2014 Winter Olympiad in Sochi, Russia

On Feb. 7, the 2014 Winter Olympics began in Sochi. Continued coverage of the Games will likely lead many to spend weekends, evenings or free hours watching their favorite events.

As smartphones and apps offer users the ability to watch their favorite sports on demand, fewer Olympic fans watch the all-day television coverage. The new ways to watch the Olympics have made viewing more popular — Meg James, in a Los Angeles Times piece, “NBC’s London Olympics ratings defy expectations,” noted that over 210 million American viewers watched the London Summer Olympics in 2012.

This made the London Olympics the most viewed television program in history.

Patrick Rishe, a contributor to Forbes, reports statistics in his article, “Sochi’s 2014 Olympics: The Who, What, And How of Olympic Viewership,” that over 156 million Americans are expected to watch at least some part of the Sochi Olympics. Many, Rishe notes, may follow the games on Facebook, Twitter or other social networking sites.

In this respect, Dunbar’s habits are not far off from the rest of the world. Before the start of the Olympics, students and staff spoke to the Lamplighter about their viewing habits.

Most watched only at certain times, such as junior Ellie Mullins, who enjoys watching ice skating and bobsled events the most. Others watch for specific events.

“I’ll usually watch the Olympics for three to four nights,” said business and future Sports Marketing teacher Mr. Chet Jenkins, who also enjoys bobsled events in addition to downhill skiing.

Junior Edward Ash said that he planned to follow the games, and liked to watch a variety of events whenever he can.

The larger Kentucky community has reason to follow the games as well. Our Commonwealth has one athlete competing for Team USA — Dallas Robinson, a member of the bobsledding team. Robinson, born in Oldham County, was originally involved in track and field. Robinson even made an attempt to enter into the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing in the sport, quitting a successful career to train. Although this is his first Winter Olympics, he’s participated in World Cup events in Lake Placid and Sochi.

With new viewing opportunities and old habits, the Dunbar community, Kentucky, and the world will continue to watch their favorite Olympic events through Feb. 23.