The opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games will be broadcast on NBC Friday, August 8 starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. With 1,400 hours of television coverage broadcast on seven different networks (plus two channels dedicated to basketball and soccer) and 2,000 hours of online coverage, it’s impossible to watch everything.
So I have highlighted the most important parts – when the openly gay and lesbian athletes will be competing, so you can watch and cheer them on! Since China is 12 hours ahead of Eastern Time, you might have to set your alarm clock (or drink a lot of coffee to stay awake) to catch some of the events.
First up is handball. Gro Hammersengand Katja Nyberg (pictured) are teammates on the Norwegian team and they’re a couple as well! NBC’s Olympics Web site states that Hammerseng (she’s the team captain) has what it takes to lead her team to the Gold medal this year. First up will be a match against the hometown team from China. You can watch that match on August 9 at 7 a.m. ET online.
Judith Arndt is a German cyclist who took the Silver in the 2004 Games. As she crossed the finish line in Athens she made an obscene finger gesture in protest of her partner (cyclist Petra Rossner and an accomplished sprinter) not being named to the German cycling team. So who knows what’s in store for these Games. The women’s road race can be seen August 10 starting at 2 a.m. ET online.
Another German and openly lesbian is the epeé fencer Imke Duplitzer. She won a Silver medal in the 2004 Games in the team competition. Women’s epeé fencing begins August 13 at 1:30 a.m. ET online.
Finally, a man who has received a lot of American press is openly gay diverMatthew Mitcham (pictured) from Australia. He is a legitimate contender for the gold in both 3m springboard and 10m platform. NBC will broadcast the 3m preliminaries on August 18 at 11:30 a.m. ET. The 10m platform will first show up on NBC on August 22 at 8 p.m. ET.
I’ll continue to follow the progress of these out Olympians and any other noteworthy stories over the course of the event and post them on cineQueer.