When I was little, I watched the Olympics on television in awe as Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci won three gold medals and earned the first perfect score in a women's Olympic gymnastic event — a 10 on the uneven bars.
Competing in Montreal in 1976, that young gymnast from so far away inspired many around the world. Today, Comaneci lives in Oklahoma, married to another world-class Olympic gymnast, Bart Conner. (The location of these Olympics is corrected here from a previous version.)
I watched her event on television with my family in a single broadcast to U.S. viewers. Today, Olympic viewing is much more complicated, with tablets, smartphones, the Web and multiple television channels all covering one event for millions worldwide. Just four years ago, many of these devices didn't exist or weren't in widespread use.
The amount of information is overwhelming. As I looked for mobile ways to enjoy the Olympics, I wondered if I could ever sift through it all with the same sense of awe and inspiration that the games usually bring.
Official mobile apps from both the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and from NBC Universal, which is broadcasting the Olympics, seem like they will help viewers absorb and organize the experience.
They're all free and depending on the app, available for multiple devices and operating systems.
Each app offers a slightly different way to enjoy the game. Here's a brief description of each:
NBC's companion apps are NBC Olympics Live Extra and NBC Olympics. “Be there, wherever you are,” reads the tag line for the Olympics app, which has news, videos and photos for each sport and all U.S. athletes. The Live app will stream video for each event live, along with replays and alternate angles, if you have a subscription to services that provide the channel, such as Cox or AT&T.
The organizing committee also has two London 2012 apps covering the Olympic and Paralympic Games: Official Results for news, schedules and results for all athletes, teams and sports and the Official Join In App, billed as a pocket guide to the games.
How will you enjoy the Olympics? Do these apps provide too much information or the right amount? Or email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to Blog.NewsOK.com/get-appy to get more information about these apps.