By Margaret Waterman, Staff Writer
If you know me at all, you know I am crazy about the Winter Olympics. From ski jumping to curling to skeleton, there isn’t one event I don’t enjoy watching.
As an avid skier and general athletic enthusiast, I grew up on snow (I was a competitive alpine ski racer for 13 years). My parents have always joked that I can ski better than I can walk, which, according to the many scars on my knees, might be true.
So, as you can imagine, realizing that I was going to be in a foreign country for the entirety of the 2014 Sochi Olympics sort of stressed me out. How was I going to be able to ensure I could watch Ted Ligety fight to win his second Olympic giant slalom gold medal?
It turned out to be easier than I had imagined.
Luckily, the British Broadcasting Corporation, also known as BBC, allows no advertisements and thus has no incentive to embargo events until prime time.
Unlike NBC back in the U.S., BBC is paid for directly by citizens of the countries in which it is broadcast. Everyone who buys a television in the U.K. has to pay a “license fee,” which funds BBC and its many channels. For a color television, this fee is £145.50 per year, according to BBC’s website, which is equivalent to approximately $238.60.
So, this morning, even before I got out of bed, I was able to live-stream the men’s downhill medal heat right to my phone via BBC. And I haven’t had to miss many events. I got to catch Hannah Kearney, my favorite Olympian – who, before her US Ski Team days, skied for the Waterville Valley BBTS just like I did – capture the bronze medal in women’s freestyle skiing as it happened.
My friends and I also got to see the opening ceremony in real-time, unlike all our friends back in Boston and all over the U.S. (it was also interesting to see Americans tweet about the show later on, and to see them react to what we had seen hours before).
BBC also does a good job broadcasting all performances for each event. So, regardless of how well the U.S. does, we over in the U.K. can watch our hometown heroes compete, which has made watching the Olympics a much more patriotic, social event for us expatriates. We’ve spent the last few afternoons and nights crowded around the basement television, dinner plates in our laps.
Speaking of which, I’ve got to run and catch the re-airing of the downhill competition. There’s no way I’m going to miss an opportunity to watch Bode Miller’s (kind of disappointing) run again. Go team USA!
By Devon Delfino, Staff Writer
It’s official, anyone can have their own show. The new show on E!, “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?”, premiered this past Sunday, and for the life of me I can’t figure out why someone though this was a good idea.
True, Lochte has accomplished a ton when it comes to swimming. But the 28 year old’s 11 Olympic medals fade into the background as soon as he starts talking. Okay, so it’s not exactly as confusing a choice as “Keeping up with the Kardashians”, but, from what I’ve seen in the promotionals, it’s not that much better.
It’s not so much what he says (though he did once admit to wanting to be the next Kim Kardashian), but the way that he says it that makes Lochte one of the more unintentionally hilarious athletes I’ve seen.
So of course, they gave him a reality show.
The invasion of reality TV has brought with it a kind of voyeuristic obsession and a cult-like following. From the “Jersey Shore” to the “Real Housewives” series to the magic that is “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”, we have more reality shows than we can handle.
In a recent interview on Fox29, Lochte’s surfer-dude demeanor, his inability to answer simple questions and his continuous attempts to coin the phrase, “Jeah” (in the words of Regina George, “Stop trying to make ‘jeah’ happen, it’s not going to happen”) made the anchors burst out in hysterics. At this point, the athlete has become more of a joke than I think he realizes. The weird thing is that he is talented, educated and obviously determined.
But that’s clearly not what reality TV is about, and it never will be. It’s about pure entertainment, and the hilarity that ensues when Lochte speaks might be enough to keep viewers watching.
Watch the promotional video of Ryan Lochte’s new show below: