Of course we all know about basketball, soccer, swimming and gymnastics. They’re the darlings of the Summer Olympic Games. The Dream Team(s), the Michael Phelps, the mini girls that defy gravity, they’re all over the news, all the time, starting about 6 weeks ago. Then there’s the 23 other disciplines that get pushed to the side. What about those sports? Unless you live in or near the city where the US “star” in that sport also lives? You’re usually SOL on ever hearing about it or knowing anything about it.
Below, I’ve listed all of the Olympic sports. Really, who knew there were 26? And I’ve also included a guide on how difficult it will be to find them on tv. Scale of 1-5, 1= all over the damn place, 5= not likely unless you are regularly up at 3 am.
Aquatics: This category includes all diving, swimming, synchronized swimming and water polo. TV Difficulty: 0 Thanks to Michael Phelps, water sports are everywhere.
Archery: In summers past I would have given this a TV Difficulty of 5, but seeing as Katniss kicked some ass in the theaters this year I’ll bump it down to a 3. Kind of a wait and see thing but I’m guessing that watching it on TV is about as exciting as watching paint dry.
Athletics: I actually had to look up what was in this category. For the other uninformed like me, it’s Track and Field. Duh. But really? Who refers to this as Athletics? As far as I’m concerned anything that includes running, except to get the telephone, or jumping away from that big, black spider on your couch is just craziness. ‘Athletics’ includes the easy to find events, like running (marathon is included here) and Long Jump, (TV Difficulty: 1,) to something called the Hammer Throw that I’ve never ever heard of. (TV Difficulty: 5)
Badminton: This is a filler sport for those other sports. Need a 2 minute fill before commercial? Badminton is your sport. TV Difficulty: 5
Basketball: I don’t even watch the NBA yet I won’t be able to get away from the coverage of these overpaid whiners. TV Difficulty: 1
Boxing: Men’s events: TV Difficulty: 4 Women’s events: TV Difficulty: 4 Women’s Boxing human interest stories TV Difficulty: 1
Canoeing: Dude, this is what you do on the lake once a year with your grandpa. TV Difficulty: 5
Cycling: Road or track, ok, but Mountain biking as an Olympic sport? And isn’t BMX in the XGames? So why the crossover? TV Difficulty for road cycling 2, TV Difficulty for anything else: 5
Equestrian: Another filler sport. TV Difficulty: 3
Fencing: Unless an American ends up with a surprise win you won’t see this and then they’ll scramble to put together a piece on it. TV Difficulty: 5
Field Hockey: Snooze-fest for most Americans. TV Difficulty: 6
Football: or Futbol: or Soccer: No matter how you slice it, soccer is a huge draw world wide, and gaining popularity in the States. Some small, underdog country will win a game and it will bust wide open. It’s not the World Cup though so you’ll still have to search a little for the games you want to see. TV Difficulty: 3
Gymnastics: I’m an Olympic gymnastics junkie. Good thing too because it’s ALL they show. TV Difficulty: 0
Handball: Who? TV Difficulty: 7
Judo: They’ll throw some in. Filler. TV Difficulty: 5
Modern Pentathalon: With so many events in one they will cut back and forth on this one. Read: You can’t watch it all at once. TV Difficulty: 4
Rowing: In the US this is mainly a New England sport but it’s pretty popular in the Olympics. I’ll give it a TV Difficulty: 3 You’ll see it but not as often as swimming or gymnastics.
Sailing: Do we really still have to count this as a sport? TV Difficulty: 5
Shooting: Dollars to donuts NBC doesn’t even mention this, even in passing. TV Difficulty: 10
Table Tennis: This is a recreation here in the US so many people don’t even realize you can actually compete to win actual medals. There is a girl from the LA area competing so the TV Difficulty in LA: 4. Elsewhere: TV Difficulty 6 Dude, we’ve already had the coverage of her and the games haven’t even started yet. Which, good for her, good luck!, but it’s still going to be difficult to find.
Taekwondo: Rising in popularity but still no dice. TV Difficulty: 5
Triathlon: Again, filler. TV Difficulty: 4
Volleyball: Thanks to Misty May and Kerri Beach Volleyball will be all.over. TV Difficulty: 1 Regular volleyball TV Difficulty: 4
Weightlifting: I didn’t look at the tv schedule but guaranteed to be your insomnia viewing and filler. TV Difficulty: 5
Wrestling: This one is a toss up. Sometimes it’s all over, sometimes you’d think it wasn’t even an event. This year? I’ll go with TV Difficulty: 4
What are you looking forward to this year? Will you even watch? Or are the Winter Olympic Games your thing?
Get ready to hear Headless Mom bitch all over about the crappy tv coverage. She does it every 2 years.