.m. – Cycling – Women’s Road Race — NBC

In the men’s race on Saturday, there were crashes and also a controlled demolition near the end to destroy a suspicious package. So even if you don’t like cycling (and I do), I guess you should watch this one. Great Britain’s Lizzie Armistead is a big favorite, but you could have said the same thing about her countryman and Tour de France winner Chris Froome on Saturday, and that didn’t quite pan out. Olympic cycling is weird, man.

12:00 p.m — Swimming — Various Heats — NBC

Prep for the night-time finals. Ledecky and Phelps sightings.

1:00 p.m. — Women’s Archery — Team Quarterfinals — Computer

All. In.

1:30 p.m. — Women’s Rugby Sevens — U.S. vs. Australia — USA

Caught a little bit of Rugby Sevens for the first time today, and it was pretty awesome. That’s the good news. For the bad news, check out these two scores from yesterday’s matches:

Fiji 12, USA 7
Australia 36, Fiji 0

This one probably won’t go super well.

2:30 p.m. — Shooting – Women’s Trap Finals — Computer

Like the old video game duck hunt, but without the laughing dog. Why won’t the IOC respond to my letters about instituting a laughing dog element?!

2:30 p.m. — Weightlifting — Women’s 53kg Finals — Computer

I watched the 48kg division yesterday, and it was kinda fun, but then it got a little long. And that’s honestly the most I can say about weightlifting right now.

2:43 p.m. – Women’s Archery — Team Semifinals — Computer

What did I just tell you? All. In.

3:00 p.m. — Diving — Women’s 3m Synchronized Springboard — Computer

I could not name a single athlete in this event, but I will bet you your house, your life savings, and everything you love that China will win. And also that the American team will feature two divers who are about a foot apart in height, even though this is synchronized f’ing diving.

3:00 p.m. — Rugby Sevens — Women’s Quarterfinals — CNBC (or Computer)

Hey, the U.S. could sneak in despite a third-place group finish! And who knows, maybe we’ll face some team like New Zealand and get to see the Haka before all of our players get slaughtered.

3:30 p.m. — Men’s Beach Volleyball — Dalhausser/Lucena vs. Tunisia — NBC

When I have more energy, I will explain my love for beach volleyball in great depth. For now, I will attempt to just say a few words in an attempt to sound poetic. Sand…sun…sweat…heart.

4:00 p.m. — Men’s Volleyball — U.S. vs. Canada — NBC

I like and admire the nation of Canada, but for some reason I’m super anti-Canadian when it comes to the Olympics. It might be bad hockey memories, or something, but I’d rather lose to a reconstituted Soviet Union team made up of Josef Stalin’s grandchildren than go down to Canada.

4:00 and 4:20 p.m. — Judo — Women’s 52kg, Men’s 66kg Finals — Computer

Stop being a thing, Judo. Go away.

4:07 p.m. — Women’s Archery — Team Finals — Computer


(Do not watch judo over archery, or I hate you.)

4:15 p.m. — Fencing — Men’s Foil Bronze/Gold — MSNBC

Totally forgot how frigggggggin’ awesome fencing is to watch until I accidentally caught finals of women’s epee on replay. The best part is how the entire venue is dark except for lit-up catwalk (not official terminology) where they fight. Still wish they’d wear pirate costumes, though.

4:30 p.m. — Gymnastics – Women’s Team Qualifiers — Computer

No suspense here, the U.S. and Russia and all the major teams will qualify. But it’s a great primer for Tuesday night, when shit gets really real in the finals and the ghost of Bela Karolyi haunts our dreams. (Just looked up his Wikipedia, and it turns out he’s not dead, but my point stands.)

6:00 p.m. — Weightlifting — Men’s 56kg Finals — Computer

One kilogram = two hundred pounds.

9:00 p.m. — Men’s Soccer — Brazil vs. Iraq — Computer

A good thing to have on in the background while you watch swimming on TV, because even though it’s just group stages, Brazil playing soccer at home is always a beautiful thing.

9:03 p.m. — Swimming — Women’s 100m Fly Finals — NBC

I love swimming. I love it so much, even though I would struggle to finish a 10-meter freestyle event, and I think water is the devil.

9:53 p.m. — Swimming — Men’s 100m Breast Stroke Finals – NBC

I just love this fact about gold medal favorite Adam Peaty of the U.K., from Sports Illustrated: “As a boy, Peaty skipped showers out of fear of water.” I can totally relate to this, because as a child I used to panic and rip books apart, page by page, before I became a writer.

10:01 p.m. — Swimming — Women’s 400m Freestyle Finals — NBC

LEDECKY TIME! As I write this, I’m not sure how she fared in her first medal attempt in the 4×100, but regardless, this is where she starts to dominate. Cannot wait.

10:54 p.m. — Swimming — Men’s 4×100 Freestyle Finals — NBC

Arguably the best event of the entire Olympics. And no, I’m not joking. If you missed yesterday’s post, here’s my favorite Olympic memory ever, and here’s one of my least favorites. Both from the 4×100. This time around, France and Australia seem to have a jump on the U.S., but as Rowdy Gaines would shout at us if he were here, MIRACLES ARE POSSIBLE!

Now get some rest! I know I will, because jet lag is bullshit, and Monday is another full day.

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