Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content


Let the Games begin Add to ...

It is easy to find fault with the modern Olympics: too big, too corrupt, its amateur ideals blurred long ago in a vortex of TV deals, marketing and professionalism. Thankfully it also remains possible, as millions will discover once again over the next 16 days, to see flashes of unabashed beauty, grace, power and hard-won glory. It is a flawed event in the real world, but in the realm of televised entertainment, in Canada especially, it is as good as it gets.

The CBC, in partnership with TSN, will broadcast 375 hours of the 19th Winter Olympics from Salt Lake City, Utah, a great number of those hours filled with live events in prime time (a welcome change from recent Games held far away in time zones that made tape-delay - or sleep deprivation - a necessity). TSN is concentrating on curling, with a few other disciplines thrown in for variety. CBC, having rounded up its usual suspects of hosts and commentators, has also recruited sister channel Newsworld to provide regular updates and coverage of breaking stories.

Potential medalists are sprinkled throughout the 155-member Canadian team, and Canada could place among the top three nations after the golds, silvers and bronzes have been tallied. The Canadian record for total medals at a Winter Games - 15, six of them gold, set in 1998 - is definitely in jeopardy. The Canadian men's hockey team is a favourite in a tournament featuring some of the best players and teams the game has ever seen, a high point for the sport before it falls into the dark days of labour strife.

There will be, in short, plenty of things to watch, so many that the following daily guide will likely take up a permanent place on your coffee table, at least for the next two weeks. NBC's coverage is best left alone, unless you have a real love of tragedy-filled features and special reports on the contributions of the Mormon community to life in America: Only CBC and TSN have been included here. The CBC's coverage isn't perfect - prime-time host Brian Williams is likely to continue saying, "We'll get to [insert event you've been waiting four years to watch here]in just a second," before launching into something completely different for the next hour - but on the whole Canadian viewers have the best seat in the house for what remains one of the best shows on Earth.

Day 1

February 9

CBC Daytime: (Host: Ron MacLean)

10:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Freestyle Skiing: Women's moguls, qualifying round and final;

Cross-Country Skiing: Women's 15k;

Nordic Combined: K90 ski jumping.

TSN: 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Cross-Country Skiing: Men's 30k.

CBC Prime Time: (Host: Brian Williams)

6 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.

Men's Hockey: Highlights of Slovakia v. Germany, and Austria v. Latvia;

Figure Skating: Pairs short program.

CBC Late Night: (Host: Terry Leibel)

Midnight - 2 a.m.

Review of the day's events.

Canadians to Watch:

Figure skaters Jamie Sale and David Pelletier enter the pairs competition as gold-medal favourites, though they will have to rebound from a mistake-filled performance at the Canadian championships last month. Sale fell after a triple toe loop, turned a double Axel into a single and then doubled a throw triple Salchow. (For people new to figure skating, those are all bad things, things you can't do if you want to win this event at the Olympics.)

Day 2

February 10

TSN: 10:30 a.m. - Noon

Nordic Combined: Individual 15k.

CBC Daytime: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Alpine Skiing: Men's downhill;

Snowboarding: Women's halfpipe, qualifying and final;

Ski Jumping: Men's 90m;

Speed Skating, Long Track: Women's 3000m.

CBC Prime Time: 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.

Luge: Men's singles, Runs 1 and 2;

Highlights of the day's events.

TSN: 8:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.

Men's Hockey: Latvia v. Slovakia.

CBC Late Night: 11:30 p.m. - 2:00 a.m.

Review of the day's events.

Canadians to Watch:

Most sports experts agree that Canada's elevated medal hopes rest most heavily upon the speed-skating team, especially the long-track specialists. Cindy Klassen could start things off on the right skate with a medal in the 3000-metres. The former top-level hockey player has been on the podium already this year, having earned a bronze medal at a World Cup race four weeks ago. Natasza Zurek, a snowboarding halfpiper, won last year's elite event in Park City, Utah, the site of the Olympic competition.

Report Typo/Error
Single page

Follow us on Twitter: @GlobeTechnology


Next story




Most popular videos »

More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular