Olympics: Live Coverage

Fastest way to build a Twitter following? Compete in the Olympics

The Wall Street Journal posted an interesting piece today on the growth of the Twitter followings of various Olympic contenders. Not surprisingly, several of the American athletes saw massive expansions of the audiences hanging on their every hash tag.

Gabby Douglas experienced the biggest social media growth spurt; she now has more than 614,000 followers, an increase of 1,522% over where she stood on Twitter before the games began. The Journal piece says that Missy Franklin, Jordyn Wieber and, yes, Ryan Lochte ran just behind her in terms of gaining followers.

So for those wondering how to raise their social media profiles, the answer is simple: become very good at a sport, spend years training until you are exceptional at it, qualify to compete in the Olympics, do well enough to win a medal, then watch the Twitter followers flock to your feed. Yes. This really is the easiest way to go about it.

Finally, the Olympics has focused on ‘Downton Abbey’

Is Mary Carillo doing an Olympics segment on “Downton Abbey” right now?

Is this actually happening?

I don’t know whether to cheer, serve tea or wonder what the heck is going on with NBC’s coverage.

Honestly, to save time, they should have merged the Dream Team retrospective with this pseudo-”Downton Abbey” segment, which finally would have allowed us to see Lady Mary Crawley and her Matthew try to pull off a pick-and-roll versus Jordan and Magic.

Three things I love about Olympic diving

There are many things to admire about watching diving during the Olympics, including, most notably, seeing all those toned bodies shoot like elegant, spandex-clad missiles into the water.

But aside from the obvious — the actual diving — there are three things I love about the coverage of Olympic diving.

1. The underwater camerawork: It’s one thing to see the divers doing their handstands on the platform or triple somersaulting in the air. But watching what happens when they plunge into the water brings a full sense of closure to the experience. Plus, there’s always a chance that someone’s Speedo will get knocked clean off. This, ladies and gentlemen, is why all eyes must remain on the television when a dive is in progress.

2. The splash-ometer: I love the tiny graphic that measures the quality of the splash levels achieved by each competitor. I like it almost as much as the arrows that helped me understand whether the female gymnasts’ scores were positive, really horrendous or just eh.

3. Cynthia Potter’s commentary. I don’t care that most people find her annoying and think she’s a meanie monster. Without her insights and occasional groaning, I would not know for sure when one of the dives I just saw was “horrible,” “horrible” being a technical term she has previously used to describe badly executed dives,


Regarding this Dream Team retrospective…

I understand why NBC is reminding us of the greatness of the original Dream Team. It’s been 20 years since these contenders — the first men’s basketball team to compete in the Olympics with NBA players — won their gold medal.

This retrospective also provides a great opportunity to see Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan decked out in some really fabulous shirt wear.

But given how much is happening in the present, at the Olympic games that are going on now, should we really be having a flashback in primetime for the first 23 minutes (and counting) of coverage? Really?

I didn’t switch to ESPN Classic, did I?

Welcome to the broadcast live blog

I, Jen Chaney, am here, along with the astute Paul Farhi, to post insights, information and gold-medal-worthy commentary for the next couple of hours of NBC’s Olympics broadcast.

Pretend you don’t know who won any of these events. Come on. It’ll be fun, like you’re Colin Farrell in the first part of “Total Recall,” before his memories come back.