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Olympics Special

Our gold-medal guide to must-see Olympic TV

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Wednesday September 13

MEN’S SOCCER: USA VS. CZECH REPUBLIC
Don’t look now, but the Games of the XXVII Olympiad are kicking off on basic cable. The U.S. Men’s Soccer Team tries to overcome its World Cup embarrassment with the crazy new strategy of actually trying to put the ball into a net for once in this opening-round match. The real action, however, comes straight from the announcer’s booth, where Andres ”Goooooooaaaaaallllll!” Cantor will be calling his very first game in English.

Friday September 15

OPENING CEREMONY
The Parade of Nations, the lighting of the Olympic Flame, the scores of world-class athletes dancing around in silly costumes: It’s all here! But which famous Aussie will be tapped to carry the torch on its last leg: Yahoo Serious? Paul Hogan? Men at Work’s Colin Hay, perhaps? All doubtful, since none are athletes, mate.

Saturday September 16

SWIMMING: WOMEN’S 4x100M FREESTYLE RELAY AND OTHER FINAL EVENTS
She’s never won an individual gold, but with a victory in tonight’s relay, 27-year-old Jenny Thompson would break the American women’s record with her sixth first-place medal.

Sunday September 17

MEN’S BASKETBALL: USA VS. CHINA
In their Olympic debut, Dream Team 46 (or whatever number we’re on now) must play solid, turnover-free ball if they want to make it past this frisky Chinese squad. The upstart underdogs should be able to target the U.S.’s slow rotations and exploit the lackadaisical help-defense to make a real game of … oh, who are we kidding? This one will be over in 14 seconds.

Tuesday September 19

ARCHERY: WOMEN’S INDIVIDUAL FINAL
Geena Davis may have snagged herself a new sitcom, but 18-year-old Karen Scavotto scored what the redhead celeb was really after: a trip to Sydney as a member of the U.S. Archery Team.

Wednesday September 20

MEN’S GYMNASTICS: INDIVIDUAL ALL-AROUND FINAL
Blaine Wilson tries to become the second American man to win an all-around medal. More importantly, his victory could lay the foundation for a full-blown Gymkata revival!

Thursday September 21

SOFTBALL: USA VS. AUSTRALIA
The U.S. Softball Team is so dominant, they’ve lost only five games in the last 10 years. The one problem: Four of the five losses were to Australia, including one at the ’96 Games in Atlanta. But will Aussie overconfidence — spurred on by home-field advantage — play into the hands (or gloves, actually) of their American rivals?

Friday September 22

WEIGHTLIFTING: WOMEN’S SUPER HEAVYWEIGHT FINAL
Seventeen-year-old Cheryl Haworth has already set U.S. records in both the clean and jerk and the snatch. We have no idea what any of that means, but it sounds impressive, not to mention a bit risqué. The 5-foot-9-inch, 304-pound teen goes for the title of world’s strongest woman in this inaugural Olympic event. Even if she doesn’t get it, she can still kick your butt any day of the week.

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