Olympics underway; more coverage and blog madness than ever

Lenovo is featuring blogs by Olympic athletes, including some key members of Team GB

The 29th Olympiad is underway in Beijing – and the 17-day coverage will be more accessible than ever. The BBC will broadcast the best part of 3,000 hours of coverage across BBC TV (including BBC HD), radio, online, mobile and iPlayer in what the corporation is calling the first '24/7 Olympics.'

Other key Olympic partners, such as Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo who is offering blogs by athletes from many nations including various Team GB members.

Elsewhere, Google is offering a 2008 Summer Games Gadget for iGoogle. The gadget will track medal counts, and you can even see where events are happening with 3D images on Google Earth. Video features are also available on YouTube.

AOL has decided to go down the ex-athlete blog route, with Sharron Davies, MBE, and Derek Redmond giving commentary and predictions in blogs.

There is a slightly strange twist to this concept, though. Ex-Olympic swimmer Sharron is on location in Beijing, while AOL has sent her ex-husband and former Olympic athlete Derek, as her blogging opponent. He will be based in London.

Interestingly, the launch press release includes no quotes from either of them about the competitive nature of the blogs, merely a few words looking forward to 2012. Let's hope AOL actually told them of the premise before they signed up.

300 hours on BBC HD

HD will be a key part of the schedule for the first time, with over 300 hours being broadcast on BBC HD. "These Olympic Games offer a unique challenge in their location, their politics and their logistics," says Roger Mosey, BBC Sport Director.

"These will be the first HD Games, and the Games where people have the largest range of digital options across all our platforms. They will be able to experience every moment with the BBC."

Viewers with digital TV will be able to access up to six additional streams to see extended coverage of the 302 individual events while bbc.co.uk/Olympics will include live streaming of up to six interactive TV channels on broadband, as well as video highlights from each day's key events.

As for iPlayer, viewers will be able to access both the BBC's evening highlights programme, Games Today, as well as the pick of the day's action, searchable by sport.

To combat the BBC's domination of the actual event, other news websites are coming up with ways to guard against a mass Olympic exodus. Telegraph.co.uk, for example, is planning on interviewing British athletes and sticking that video online. The site has enlisted rower James Cracknell to assist.

The Beijing schedule involves 302 events (165 men's events, 127 women's events, and 10 mixed events), in 28 Olympic sports held throughout 31 venues.

The BBC's much-vaunted theme music and titles were created by those behind cartoon band the Gorillaz - Jamie Hewlett and Damon Albarn. The project is based based upon the traditional Chinese tale Journey To The West.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site T3.com. Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.