The Track and Field/Athletics events start on Friday, August 3rd and run until August 12th. For most of us, it's not enough to just put on the television randomly and hope someone happens to be running really fast during that time. And, for me at least, I'm willing to wake up a little early to watch the really good stuff go down.
To clarify - this is not, by any means, a conclusive guide to the track and field events during the Olympics. But I've been scrolling around online this afternoon looking for events I WANTED to watch, so I figured I'd include this little cheat sheet for anyone who is doing the same. For the most part, this only includes finals, and it definitely favors the women's events. Because while I'd love to watch every heat of every event, I also have a little job thing I have to do on the side. You know, 40+ hours a week. Unless I specified otherwise, all the times listed are EST, and this guide covers only August 3rd - August 7th. I'll cover part two later on!
(Note - what does RT mean? Random tidbit. AKA how to look like an expert/genius when you're, well....not.)
Friday, August 3rd:
3:30 PM - Men's Shot Put Final
RT: Did you know the word "shot" can refer to the heavy metal ball as well as the action of throwing it? Fun noun/verb action for you there.
4:25 PM Women’s 10,000 Meters Final
RT: Shalane Flanagan, a marathon contender this year, took bronze in this event in Beijing with a time of 30:22.22.
Saturday, August 4th:
2:30 PM Women’s Discus Throw Final
RT: Did you know that a men's discus weighs 2 kg, but a women's discus weighs just 1kg? Because men are twice as strong? Use this to spark intelligent debate and/or misogynist discussion at your Olympic viewing events.
4:15 PM Men’s 10,000 Meters Final
RT: If Ugandan runner Moses Kipsiro wins this event, the Olympics committee will likely play his country's anthem more than once because it is so short (15 seconds).
4:55 PM Women’s 100 Meters Final
RT:The 1928 winner of this event, Betty Robinson, was in a plane crash three months after the games. Bystanders noted here nonexistent pulse and declared her dead. At the mortician's, it was discovered that she was alive, and she went on to compete in the 1936 Olympics.
Sunday, August 5th:
6:00 AM Women's Marathon Final
RT: The first true marathon distance (26.2) was run in London so that runners could finish the race exactly in front of King Edward VII's royal box.
4:10 PM Womens' 400 Meters Final
RT: Amantle Montsho, the reigning world champion in the event, was the first professional female athlete from her country of Botswana.
4:50 Men's 100 Meters Final
RT: Jamaican training partners Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake are the two to watch for the honor of "Fastest Man on Earth."
Monday, August 6th:
2:00 PM Women's Pole Vault Final
RT: There are no set or required lengths for poles. Athletes can choose any length that helps them to perform best.
2:15 PM Women's Shot Put Final
RT: British athlete Eden Francis has an unusual shot put coach...her mother.
4:30 PM Men's 400 Meter Finals
RT: Eric Liddell, one of the bases for the main characters in Chariots of Fire, won this event in the 1942 Paris Olympics.
Tuesday, August 7th:
2:00 PM Men's Long Jump Final
RT: Meyer Prinstein, a long jump contender in 1904, couldn't compete in the final because his religious college refused to allow him to compete on a Sunday. Sidenote: Prinstein was Jewish. Whoops.
4:00 PM Women’s 100 Meters Hurdles Final
RT: Lolo Jones (whose real name in Lori) is a serious contender in this event and is the most followed US Track and Field Athlete on Twitter.
4:15 PM Men’s 1500 Meters Final
RT: Philip Noel-Baker won this event in 1920 at the Olympics in Antwerp and is the only Olympian who has also received a Nobel Prize - in 1959. Overachiever.
So - let's hear it. What Olympic event are you looking forward to most?
Women's marathon and men's 100 meters.
Would you rather run on a treadmill WATCHING the Olympic Marathon Final or run listening to the radio updates?
No question. Treadmill. Can't wait to do this!