Sunday, August 5, 2012

Olympic Coverage

Since the Olympics began just over a week ago, our telly (Aussie slang for the television) has been on nearly every moment that we have been home. TV watching had been a very rare occasion for us before last week, as I think that being without the telly for our first 6 months here, we got used to not having one. Anyway, I thought I'd write a short post about what it's like to watch the Olympics from a country that is not your "home" country.

The first thing I noticed about Olympic coverage in Oz is the lack of the famous song that always goes with the Games when they are televised by NBC. I naively assumed that song was an "Olympic" song played around the world! Secondly, we see more coverage of a few events that we don't normally see in the US - rowing, field hockey (both men's and women's but mostly men's), track cycling, and equestrian are the ones that first come to my mind. Similar to the USA broadcast, the Aussies try to make sure to cover all of their own athletes, but they seem to be a bit more likely to show athletes from other countries. They also do stories or try to get interviews with the "big time" competitors from other countries like Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt. It has actually been refreshing to hear unbiased announcers talk about the American athletes participating in the Games.
If attending food & wine pairings was an Olympic event, I could compete!
The time change has been a bit challenging, but that is obviously something that exists in the United States as well. London is 9 hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time, so that does provide some unique opportunities to see the morning events during our evening and the evening events during our morning. Did you follow that?! For example, as I write this it is just after 8pm on Sunday night AEST, and we are watching the women's marathon that started at 11am London time Sunday morning. Tomorrow morning (our Monday), it will be Sunday night in London, so we will be able to watch the men run 100 meters at 6:50am before getting ready to head to work! Australia is very good about airing all of the events live on free television, so in theory we could stay up all night and watch the events. There is actually a big screen set up in Federation Square, in the city centre of Melbourne, airing live events from 6pm to 6am. We have also used the NBC website to see a few events, and I was actually fortunate enough to have off work two days this week during the gymnastics competition, so I got to watch the Fab Five of 2012 live! Lastly, it seems like the Aussie coverage has far fewer breaks for commercials compared to what we are used to during primetime coverage in the States. That being said, I do have a favorite commercial of the Olympic Games, which you can watch here. For some reason it makes me smile every time I see it! There is an advertisement for asthma that refers people to a website called "get your puff back". I know I have mentioned at least once how the Aussies like to use the word "puffed" when they are out of breath or tired.
Fed Square. Not a good picture, but this place will surely be packed with people when a prominent Aussie athlete is competing and also for the closing ceremonies.
While substituting last week, I had multiple students ask me which country I was cheering for in the Olympics. My usual response was "what kind of question is that?!". Of course I want the Americans to win, particularly those who I have connections with from my work as an athletic trainer. In these Olympics I have a close watch on former athletes Shalane Flanagan (marathon), Alice Schmidt (800 meters), Heather O'Reilly (women's soccer), Megan Hodge (volleyball), and Vikas Gowda (discus for India). That being said, as we watch the backstories on some of the Australian athletes competing in the games, it's hard not to cheer for them as well. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment