With less than a month until the 2016 Olympic Games kickoff in Rio de Janeiro, it’s time to start thinking about which events you’ll watch where and when. Some events are great for you phone over lunch, others deserve a tablet view throughout the day and many need that primetime coverage on at least 36 inches of HD TV.
So, how do you decide? Unless you have a sibling or a Home Depot co-worker competing, the easiest way to pick your events is to start attaching yourself to certain athletes. And in 2016, you start with looks and then go for the heroics and sob stories.
1. Tom Boon // Field Hockey // Belgium
Where’s Belgium and what’s field hockey? Don’t know, but I’ll let Tom be my guide to the ever-interesting and probably progressive world of hockey on grass.
2. Epke Zonderland // Gymnastics // Netherlands
His last could easily be a small European country I’ve never heard of, but because of this man’s hair and puppy I already set my DVR for “horizontal bar apparatus,” which is apparently a sport.
3. Casey Eichfeld // Canoe/Kayak // US
I triple-checked the Olympic definition/version of canoe is exactly what you’re thinking. Casey uses a paddle to do something and he carries this big red thing on planes. I’ll be excited to watch and learn more. Also, he has to wear a helmet. Dangerous!
4. Ian Millar // Equestrian // Canada
I usually just call this sport “horses,” but I might switch it up this year. Why? Because of this guy! Millar is literally older than my dad and competed in his first Olympics in 1972. Different horses, I assume. Canadians love this guy and dubbed him “Captain Canada” before most of us were even born.
I know very little about Canada, but it seems “so Canadian” of them to have a 69-year-old Olympian.
5. Lucas Daniel // Archery // France
What’s an archery competitor called? An archist? Seems off, but Daniel is right on target. That smile! That beard! Bullseye.
6. Fergus Kavanagh // Field Hockey // Australia
The official Australian Olympic team website says Fergus plays “hockey.” But, that can’t be right. Fergus doesn’t wear sleeves and has most of his teeth. Also, field hockey or field hotties?
7. Petr Frydch // Track and Field // Czech Republic
Petr is missing a few vowels in his, but he can sure throw a stick through the air.
8. Hannes Aigner // Canoe/Kayak // Germany
I guess I’m super into canoes now.
9. Filippo Lanza // Volleyball // Italy
Normally, I wouldn’t advocate getting wrapped up in something like men’s volleyball, but Filippo has changed my mind.