With the games of the XXIII Olympiad underway in Pyeongchang, South Korea, my sleep schedule — or what is left of it after a month and a half of leaving schoolwork to the last possible second time and time again — is completely shot. The 6:10 a.m. start times have killed me, and I am here to spread the wealth.
I have put together a selection of Olympic events that start between the hours of 4:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. so that you can wake up with the little bit of sporting flavor you need to start your day. So, without further ado, here is your Winter Olympic Alarm Clock.
Friday, Feb. 16: Women’s Skeleton (8:30 a.m., NBCSN)
I know that the leg bone is connected to the thigh bone, but I will be honest, I do not know much else about the skeleton. I do think it is very brave to name an event after the very thing that you could break forever while trying to compete in it, though. After a cursory glance at the interwebs, I can report that Jacqueline Loelling of Germany is attempting to win her country’s first gold medal in the skeleton. The first hour of the skeleton is only the first two runs of the competition, so if the skeleton bug bites you, you can watch for more later on. For your information, this is the one where they lie on their stomachs.
Saturday, Feb. 17: Men’s Hockey – USA vs. Olympic Athletes from Russia (6:10 a.m.,| NBCSN)
Needless to say, I am not a fan of the 6:10 a.m. start times for my favorite sport, but this game is one that I will not be angry I have to wake up early for. The Russians* are the overwhelming favorite in this tournament, and the Americans are just a bunch of college kids and random professionals who had been relegated to various European leagues. When have we heard that before? I’m not saying that this game will even be close, but there is just something about a matchup between the United States and Russia that always makes the game fun. Who knows, maybe Troy Terry can reprise his role from the World Juniors as shootout hero a la TJ Oshie?
Sunday, Feb. 18: Men’s Bobsled (8:30 a.m., NBCSN)
What I most want to know about the bobsledders is just how they became involved with the world of bobsledding. Seriously, how do you start bobsledding? It is not as if there are icy downhill tracks with giant metal cars to race down in all over the place. Apparently the Germans are the favorite in this competition, which makes sense because they have a bunch of mountains. My question for the U.S. Olympic Committee is this: why are we not as good at bobsledding? We have mountains too, so why can’t we just build the little ice track thing from “Mystery Alaska” and send Lolo Jones to the gold?
Monday, Feb. 19: Women’s Hockey – Semifinal (6:10 a.m., NBCSN)
I know I am a hockey homer, but it just so happens that basically all the hockey games take place during the completely arbitrary time slot that I picked for this article. That being said, the women’s tournament should be heating up around semifinal time with the U.S. and Canada (probably) marching their respective ways to the finals. Who knows which countries will be in this game? U.S. versus Russia? Canada versus Finland? I do not care, I will be watching it. There is only so much Olympic hockey, so the more the merrier.
Tuesday, Feb. 20: Women’s Curling – USA vs. South Korea (4:00 a.m., NBCSN)
Curling is popular for exactly one month every four years in the United States, and this is that month. Curling is basically the epitome of white privilege, so we had better be good at it. We are talking about a sport that involves someone throwing a 40-pound slab of granite down an icy bowling lane that has to be specially treated before every match while their partner uses a broom to warm up the ice that we used energy to freeze. We played this game in my house as a child. It was called “cleaning the floor.” Needless to say, I am jacked up for this curling match, even though it is an early wake up call on a weekday.
Wednesday, Feb. 21: Men’s Hockey – Quarterfinal (6:10 a.m., NBCSN/USA Network)
Both men’s quarterfinals will take place at the same time. This is annoying because it will mean that I have to use two different screens. I have no clue which teams will make it this far into the tournament, but I am looking forward to these games because so many teams have a legitimate chance of medalling this year. There is more parity in this tournament this year than ever, so everybody has a shot. My prediction for the quarterfinal winners will be Russia, Sweden, Canada, and the U.S. I do not really think the Americans have a medal in them, but I really, really want them to.
Hopefully these picks help you avoid necessary sleep. I realize they are heavy on the hockey. I am not sorry.