Olympics Blog

News about the Summer and Winter Games

« Previous Post | Olympics Blog Home | Next Post »

Crack the case: find swim, track trials on TV

July 1, 2008 | 12:15 pm

Natalie Coughlin swims in the women's 200-meter individual medley preliminaries Tuesday at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.

Darn hard to find out when and where track and swimming trials are televised.

You'd think a big TV network like NBC would make this easier. Instead they've made it a test of how badly you want to watch. Pretty badly it turns out. I first stumbled on the Universal Sports station while scrolling channels and coming to the diving trials a few days after

the race. Cool way to kill a couple of sleepless hours. I didn't connect that with the place that would show track and swimming. Sometimes.

Here's my weekend odyssey of trying to watch track and field and swimming instead of baseball (a little golf and a nice stretch of Wimbledon too).

Track and swimming trials were on Saturday and Sunday. I know because I was reading about it in the paper. But I wanted to watch it. Through some idle clicking through the Cox digital TV guide, I stumbled on Channel 744, Universal HD. "Hey," I said to my husband, "I think I found track and swimming. It's on from 10 to 12 Sunday night anyway."

Things don't always go as planned. A sick dog, a leisurely weekend turned icky, and about 9:58, as we were slogging through dastardly summer reality series and such, I remembered. "Turn on Channel 744 now!" Just in time we were to watch such things as Tyson Gay run faster than anybody has at 100 meters and Michael Phelps set a world record and celebrate with childish glee. All this in HD greatness.

The track in Eugene, Ore., is fairy tale stuff. Watching a girl named Queen hurdle another person on her way to an upset Olympic berth, that was worthy of a tear.

So Monday I was eager to check into Universal HD again and get swimming and track highlights. Oops. It was on USA HD Monday and at different times, 8 to 10, and when I realized that, it was too late to see Bernard Lagat or Natalie Coughlin.

If this helps anybody else, far as I can tell this is where you find the track TV sked.

And this is for swimming.

I'm bound and determined to not miss another minute. Both swimming and track are great stuff in HD and if you can't get excited seeing Michael Phelps look underwater to check out where Ryan Lochte is and then swim faster, wow, summer reality TV has really warped your brain.

So what with early morning appointments for Wimbledon and the daily attempt to find track and swimming, I am writing this at 2:20 a.m. in hopes others won't be so desperate. And, if my bosses are seeing this, I am only watching in the odd minute when I am not diligently working on my own gymnastics stories. Honestly!

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Natalie Coughlin swims in the women's 200-meter individual medley preliminaries Tuesday at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials. But did you find it on TV? Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press