Every four years, the world gears up to become rabid, two-week fans of sports we’d never otherwise watch those featured in the Summer Olympics, like swimming, gymnastics, even equestrian eventing. For the elite athletes who compete at the Olympic level, however, the games are anything but a quadrennial concern. They’re the reward for working the hardest, being the best, and increasingly, it seems, having the latest hi-tech gadgetry in your corner.
Many track fans watched online four years ago, as sprinter Usain Bolt set a world record at the Beijing Olympics. This year, NBC will stream video of all 302 events online. And Bolt, seen here showing his appreciation for video in 2010, will try to repeat his feat.
Credit Mark Dadswell / Getty Images
Live video of every event at this summer's Olympics will be streamed online — but NBC's free service will require a password from a cable or satellite provider. In this snapshot from an NBC video, a woman watches video on her laptop.
For decades, Olympics fans have loathed two words: "tape" and "delay." But this summer, things will be different: For the first time, NBC will stream live video of the London Games, online and via mobile.
If you think that decision is overdue, you're not alone. Sports Business Daily media reporter John Ourand says he is shocked it has taken this long for the network to put live video of all Olympic events online.
Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 8:21 pm
The United States has never won an Olympic medal in table tennis. China has long dominated the sport, winning almost every medal since 1992. That's not likely to change at this year's Summer Olympics in London, but a group of young American women may be on their way to competing at the sport's highest levels.
Ariel Hsing, 16, already has the attributes of a fine table tennis player — quick hands, perfect balance and strong lungs. While she plays, she'll often shout "Sa!" — a meaningless word — to help relieve stress, something she's been dealing with a lot lately.
Russian gymnast Victoria Komova competes in the balance beam final during the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo. Komova is one of Russia's top Olympic hopefuls.
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Russia's Aliya Mustafina competes on the vault during the 2010 Gymnastics World Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Russian gymnasts have struggled in recent years, and are battling to reclaim their former glory at the Olympics this summer.
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Victoria Komova competes in the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo.
Credit Lintao Zhang / Getty Images
Aliya Mustafina celebrates with her coach, Alexander Alexandrov, after winning the gold medal in the women's individual all-around at the 2010 World Championships in the Netherlands. She suffered injuries that prevented her from competing in 2011.
Back in the days of the Soviet Union, the women's gymnastics competition was highly predictable — the Soviet squad won the team gold medal at every Olympics it participated in.
Even when Nadia Comaneci was reeling off perfect 10s at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, she and her Romanian teammates had to settle for second in the team competition behind the legendary Olga Korbut and her Soviet comrades.
Butch Johnson competes in the 2010 U.S. National Target Championships in Hamilton, Ohio. Johnson is trying for his sixth Olympic Games this summer. When not competing, he manages an archery range in Connecticut. He keeps his Olympic medals under the kitchen sink.
Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 10:31 am
This summer, U.S. archer Khatuna Lorig hopes to return to the Olympic Games. But she's already helped put archery into The Hunger Games this spring — by training the film's star, Jennifer Lawrence, to shoot.
In the kill-or-be-killed competition in the film drawn from Suzanne Collins' book, Lawrence's character, Katniss Everdeen, relies on her ability with a bow. And Lorig worked with the actress to ensure she had proper form.
The elite athletes who travel to London for this summer's Olympic Games will include petite gymnasts, huge wrestlers — and elite horses, which compete in dressage and other events. Getting these strong and delicate animals to the Olympics is no job for an amateur. In fact, it's the job of Tim Dutta, who owns an international horse transport company.