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2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events

This article is Sponsored by CenturyLink

For centuries, the Olympic Games have brought together athletes from across the globe and entertained the world. The 2016 version in Rio is projected to be the most-watched television event in U.S. history, surpassing the 219 million who watched the London Olympic Games.

The Rio Olympics will be broadcast on NBC for the eighth consecutive Summer Games. The games officially begin with the opening ceremony Aug. 5, but events like soccer and gymnastics begin Aug. 3. You can see a complete schedule at

You can see a complete schedule at

“All events will be live streamed on and across NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets and connected TVs,” reports NBC.

Events will be broadcast across a wide array of NBC Universal networks and full details and channel listings will be available closer to the start date.

Having the right television option will ensure you don’t miss any of the athletic competition. For example, CenturyLink’s Prism TV gives viewers advanced features like Find-It-Fast Navigation, Multi-View and Prism on the Go. Of course, viewers can also record multiple channels at once.

Here are some of the can’t-miss storylines for the 2016 Rio games.

Refugee competitors

For the first time, a refugee team of 10 athletes will compete. Because of their political status, instead of representing their countries, the athletes will compete for medals under an Olympic flag and instead of a national anthem, the Olympic theme will play for them.

“It is … a signal to the international community that refugees are our fellow human beings and are an enrichment to society,” IOC president Thomas Bach said in a report for CNN. “These refugee athletes will show the world that despite the unimaginable tragedies that they have faced, anyone can contribute to society through their talent, skills and strength of the human spirit.”

Long lost events return

Two events that disappeared from Olympic competition are included in the Rio games. Golf is returning after a 112-year hiatus. Male and female golfers will compete individually on a new Olympic course. Rugby returns to Rio as a seven-player version with tournaments for both men and women. A 15-man version of rugby was part of the Olympic Games between 1900 and 1924. Complete information about all 42 sports for Rio is available at

More Michael Phelps

No Olympic athlete has accumulated more medals with 22 (18 gold) than Phelps. He briefly retired after the 2012 games, but decided to return to the pool in 2014. Now he’s back for the fifth time and it seems likely he will add to that total count.

“I think we’re going to see him go faster than he’s ever gone,” coach Eddie Reese was quoted as saying in a Sports Illustrated article. “He’s going to be very, very hard to beat.”

Women’s soccer

The U.S. women’s soccer team is the reigning world champion after defeating Japan 5-2 in the World Cup in 2015. No World Cup champ has ever won the Olympic gold medal, but that could change. Rio will be the sixth Olympics to feature women’s soccer and the U.S. women took gold at four of the first five games, so their chances look good.

U.S. basketball     centurylink-survey-5 (3)

A disappointing bronze medal finish in 2004 led to hiring Duke University coach Mike Krzyzewski and the U.S. men’s team won gold in 2008 and 2012. This will be Coach K’s final Olympics and competition is stiff among players who want to be part of the latest dream team. Meanwhile, says the U.S. women’s team is the safest bet at the games for a gold medal. The U.S. women are on a 41-game Olympic winning streak, dating back to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

The next superstar gymnast?  

Simone Biles is not a household name, but she soon might be. The 19-year-old has three world all-around titles to go with three American crowns. Gabby Douglas, the 2012 all-around gold medal winner is generally considered second best. Things never go exactly as planned in this event, though, and every Olympics seems to vault unknowns to stardom.

Rio is just an hour different than the East Coast and four hours ahead of the West Coast, according to the World Clock. That means many events can be viewed on live TV. No matter what events you plan to watch, the best way to make sure you don’t miss anything is with a watch-and-record option like that found on CenturyLink’s Prism TV.


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