By Tom Preskett
Along learning technologies, one of my passions is sports. The Olympics have come to my hometown and I’m loving it. The feel good factor around the city is palpable. This is partly because of the consensus that the games are going pretty well (apart from the odd transport issue) and partly because the GB is doing way better than expected.
The technology really helps as well. Never before has it been so easy to follow any sport at any time. Of course, our BBC coverage is extensive but what makes this games special is the live feed of all sports at all times. This means I could watch a whole sailing race or an entire heptathlon or day of judo without boring interviews and punditry jibber. This was on my PC or on the TV. Also, most GB sports websites have taken to supplying a rolling commentary of events in a conversational, jokey manner. This means I can be primed for events before they happen and be ready to open a new tab containing that live feed. Even four years ago this would not have been possible.
It makes sports watching a democracy. Rather than suffering under the totalitarian BBC 1 coverage where they are interviewing yesterday’s GB bronze medal winner with montages of them crossing the line, I am free to watch BMX qualifiers with all the crashes and blood on the floor I could handle.
I confess I don’t know what’s going on with some of these sports. Judo seems to be mostly about bear-hugging and the horse ballet is a total mystery. However, the sailing is fascinating, the volleyball is compelling (especially the beach variety) and two-hour swimming just incredible. The whole thing is over on Sunday and I don’t know what I’ll do. We’ve had it on the big screen in the office instead of the normal rolling Powerpoint promoting ourselves. Visitors are lingering to watch, which never happens normally. Go figure.
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