Getting the Most out of the Beijing Olympics,

by Olympic Gold Medalist-Joe Jacobi, and Legendary Coach and Slalom Blogger-Bill Endicott!

***Don’t Miss Joe and Bill’s video below!!

Dear whitewater friends:


     We want to alert you to the upcoming NBC coverage of the whitewater events of the Beijing Olympics, especially since this coverage will be unprecedented in scope and we will be helping with it!


     Joe Jacobi will do the on-camera commentary for NBC's broadcast TV coverage (a job Bill Endicott did back in 1996).  And Bill Endicott will do the blog coverage for NBC's internet live streaming, something NBC has never done before.


     Will France's Tony Estanguet, the Czech Republic's Stepanka Hilgertova, or Slovakia's Hochschorner brothers all win their third gold medals in this sport?  Up to now, two is the record.  Will the USA's Scott Parsons win a medal in the men's K1?  He was 6th in Athens and has had some superb finishes in major international races this year!


     This year, NBC will be televising 1,200 hours of Olympic broadcast TV coverage, plus an astounding 2,400 hours of live internet streaming.


     The schedule for both forms of coverage follows at the end of this message.


     The purpose of the new internet streaming is to allow viewers to “be their own TV producers,” that is, decide which sports they want to see and how much of them they want to see. In brief, NBC will put on its site www.NBCOlympics.com all of the footage from the Beijing Olympic Broadcast (“BOB”), the Olympic feed that NBC has bought rights to.  By simply going on this site and clicking onto Canoe/Kayak Slalom, your computer screen becomes your TV screen and you can see the heats and semifinals and not just the smaller snippets that NBC will show on broadcast TV.  Underneath the footage of the action (or to the side of it; NBC hasn't told us which yet), will be Bill's live blog commentary.


     The Olympics are always exciting, but we think this one could be special for whitewater because it could be a major stimulus for developing a whole new whitewater/outdoor industry in China and Asia.  Yes, the Chinese are relatively new to the sport, but millions of people in coastal cities like Beijing and Shanghai now have disposable income and are looking for adventurous ways to spend it.


     China has already built at least 8 artificial whitewater courses and we think the Olympics will do much to introduce the sport to hundreds of millions of people in the country. China has thousands of untapped wild rivers, especially in western China.  But they are threatened by dams - China already has half the world's dams - to meet China's ballooning energy needs.  We believe the way to save these rivers is to get people interested in running them and seeing for themselves what valuable resources they are.


     In short, just as the TV coverage of the 1972 Olympic whitewater events helped stimulate the US whitewater industry, we think these Olympics can help to spread whitewater rafting and kayaking throughout China (and Asia), create millions of new jobs and loads of international exchanges and fabulous adventures for millions of people.  A byproduct of this, we believe, will be to increase environmental awareness in China and cut down on pollution.


     At the moment, China's whitewater industry is in its infancy.  It is believed that there are nearly 600 rafting companies in China, but all of them do only single day trips, typically between one and two hours long.  The equipment used now in China is poor and in general the level of professionalism of guides and outfitters is low.  All clientele is domestic at present.


     Over the next few years, many things, such as the following need to be done to develop the industry in China and China needs foreign experts like you to help:

   

*  Create an inventory of all China's whitewater rivers.

*  Create a program for training Chinese river guides -- a guide

    licensing program.

*  Train people to manage the tourists' logistics.

*  Organize corporate raft races. 

*  Create international rafting or recreational kayaking festivals.


So, we invite you to embark with us on a great adventure.  Start by watching the NBC coverage of the whitewater events in August - and after that, stay tuned for what we hope will be a whole new world of whitewater adventures to come!


Sincerely,




Joe Jacobi                                                       Bill Endicott

1992 Olympic Champion                                1992 Olympic Coach




SCHEDULE OF WHITEWATER EVENTS AND NBC LIVE STREAMING: (Note:  Beijing time is 12 hours ahead of EST in US.)


Monday, August 11, 15:00 - 18:34 - C1,K1 (Beijing Time)

15:00-15:40: C1 Heats - Run 1

15:50-16:42: K1 Heats - Run 1

16:52-17:32: C1  - Run 2

17:42-18:34: K1 - Run 2


Tuesday, August 12, 15:00 - 18:27 - C1, K1 (Beijing Time)

15:00-15:30: C1 Semifinal

15:40-16:17: K1 Semifinal

16:47-17:07: C1 Final

17:17-17:42: K1 Final

17:52-18:07: C1 Medal Ceremony

18:12-18:27: K1 Medal Ceremony


Wednesday, August 13, 15:00 - 8:14 - C2, K1W (Beijing Time)

15:00-15:30: C2 Heats - Run 1

15:40-16:32: K1W Heats - Run 1

16:42-17:12: C2 Heats - Run 2

17:22-18:14: K1W Heats - Run 2


Thursday, August 14, 15:00- 18:22 - C2, K1W (Beijing Time)

15:00-15:25: C2 Semifinal

15:35-16:12: K1W Semifinal

16:47-17:02: C2 Final

17:12-17:37: K1W Final

17:47-18:02: C2 Medal Ceremony

18:07-18:22: K1W Medal Ceremony


There will be live streaming of all these events, except possibly the C2 and K1W heats on August 13.  In other words, you can get up with Bill Endicott at 3 am to see them on your computer -- or you can watch them later in the day after they are archived!


While the C2 and K1W heats may not be streamed live, they will definitely be made part of the archived material on www.NBCOlympics.com, so you can still see it there but with some delay.


NBC informs us that the streaming should work on all PCs and Macs that are less than two years old.


SCHEDULE OF NBC TV BROADCAST COVERAGE:


The TV listings are posted on the NBC website at: http://www.NBCOlympics.com/tv_and_online_listings/


If you go to www.NBCOlympics.com and click on "TV and online listings" on the top tab, you can enter in your zip code and find all your local listings as well.


Be advised that the schedule is tentative and subject to change, so be sure to check NBCOlympics.com for the most up-to-date schedule.