Very good coverage of women's rowing. I happen to like rowing events -- most especially my beloved whitewater event -- but I can't quite explain why. I never rowed much, and that was just rowboats, not competition, and only canoed a bit in the in the National Boundary Waters area of the North Woods. But I find it very comforting to watch, I'm also always impressed when TV is able to make such static events, like with archery, involving. (And yes, rowing is a fairly static event on TV. The coverage tends to keep the boats in the center of the screen, so there doesn't appear to be much movement. There's a lot, of course, but the depth perception on TV lessens it in comparison for the viewer.)
I was pleased to see that NBC gave some airtime to Brazil's first gold medal. It was won in women's judo by Rafael Silva, who had a wonderful story, coming from perhaps the most dangerous district in Rio, and one of the poorest. Her story is well-known throughout the city, and she has a tattoo on her right arm that has the Olympic rings and says (in Portuguese), "God knows how much I've suffered and what I've done to get here." The network didn't just show the end of the match, but also showed the medal ceremony. Silva was fairly stoic throughout the anthem, but as it neared the end, it was clear to see her lower lip start to quiver. And when it ended she broke down in tears
Watching the NBSsports channel during late night -- I decided to pass by the main NBC late night show hosted by Ryan Seacrest, which has underwhelmed me -- and they had a major rivalry match between Brasil and Argentina in women's volleyball, one of the two sports (the other, of course, being soccer) that the countries bitterly battle each other in year-after-year. Prior to the match, they ran a fun (though not terribly substantive) featurette on the sports rivalry between the country, starting with historical reasons and up to some more good-natured partying during the Games. Alas, I can't embed or even link to it because, as I mentioned, NBC's website -- which is loaded with material -- is terribly designed, and I can't find it. (In fairness, it may not have been posted yet, but then I can't find most featurettes I've looked for, other than randomly scrolling past a few.)
Alas, my concerns about NBC turning Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir into gimmicks is moving in that direction. They're quite good analysts with figure skating, but running around with a sense of "look at our outrageous clothes" risks detracting from that. They sat down in-studio to talk about their day, and it was just yammering. Pretty much no insight. If NBC is going to use them, I hope we get to filmed pieces on location that can perhaps have some structure and cultural interest.
And that was Monday.