What to Watch: A Longhorn’s Guide to the Olympics

Tonight an audience of one billion is expected to tune in for the spectacle that is the Olympics opening ceremony. But when the dust settles and the smoke clears, it’ll be all business for the 24 Longhorn athletes and staff representing eight countries. Here’s where to catch Team Texas in action.

(Note: Because of the time difference, most Olympic events will take place in the morning. More popular events, such as swimming relays, will be broadcast on NBC from 6-11 p.m. Most other events will be aired live on various NBC networks in the morning and early afternoon. For complete scheduling, see NBC’s broadcast listings.)

Men’s Swimming

Longhorns competing: Christian Schurr (Mexico); Ricky Berens, Jimmy Feigen, Brendan Hansen (All USA)

Swimming always delivers some of the most dramatic moments of the summer Olympics, and this year should be no different. With Ricky Berens and Jimmy Feigen both on the 400m-freestyle relay team, the July 29 primetime final is a must-see.

Women’s Volleyball

Longhorn competing: Destinee Hooker (USA)

Ranked first in the world, the U.S. women’s volleyball team is on a quest to reclaim the crown after a 2008 gold-medal loss to Brazil. They’ll get their first chance at redemption on Monday, July 30, when they face Brazil in a qualifying match at 10:30 a.m. Quarterfinal play begins Aug. 7, while the gold-medal match will be Saturday, Aug.11, during primetime.

Men’s Basketball

Longhorn competing: Kevin Durant (USA)

Favorited to go undefeated and win the gold medal, the men’s basketball team will play five group stage games, beginning with France on Sunday, July 29 at 8:30 a.m. Team USA’s next real challenge will not come until Monday, Aug. 6, when they take on 2004 gold-medalist Argentina. Should the United States get there, the gold-medal match will take place on Aug. 1—where many believe Team USA will meet Spain, the biggest threat to their chance at the gold.

Men’s and Women’s Track and Field

Longhorns competing: Dylan Armstrong (Canada); Samyr Laine (Haiti); Raasin McIntosh (Liberia); Allison Peter (Virgin Islands); Christy Udoh (Nigeria); Melaine Walker (Jamaica); Michelle Carter, Marquise Goodwin, Trey Hardee, Bianca Knight, Leo Manzano, and Sanya Richards-Ross (USA)

Like swimming, the track and field competition is among the most glamorous of the summer events. Beginning Aug. 3, three of the competing Longhorns will garner extra attention.

Sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross has been on a tear this past year, dominating national and international competitions with record times in the 400m race. She’ll also be participating in the 200m and the 4x400m relay, which is scheduled for primetime on Aug. 12.

On the men’s side, Texas football standout Marquise Goodwin is looking to pull out a medal in the long jump final on Aug. 4. He’s an Olympics frontrunner after taking first in the U.S. trials with a personal record jump of more than 26 feet.

Decathlete Trey Hardee is also one to watch. Recently named the world’s greatest athlete by Outside Magazine, Hardee will have to overtake his U.S. teammate and decathlete record-holder Ashton Eaton in order to take home the gold. Decathlon events span multiple days, with the final event, the 1500m run, on Aug. 9.

Read more of The Alcalde’s Longhorns Go for the Gold coverage here.


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