Last week had its ups & downs in London. For me, the highlights were seeing Michael Phelps rally back from a somewhat slow start to these Games to not only become the most decorated Olympian of all time, but to do what no other swimmer had done before: successfully achieve the three-peat in an event – and he does it twice. He walks away from these Games and the sport that made him a star with a total medal count of 22. Missy Franklin appeared ready to pick up the torch, winning four gold and one bronze medal in her first Olympic Games. Gabby Douglas is now America’s new golden girl in gymnastics, becoming not only the first African American to win the Olympic all-around, but also the first to win both team and all-around gold in the same games. And on the track, Usain Bolt sprinted his way to gold in the 100m event – becoming only the second man to defend his Olympic title in this event.
Here’s what I’ll be watching in primetime (on NBC, unless otherwise noted) this week. As always, Olympic coverage is available throughout the day on the networks of NBCUniversal and available anytime on nbcolympics.com.
In gymnastics, the uneven bars event final is the big women’s event tonight. “Flying Squirrel” Gabby Douglas is the sole U.S. representative and flies high on this event but keep an eye on Britain’s Beth Tweddle and China’s He Kexin, who are phenomenal. Men will compete on vault and rings. On the beach, the quarterfinals of beach volleyball continue, where a loss will count you out. Back at the aquatics center, Troy Dumais, the first American since Greg Louganis to appear in four Olympic Games will compete in the men’s springboard qualifiers.
Tonight’s the final night of artistic gymnastics, with men competing on the parallel bars and the high bar (one of my personal favorite events). Americans Danell Leyva and Jonathan Horton will try to fly high tonight. The women will compete on the balance beam & floor exercise, with Jordan Wieber attempting a little personal redemption on the floor exercise, her only shot at an individual medal in these Games. Aly Raisman will compete in both events and Gabby Douglas will make her final London appearance on the beam. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings will move into the semi-finals of women’s beach volleyball, moving steadily towards what they hope will be a golden three-peat. Also tonight, the hurdlers take the field with the women’s 100m event where Lolo Jones is hoping to redeem her Beijing performance and high jump sensation Jesse Williams, the 2011 world champion, is among the favorites for gold.
If you’re watching earlier in the day, NBC Sports Network will be showing the men’s basketball quarterfinals. Back in primetime on NBC, it’s a big night for track and field with the men’s 110m hurdles, women’s 200m, women’s 400m hurdles and women’s long jump. Veronica Campbell-Brown, Allyson Felix and Carmelita Jeter are all racing for gold in the 200m while Sanya Richards-Ross may be attempting a 200-400 sweep. The women’s beach volleyball tournament concludes with the gold medal final.
Four days after the 100m, Jamaica’s sprint king Usain Bolt returns for his second final of the Games, the 200m. Bolt won both races in Beijing while setting world record and hopes to become the first man in history to sweep the sprints twice. His countryman and training partner, Yohan Blake, remains his biggest competition. At the Aquatics Centre, the women take to the 10m platform, where Brittany Viola leads American hopes for another medal in this event. Also on tonight, the quarterfinal heats of BMX. Earlier in the day, NBC Sports Network will have the bronze and gold medal games of women’s soccer.
Track and field’s relays kick off with the men’s 4x400m race and the women’s 4x100m. Team USA has won nearly every 4x400m competition since the event was added to the Olympic program in 1908. In the women’s 4x100m, Team USA, led by Carmelita Jeter and Allyson Felix, is expected to face a fierce challenge from Jamaica. Jenny Simpson looks for the first ever American medal in the women’s 1500m. Back to the aquatics center, the men’s platform contest is one to watch when Tom Daley takes the stage for qualifiers in his signature event – which happens to be the only diving event China failed to win in Beijing. Daley is looking for a little redemption of his own after a disappointing start to these Games in the synchronized competition. China’s Qiu Bo, American David Boudia and Australia’s reigning Olympic champion Matthew Mitcham are among the deep field of contenders in this event. Earlier in the day, NBC Sports Network will broadcast the semifinals of men’s basketball.
Starting at 10am on NBC, you can watch the women’s basketball gold medal final, where Team USA is expected to win its fifth straight gold medal. Also in the morning to afternoon coverage is the gold medal finals in rhythmic gymnastics, canoeing and women’s mountain bike, along with the bronze medal match in women’s volleyball. The final night of track and field offers one last look at Usain Bolt. He’ll be part of a Jamaican team that features three of the four fastest men in history in the 4x100m relay. The U.S., led by American record holder Tyson Gay and 2004 Olympic 100m champion Justin Gatlin, will try to get back on track after being disqualified in Beijing and the two world championships since. The Americans are heavy favorites in the women’s 4x400m relay. In women’s volleyball, Team USA could win its first ever Olympic gold medal. It would be the second in a row for the team’s head coach Hugh McCutcheon, who coached the U.S. men to the Olympic title in 2008. And in diving, the men’s platform contest will be decided tonight, with Daly, Qui, Boudia & Micham all expected to be the contenders.
Five gold medal finals highlight the final day of competition, including coverage of the men’s basketball final between 10am and 6pm on NBC. Twenty years after the original Dream Team, the United States men’s basketball team expects to be playing for a second straight gold. The men’s volleyball gold medal final, where the U.S. is the reigning Olympic champion, will also be decided on this final day of competition. The bronze medal games for both sports will be shown on NBC Sports Network between 6am and 6pm, along with the gold medal final of men’s handball. The beginning of the end to the London Games starts at 7pm with the Closing Ceremony on NBC.
What events are you watching? What Olympic sports am I missing out on?
Thanks for visiting the Bright House Networks Blog. We welcome you to participate in the conversation on House2House. Please note, any service-related concerns will not be resolved on the Blog. They will be addressed by our dedicated Customer Care team (select from above Online Care options). Also, to find out if a product or service is available in your area,