FOR THE WEEK OF JULY 14, 2008
On your mark, get set . . . for the Summer Olympics
Look for coverage of area athletes or coaches heading to Beijing. Start a wall display or scrapbook to keep track of any from your city or state.
Find an Olympics feature or column that's not directly about athletics, such as reports on souvenirs, business, volunteers, visitors, Beijing's environment or political issues.
Although there are lots of ways to learn who wins medals and to see dramatic competitions, local papers and their web sites will provide distinctive Olympics coverage. Talk about what sets the paper apart from network TV or other national media.
Elite amateur athletes from around the globe begin moving into the Olympic Village in Beijing, China's capital, near the end of this month so they can do on-site training. And in just over three weeks, teams from about 200 countries will parade behind their flags at colorful opening ceremonies for the Summer Olumpics - held every four years in a different city.
Thanks to the Internet and other new technology, there are more ways than ever to catch the action and keep track of who wins bronze, gold and silver medals during the Aug. 8-24 event. Because Beijing is 13 hours ahead of Eastern Time in America, online video sometimes will be available here a half-day before NBC-TV broadcasts the competition during evening. prime time For that reason, the network also will stream 2,200 hours of live coverage online with interactive features and user control.
Separately, serious fans can get text alerts and video feeds to their mobile phones. And those who miss anything also can find the action on YouTube by the next day, naturally. As with other forms of news and entertainment, the old approach of simply watching the Olympics on TV at night is no longer the only game in play.
Popular events: Swimming, basketball, baseball, beach volleyball, water polo, gymnastics, track and field, mountain biking and - a newcomer - bicycle motocross (BMX).
By the numbers: 17,600 journalists and broadcast technicians will cover 10,700 athletes in 28 sports at 37 competitions sites.
Olympic official says: "Many people outside China don't know about China or its development, and they have many misconceptions. So the Games provide a good opportunity to communicate." -- Gerhard Heiberg of the International Olympic Committee
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