The Olympics isn't just a celebration of sports ability that transcends national differences, of the indomitable human spirit, or of individual achievement. Sure, it's a tribute to all of those things, but it's also a really big reality show, featuring hundreds of characters and hard-to-follow plot lines. There are countries you've forgotten about and sports you've never seen. And then there are the good guys: the members of Team USA.
Here is a guide to this year's protagonists, who have new faces, but are taking on old roles – roles previously filled by the sort of successful athletes who end up getting lucrative sandwich-endorsement deals. The show goes on.
The new biased announcer
In Vancouver: Bob Costas
Bob Costas did Bob Costas (maudlin voiceovers, unexpectedly thorough reporting).
In Sochi: Andrew Siciliano
What RedZone did for your Sunday NFL experience, NBC hopes to replicate with Gold Zone, a streaming channel on NBCOlympics.com providing live look-ins to events as they happen, eight hours a day (7 am–3 pm ET). It'll even be hosted by Siciliano, who spent the last few months anchoring Red Zone for DirecTV. Beyond that, NBC will stream every event live online – as it did in Vancouver – and produce heaps of originally produced, digital-only programming available through its website and accompanying apps.
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