Going Live

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Image Source: electricpigIt was nice to arrive in London today for several reasons. First, the place is alive and energized. Whatever naysayers remain about hosting the Olympics, they are clearly being marginalized by the excitement the Games are producing. Secondly, I now can see every event live on television. While NBC in the States has been doing a good job by using its many channels to provide live coverage of some sports, it still frustrates me to no end that the showcase sports (gymnastics and swimming, for instance) are televised in delayed fashion. It takes much of the excitement away, unless you choose to sequester yourself during the day and pretend it hasn’t already happened – a strategy that has never worked for me and never will (thus, I resorted to live streaming video before I left for London).

On the subject of television coverage, I am enjoying the very different tone that the BBC brings to broadcasting the Games. It’s about the competition, and not the packaging of a broadcast. American broadcasts feel compelled to tie everything up in a nice bow and present it to us. The BBC coverage is more raw – at times almost a “Wayne’s World” tone, as if two people were giving their punditry from a pub or a living room (though perhaps not Wayne’s basement). Two Americans, John McEnroe and Michael Johnson, are working for the BBC and are excellent in the BBC style. McEnroe is a terrific analyst, not only of tennis (where he is the best in the business) but also of other sports. And Michael Johnson is an insightful and outspoken guy who is not afraid to share his opinions – though not in a bombastic way. McEnroe and Johnson are also both globalists, not cheerleaders for U.S athletes. They would be underutilized in NBC’s style of coverage; they are well utilized by the BBC.

Image Source: youtubeWhat a great ride by Bradley Wiggins today in the individual time trial. It was a majestic course – from Hampton Court to Buckingham Palace, and the crowds were out to help Wiggins become the most decorated British Olympic athlete ever. A Tour de France victory and an Olympic gold medal in a span of 10 days – nice work.

Heathrow airport and all other means of transportation are running smoothly. I can’t wait to see the venues that are seemingly growing in lore with each day of competition.

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