The Olympics are here!
Well, okay, they’re not quite the Olympics — these are the Winter Games, the not-so-beloved younger brother of the Summer Olympics. Still, I don’t see why everyone can’t get behind an event where countries compete in athletic competitions to see who’s the greatest. America is going to show you who’s boss, Norway!
This year’s Olympics are in Sochi, Russia, and they cost $51 billion — more than every other Winter Olympics combined. They’re actually more expensive than the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which had three times as many events.
The 2014 Olympics have also been marred by Russian politics. In addition to the cost overruns, Russia’s law restricting gay rights activities has dominated pre-Olympics conversation. Russia’s law is so bad even American corporations have even publicly denounced it. The Google doodle is against it!
Since people started to arrive at Russia, though, the conversation has also included the unfinished conditions at Sochi accommodations. Sample Gawker headline: "Russia Says Its Sochi Bathroom Spy Cameras Show No Plumbing Problems."
The Olympics are supposed to be apolitical — in 1968, John Carlos and Tommy Smith were expelled for their black power salute — but this year’s games have so much controversy surrounding them they already appear on their way to becoming a site of political protest. Even a Russian athlete had a Pussy Riot-style mask on his snowboard. And NBC reported it extensively!
Oh, yes, initial events in the Olympics actually started yesterday! Here’s how the U.S. fared:
Oof. It was an auspicious start. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch! You know how the Olympics usually work: Some preliminary stuff on NBC affiliate channels during the day, with tape-delayed major events on in prime time. That’s one way to watch the Olympics. But thanks to NBC and Comcast — yes, really — you can actually watch the games in a non-tape delayed fashion via streaming.
One easy way to do it is through NBCOlympics.com, which lists the events and will link you to live streams. But if you want to plan ahead — and have Comcast cable, which I know is most of you — check out Comcast’s NBC Olympics site. There, you can watch recordings and live streams of events. One thousand hours of streams, per NBC!
The only thing you’ll need is your Comcast username and password. There’s a password recovery tool, or you might have to call. And, if you’re not a Comcast customer, all xfinitywifi hotspots are free for the duration of the Olympics. That means you can stream the Olympics from a coffee shop! Events will also be streamed on the NBC Sports Live Extra app, so you can watch on your phone! If you don’t have Comcast, most other TV providers are offering streams of NBC’s Olympic coverage.
The downside? The streams use the world feed from Olympic Broadcasting Services, which is ad-free. NBC tended to insert ads at inopportune times during London streaming.
If you don’t have TV service, well, a cable company owns the rights to the Olympics, so you’re out of luck.
Falling American athletes, political protests and massive streaming options. There’s so much to love about the Olympics! I recommend snowboard cross.
Follow @dhm on Twitter.