THE 2018 WINTER OLYMPICS: HOW TO WATCH & WHAT TO WATCH FOR.
The 2018 winter Olympics are in PyeongChang this year - which can make watching your favorite sports difficult given the time difference. Here's a quick run-down of how to get the best coverage of the events and how to get the most out of the games.
South Korea is 17 hours ahead of California time (PT) so if you want to catch your favorite sports, plan accordingly! NBC has the exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympics so we will be seeing a lot of that rainbow peacock logo during the month of February.
NBC will broadcast the Olympics live, which means the Opening Ceremony will take place at 3am PT on Friday, February 9th. Don't worry - there will be another broadcast of it later that day at 5pm PT during prime time that will have commentary. NBC has stated they will stream all events live - which means that there will be multiple events happening during certain broadcast times. [For example] The men's snowboarding slopestyle qualifiers --not to miss!-- are at the same time as the prime time showing of the Opening Ceremony. So, if you don't want to get up at 3am PT on Friday, that means you will have to multi-task. Luckily, there's an app for that!
The best way to watch is by downloading the NBC Sports app on your phone or going to NBColympics.com. The website can get a little confusing, as there is a lot going on. I find the app is the easiest way to see what events are going on when, it's a simplified version. Make sure to give access to your location - that will enable the app to tell you the times in your local time zone. The app also allows you to set up notifications based on your event preference or by athlete (for USA only). This makes it a whole lot easier for those that get their time zones mixed up or if you just want to watch one specific athlete.
Here's the downside: streaming live from the website or the app requires viewers to authenticate they have a cable or satellite TV subscription. If your parents or other family members have a TV subscription, ask them to allow you access for the duration of the games. Most providers allow multiple devices to stream content simultaneously (Xfinity allows 3 outside the home) and the account holder can control which devices have access at any given time - so they can pull the plug on you as soon as the games are done.
For the cord-cutters out there, you can also authenticate your subscriptions to live TV services such as Hulu With Live TV, YouTube TV, Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Playstation Vue, CenturyLink Stream and FuboTV. Most of these also allow multiple devices to stream at the same time. Have roommates? Sign-up for one of these services (most give you a 7-day free trial) and cancel once the games are done.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR - MAKING THE OLYMPICS PERSONAL
If you know me, or follow me at all on Instagram, you know that I have a huge passion for the mountains - specifically in the winter time. I started snowboarding at a young age and have always had a fascination with watching those who were able to master the sport and push it to new levels. Have you ever noticed that the most popular Olympic sports are the ones that have the highest risk of injury?? I don't know many people who would travel to watch a curling or cross-country competition (unless you know someone competing) but thousands of people travel to watch figure skating, hockey, and ski/snowboarding on a regular basis. The world has just recently started recognizing snowboarding for the skillful sport that it is. An exciting addition to the 2018 winter Olympics will be the Men's and Women's Big Air competition, giving the sport even more airtime (literally, ha!) for viewers around the world.
Even though I am no where near as talented as Jamie Anderson or Kelly Clark, I still consider myself to be a snowboarder and enjoy being involved in such a rad community. It is going to be very interesting to see how the rest of the world reacts to something that I have such a personal interest in. The Olympics are also the perfect platform to see new talent - ever heard of Minsik Lee? He's the only male snowboarder representing Republic of Korea in the men's slopestyle and big air event. He started snowboarding 7 years ago after watching the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. A perfect example of how much influence a sport being in the Olympics has on the future generation of athletes.
If the sport doesn't interest you so much, maybe one of the
athletes will. The men and women competing all have a life story, some rougher than others, but a story none the less.
Pro skier Gus Kenworthy is competing in this year's Olympics not only for team USA, but also for the LGBTQ community. He came out just two years after winning a silver medal in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. His story is truly inspiring (read it here), not only for the LGBTQ community but for the extreme sports industry as well. As if being a pro freestyle skier wasn't rad enough, Gus just crushed the 'coolness' game by proving it's bad ass to be different.
This is the first year an openly gay athlete has represented the United States in the winter Olympics.
Whether you are watching for your country, athlete, or a specific winter sport, find a way to make the Olympics personal. It makes it fun to watch, and helps the world feel a little bit smaller when you watch all these cool communities come together to compete. It may suck when your favorite doesn't win, but it gives you something to watch and root for!
Coverage of the 2018 Olympics is provided by NBC. Post content written by Jules Fortalge; edited by Karolin Palmer.