2014 Winter Olympics – What to Watch with Your Kids



By Tracey Dowdy

The Sochi Olympics are finally underway but with so much attention given to gay rights, security concerns and a lack of pillows at the Olympic Village, it’s easy to lose focus on the athletes and events. Approximately 250 Americans will compete in this year’s Games, with another 60 competing for the U.S. at the Winter Paralympics scheduled to start March 7th.

Although there will be extensive TV coverage, NBC is also making every event available online. However, with 98 events over 16 days, it can be hard to decide what to take in, particularly if you plan on watching alongside your kids. Although each family will have their own individual preferences, here are a few suggestions to help narrow the field:

Snowboarding

Snowboarding is right there at the top of the must-see list of winter sports. “Flying Tomato” Shaun White is back, and with new events like Parallel Slalom and Slopestyle, it’s guaranteed to be exciting. There aren’t many events more thrilling than the Halfpipe, and the Snowboard Cross and Parallel Giant Slalom are sure to keep your kids on the edge of their seats.

Snowboarding is a more accessible sport than say, ice dancing and, during a winter like we’re experiencing this year, your kids may not mind the snow so much if they can get out and try an activity for themselves. With 10 events between men and women, and many finals taking place in the middle of the night our time, check NBC’s schedule for broadcast times.

Ice Skating

Ice skating is always a crowd pleaser. NBC will provide complete coverage, beginning with the team competition, which is making its Olympic debut. Dramatic music, sequins, rivalry between Canada’s Virtue/Moir and America’s Davis/White, plus Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir providing commentary on the competition. That’s just good TV.

Speed Skating

Shani Davis is back and shooting for his third Olympic gold in the 1000 meters. His biggest competition is from South Korean Mo Tae-Bum who took the silver in Vancouver but took gold at the World Cup in December. Both men are determined to be at the top of the podium. The finals air February 12th.

Hockey

NBC will provide live coverage of both the women’s and men’s hockey tournaments from the group stages on. With 14 NHL players on the roster of the Russian men’s Olympic team, including four of the last six NHL MVP’s, the U.S.  expected to be medal contenders, and the Canadian team determined to bring home another gold, there’s a lot of good hockey in our future.

Skeleton and Luge

As long as your little daredevil doesn’t get any bright ideas, watching someone hurtle headfirst (skeleton) or feet first (luge) is a lot of fun, if slightly terrifying. (Actually, keeping an eye on dad may be a bigger concern…)

Skiing

Before there was snowboarding, there was skiing. The moguls course seems to have been based on a dare or at least a Bugs Bunny cartoon. In ski jumping, humans attempt flight by launching themselves off a ramp and trying to jump the length of a football field. Remember Wide World of Sport’s Agony of Defeat? Yeah, that’s ski jumping. Flag bearer Todd Lodwick competes in Nordic Combined which is the endurance test of cross country, combined with the insanity of jumping. New events Halfpipe and Slopestyle have been added this year and are certain to provide thrills.

Click here for specific news on Team USA.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Toronto, Ontario. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances and researches on subjects from family and education to pop culture and trends in technology.



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