It’s that time of every four years again when the winter Olympics turn everyone into a downhill skiing expert. Regardless of your feelings on the Olympics or the circumstances surrounding this year’s host country, if you aren’t watching the Olympics, you’ll have little to add to some conversations for three weeks. You also risk looking like a bad American, so good luck dealing with those comments at the bar. Sure, there are many excuses not to watch the games, I’m sure Michelle Kwan had many excuses for not practicing before and after elementary school, but she ignored those excuses for the good of the country, and you can do the same. Lucky for you, if one of those excuses is that you don’t have a TV, this article will take care of that.
If you have access to cable
Even if you don’t pay for cable yourself, you can find someone who does and ask them for their username and password. All you need is that password.
If you have cable, or know someone that has cable, you can plug a username and password into the NBC website and watch all the streaming events. For those that don’t have any friends or family who love them enough to share their cable account information, the site is offering four free hours of viewing, but there is a catch. The hours must be consecutive, so it would be wise to wait until there is a block of events you really want to see on a given day. Otherwise you could be stuck with three hours of curling. Maybe save that pass for a time when there is something you really want to see.
If you have access to NBC, you also have access to their second site, LiveExtra. This page offers a constant stream of the games, so you can turn it on and watch a stream of continuous greatness. It’s what it would be like to be there, but warmer and less Russian. You can also get this as an app for iOS or Android on a tablet or phone, so you can have the American spirit wherever you go.
If you don’t have access to cable
Disguise your computer
Disguise where your computer is located with this handy guide, and watch all the glory that is BBC for free. Doing this will make the internet think you are using your computer from a different area in the world and you can search around for other countries that are offering streaming options, such as the UK. There are other ways to achieve a similar result — messing with VPNs and such — but our method outlined in the linked article is free and takes little time.
First Row Sports
As we’ve talked about in previous viewing guides, football and basketball, this site isn’t the most above board option but it will get the job done. There isn’t a specific place to watch the Olympics, but it does have streaming live TV, so you can try your luck with different channels. This isn’t a direct or high quality option but it is an option.
ATD is the same situation as First Row. Is it legal? Eh, kinda. Will it stream blurry content that may continually buffer? Absolutely. And like First Row Sports, there isn’t a specific section for Sochi shenanigans, but it has streaming for all of the major channels. This one also includes BBC, which will be covering the games.
You can’t find streaming on YouTube, but there will be recaps. If you are a die-hard fan, you can try to stay away from any kind of media influence for the day and then catch up at night, and if you don’t really care, you can breeze through these videos to get an idea of what happened.
If you just want results and an occasional picture
Okay, we get it, you’re busy but still want to stay relevant. There are ways to learn just enough information to feel like part of something, without watching a second of the action.
This the place to go to for a quick update on the progress on the games. They will be posting short status updates, results, and links to articles. The account has 8,000 tweets and over 400,000 followers, and the games haven’t even started yet. If you are tired of all this NBC fame, you can add the Olympics account instead. Either way, Twitter will be a huge source of news and only a select group of organizations will be allowed access to phones during the games.
If you are so lazy that you don’t even want to read updates about the games, there is always Instagram. NBC will, and has already begun, posting photos of the arenas, athletes, and competitions. There will likely be some overlap with the Twitter, but this should give you a quick visual of who is getting medals and who is taking selfies with who.
There are plenty of apps out there to help navigate the 2014 Olympics. This one, which can be found on Apple or Android, has a schedule, a map of the facilities, and will post medal winners. All you have to do is figure out which events your friends and coworkers are excited about and wait for the result so you can talk about it the next day. There isn’t a way you could do less work, unless you get AP Mobile updates for tracking only the big wins.