Tuesday, August 19, 2008

French, English. Tweet.

As you may have noticed, I'm a bit of an Olympic junkie. I wondered though if I'd be able to handle the 12-hour time difference this year and stay up until the wee hours or wake up in the wee hours (didn't know which is worst) in order to catch the events live. I can!

Contrary to what some people say, watching an event live is quite different than watching it on tape. There's a sense of communal tension and excitement that NO ONE yet knows how the competition will turn out when you're watching it live. Yet not all the events can be covered at once when being broadcast live. That's when being Canadian comes in handy: we have two main channels, French and English, covering the main action. (Oh sure, there are the online streams, but Olympics are meant to be watched on smooth-streaming TV, preferably HDTV.) It's interesting to see what they believe their audiences want to see, and sometimes I'm more with the French choice than the English. Even better, Radio-Canada broadcasts in the afternoon, when I'm going into Olympic withdrawal. It doesn't matter if I've seen the event already; sometimes I haven't. The bonus: I'm polishing up my extremely rusty French. Besides which, I may not understand the words, but I sure as heck understand what they're saying. Their passion and excitement -- matched only by Steve Armitage on CBC -- sure is contagious!

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I've discovered Twitter this summer. It's a fantastic platform for microblogging (frequently) on the Olympics. With its 140 character limit, it forces me to focus my thoughts and jump up and down in text. And unlike posting on a blog, I can tweet on the fly. Check it out at http://twitter.com/ShireenJ.

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