The 2012 London Olympics begin in a few days, on July 27th, and there are new ways to watch world champions outswim, outfence and outrun each other for the gold.
While most people will spend some time watching on their televisions (your HDTV is ready, right?) your smartphone or computer can also keep you posted on medal counts and athletes when you can't watch TV.
1) App: 2012 Team USA Road to London (Android, iOS)
This official app from the United States Olympics Committee gives users a look at "the making of Team USA" with information on who made the team and when. It also promises daily stories on athletes and Olympic sports, such as the four new competitions making their debut in London: cycling omnium, mixed doubles tennis, the modern pentathlon (with fencing and show jumping!) and women's boxing. It allows users to cheer on their favorite athletes with a personal message via Twitter or Facebook.
2) App: BBC Olympics (Android, BlackBerry, iOS)
If you want your 2012 London Olympics to have more of a continental flavor, then try this app. It will provide a slightly different take on the international sporting event, largely featuring British athletes and content. Enjoy with tea and crumpets.
3) Site: London Pick 'Em
Yahoo! Sports gives us this website where users can predict who will win medals throughout the Olympics. We were hoping for some prizes at the end, but so far Yahoo is just awarding points and "bragging rights." But it's the Olympics, so if you love the sport, why not show your expertise at knowing who might win?
4) Site: NBCOlympics.com
The officialNBC website for the 2012 Olympics has all the information you will probably ever want on Olympic athletes, including photos, articles and videos. It also will give cable subscribers to CNBC and MSNBC streaming access to all Olympic events. But not everyone wants to see every sport, such as trapshooting or men's single sculling. So the general site, without special access from a cable subscription, may have all you need.
5) App: NBC Olympics and NBC Olympics Live Extra (Android, iOS)
These apps from NBC come in both Android and iOS flavors and give you information on medal counts and athletes. The NBC Olymics app also serves as an interactive companion to primetime Olympics viewing. With a share button to Twitter, the app makes it easier to update your tweeps about what you're watching. For its part, the NBC Olympics Live Extra app provides bonus video, including the Gold Zone, which features footage of all gold medal-winning performances.
6) App: Official London 2012 Results (Android, BlackBerry, iOS)
One of the official apps of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games gives users all the latest schedules, results and news about the Olympics. People can also follow their favorite countries or events, and the app will keep you updated on their progress. In addition, it keeps a running medal count and features athlete profiles.
7) App: Sports Illustrated Live From London 2012 (iPad)
This iPad app will give Olympics fans more content and photos as the games begin and will supplement and enrich magazine coverage. Right now the app features photos not seen in the magazine, and parent company Time Inc. promises daily updates, schedules and video once the games begin. Users can also expect live Twitter feeds and interviews.