All I need to say up top is that I have put all my hopes and dreams in the men’s volleyball team and the women’s water polo team. May their runs never end, and may they play on into eternity, winning infinite golds across time. After the women’s volleyball team somehow got upset by Serbia, and Walsh-Jennings/Ross went down on the beach, they’re my only hopes for team glory. (No, basketball doesn’t count.)
A quick refresher about our moderus operandi here, and then it’s time for your Friday guide. Only three days left, so make it count!
1. Using both NBC’s various TV channels and their excellent live streaming site, I will show you how to watch the Olympics with an unmatched level of obsession and fanaticism. Note that every event listed on a TV network can also be streamed live, though the opposite is not true.
2. The focus is on catching every event where a medal is at stake, regardless of sport, and every team sport match featuring America. Follow me, and you’ll miss nothing.
3. Everything you see below is LIVE. We may be many things, but we are 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.
7:00 a.m. — Track — Men’s 50km Walk Finals — Computer
I know I would be terrible at this event, and may not even be able to walk 50km (that’s 31 friggin’ mile), but I still reserve the right to say it’s kind of a stupid event. It’s the equivalent of “floating” as a swimming event, and if I’ve made that joke before in these guides, too bad, because it’s late and almost the weekend.
9:25 a.m. — Badminton — Women’s Gold Medal Match — USA
Yup, I will watch this. Haven’t seen a lick of badminton yet, and now seems to be the time. Smart move by badminton to hold this one in the morning.
10:15 a.m. — Badminton — Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match — USA
Two matches? Now you’re getting greedy, badminton.
11:00 a.m. — Synchronized Swimming — Team Finals — NBC
It’s easy to be snarky about synchronized swimming, but to be completely honest, I have no idea what the “team” version looks like. Could be cool. Might not be. I could go to YouTube to see old clips. Probably won’t.
12:00 p.m. — Men’s Volleyball — U.S. vs. Italy (semifinals) — NBC
COME ON, AMERICA. This might be the hottest team in the Olympics right now. It all started with an upset of Brazil, and it would be pretty epic to see a rematch in the gold medal match on Sunday. (Brazil plays Russia in the other semi at 9:15 p.m.)
12:30 p.m. — Equestrian — Individual Jumping Finals — Computer
If “individual” doesn’t mean the horse alone, with no rider, I’ll be severely disappointed.
1:30 p.m. — Track — Women’s 20km Walk Finals — Computer
Is it sexist that there’s no women’s 50km walk event? I mean, if they can run 26.2 miles (marathon), they can definitely walk 31 miles, right?
2:00 p.m. — Cycling (BMX) — Women’s Individual Finals — NBC
2:10 p.m. — Cycling (BMX) — Men’s Individual Finals — NBC
Isn’t this like 12-year-old goth kids spinning around on those tiny bikes?
2:30 p.m. — Men’s Basketball — U.S. vs. Spain (semifinal) — NBCSN
I don’t want America to lose, but I do want a close game. In fact, I’d rather have a close game with the possibility of a loss than a blowout win. Does that make me unpatriotic? Or just someone who’s sick of Olympic basketball?
2:30 p.m. — Women’s Water Polo — U.S. vs. Italy (Gold medal match) — NBC
Here it is! Time for a repeat of London gold. These teams are both undefeated, though the U.S. has looked dominant, while Italy has merely looked really good.
3:00 p.m. — Boxing — Women’s Lightweight Finals — Computer
4:00 p.m. — Field Hockey — Great Britain vs. Netherlands (Gold medal match) — MSNBC
The Dutch are so good at field hockey, and someday I’d love to read a sociological explanation of why.
4:30 p.m. — Women’s Soccer — Sweden vs. Germany (Gold medal match) — NBCSN
Sweden is the Portugal of women’s soccer. Hope Solo was right—they play like cowards, and hope to win in penalty kicks, or to get lucky with a flukey goal. It sucks how effective this is in women’s and women’s soccer.
4:30 p.m — Wrestling — Men’s Freestyle 74kg Finals — Computer
5:00 p.m. — Modern Pentathlon — Women’s Finals — Computer
Ugh. Don’t watch this. It’s a sport that’s only still around because someone on the IOC executive committee is also the VP of the International Modern Pentathlon Union. It’s a sport for horrible uber-rich kids, and it’s absurd that it hasn’t been cut. It actually makes me angry. BOYCOTT! (As if this shitty sport even needed a boycott.)
5:30 p.m. — Wrestling — Men’s Freestyle 57kg Finals — CNBC
7:30 p.m. — Field — Women’s Pole Vault Finals — Computer
Always computer for the awesome jumping events. NBC will show you next to nothing.
7:30 p.m. — Men’s Handball — Poland vs. Denmark (Semifinal) — NBCSN
Just because handball rules.
8:05 p.m. — Field — Men’s Hammer Throw Finals — Computer
I have no idea why, but Poland is insanely good at hammer throw, men’s and women’s. Again, I’d love a “field hockey in the Netherlands”-style documentary on this.
8:40 p.m. — Track — Women’s 5,000m Finals — NBC
9:00/9:15 p.m. — Taekwondo — Women’s 67kg/Men’s 80kg Finals — Computer
9:15 p.m. — Track — Women’s 4×100m Relay Finals — NBC
One of the coolest events of the track program, and the U.S. got super lucky not to be booted in the prelims after a dropped baton. Can’t wait for this.
9:35 p.m. — Track — Mens’ 4×100m Relay Finals — NBC
If Bolt and Jamaica win this, it will mean Bolt has won the 100m, 200m, and 4×100m events at three straight Olympics. That’s insane. If he’s not already the greatest runner in Olympic history—and I think he is—this solidifies. This is appointment television.
After this, there’s just one weekend left. Sleep well, and get ready to finish strong. The weekend guide will be published early Saturday morning.