Sochi 2014: Top 10 Ways to Follow the Winter Olympics

Brian PedersenFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2014

Sochi 2014: Top 10 Ways to Follow the Winter Olympics

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    Associated Press

    Despite how it might seem, the Olympics isn't your typical made-for-TV sporting event. While highlights and segments can be packaged nicely into a three-hour program, there's far more to the every-two-years collection of the world's greatest summer- or winter-sport athletes.

    But how, pray tell, is the best way to stay on top of what's going on during the 2014 Winter Olympics? Good question.

    Here's our look at the 10 best ways to follow along with the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

10. Online Magazines

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    Freeskier Magazine screenshot

    Nowadays, there's a magazine for every interest imaginable, especially sports. And not just sports in general.

    For most of these magazines, rather than waiting for that issue to show up in the mail or on the newsstand, there's an online component where more updated information can be found.

    Many of the sports that make up the Winter Olympics have their own niche publication, as well as an online version. And while the mainstream media that's in Sochi will do a good job covering the Games, no one will give it as detailed a once-over as the people who cover those sports for more than just a three-week span every four years.

    To that end, we recommend checking out the sites for Hockey News, Skiing Magazine, Freeskier, Snow Magazine, Powder or International Figure Skating.

9. Team USA Road to Sochi App

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    Brennan Linsley/Associated Press

    For savvy app users who like their information customized, the U.S. Olympic Committee has developed its own app to help keep you up-to-date on what American athletes are doing in Sochi.

    The Team USA Road to Sochi app, which is free and available to download through iTunes or Google Play for phones and tablets, includes daily updates, in-depth bios, editorial content about performances and results, as well as customizable tabs that let you follow certain athletes' social-media feeds.

    There's also a nifty function that allows you to donate to Team USA to help fund future endeavors. 

8. NBC's (Mostly) Taped Coverage

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    NBC's owner, Comcast, paid $4.38 billion for the exclusive broadcast rights to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, as well as the Games in 2016, 2018 and 2020.

    But with Sochi sitting nine hours ahead of New York City and 12 hours ahead of Los Angeles, showing these events live just isn't feasible.

    Instead, NBC will have taped coverage of the previous day's events, which will air during the evening hours and on select afternoons. These time windows will also include interviews, features and all of the other bells and whistles that can be added to a taped package. 

    NBC Sports Network will broadcast some live events beginning between 3 a.m. and 3 p.m. ET each day.

    Full TV listings can be found here.

7. The Blogosphere

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    Yahoo! Sports Fourth-Place Medal blog

    The blog is the modern-day version of the campfire story or the radio program, a mix of up-to-the-minute results and information as well as analytical and observational rhetoric.

    And when it comes to the Olympics, there are tons of blogs.

    Our recommendations for Sochi include: Yahoo! Sports' Fourth-Place Medal blog, the Los Angeles Times' Olympics Now blog and Deadspin's collection of rants and slants.

6. NBC's Olympics Website

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    NBCOlympics.com

    As the sole broadcaster of the 2014 Sochi Games, NBC has a bit of a monopoly on the actual showing of events and results from Russia.

    But the network's website is also pretty comprehensive, too.

    NBCOlympics.com is a one-stop shop for results, links to streaming video, features—if you like features, you'll likely never run out—and pretty much anything else you might want from Sochi.

5. Sochi Olympics Official Site

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    Mikhail Klimentyev/Associated Press

    For those who want their Olympic coverage devoid of any Starbucks-like flair or syrups, the official site for the Sochi Games is for you.

    There you'll find all the schedules, results, medal counts and athlete or team info you could find on any other site, but without any of the extras or editorial content you'll get anywhere else.

    Think about it, the people running the Olympics are going to be pretty busy running the Olympics. They don't have time for fancy analysis or descriptive recaps. If that's how you like your coverage, this is where you need to go.

4. Bleacher Report Team Stream App and Olympic Newsletter

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    Bleacher Report Team Stream

    Our Team Stream app is already widely used by fans of many other sports, such as baseball, basketball and football.

    For the Winter Olympics, we're kicking it up a notch.

    The app, available for the iPhone or Android-based smartphones, is free and will always be with you whenever and wherever you feel the need to check in on the latest with anything from skiing and snowboarding to curling or biathlon.

    But if phone- or tablet-based content isn't your thing, our daily Olympics newsletter will email you the latest news and opinions each morning so you can stay up-to-date with the comings and goings in Sochi.

3. Twitter

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    Sochi 2014 Twitter page

    One of the best ways to stay on top of an event is to follow along with the comments and reactions of those who are either there in person or watching it online or on television.

    That's what Twitter is for.

    As anyone who scrolled through Twitter during the Super Bowl will tell you, after reading what seems like 47 different takes and opinions on a questionable call or ruling, you'll start to feel like you've watched it yourself.

    Numerous journalists and media outlets will be tweeting live events from Sochi, while other analysts, experts and just random folks will be chiming in with their thoughts and opinions about the Winter Games.

    A good starting point for Twitter handles to follow include (but are not limited to): NBC Olympics, ESPN, CNN, the Associated Press and Bleacher Report. From there, you can navigate through all the links and retweets to put together an all-encompassing list of feeds to follow.

2. Bleacher Report's Live Blogs and Event Trackers

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    Bleacher Report

    Bleacher Report will have among the most robust Winter Olympics coverage of any news outlet.

    We'll be tracking each and every one of the 98 events scheduled for the 2014 Winter Games—everything from the initial qualifying to the medal ceremonies.

    Each day, we'll be posting real-time results, live blogs with the latest commentary, analysis, tweets, pics, videos and GIFs, as well as previews, reaction columns, video profiles and more.

    We've got you covered.

1. Live Streams

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    NBC Sports

    The closest thing to being in Russia, at the Games themselves, is watching them live. And while the events aren't on at the best time for live television coverage, this is the age of the live Internet stream.

    Every event and competition at the Sochi Games is being streamed live online for free. Yes, for free.

    Just go to NBCOlympics.com and watch away.

    One major catch, though: you must have a cable or satellite subscription in order to watch most events. While some are expected to be streamed free, the "vast majority" will only be available to those who are already paying for TV, per Todd Spangler of Variety.

    Or if you're not near a computer, NBC has its own app (NBC Sports Live Extra) that is free to download. Same must-have-cable-or-satellite rules apply, though.