A guide to watching the Sochi Games in Sweden
Published: 07 Feb 2014 15:06 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Feb 2014 15:06 GMT+01:00
Swedes are revved for Friday's opening of 2014 Winter Olympics Games in Sochi. To help readers make sense of this Swedish Olympic frenzy, we've put together the ultimate guide for who and what to watch (and when). Check it out.
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Sweden, along with much of the rest of the world, is eagerly awaiting the start of the Sochi games. The Local gives you the lowdown.
So, how many athletes is Sweden sending to Sochi?
Sweden's Sochi delegation includes 106 athletes, along with 126 coaches, trainers, and other officials, roughly the same size of the delegation Sweden sent to Vancouver in 2010.
And who'll be carrying the flag at the opening ceremonies?
The honour goes to cross-country skier Anders Södergren. The 36-year-old already has two Olympic Games under his belt, picking up a gold in Vancouver in 2010 and a bronze in Turin in 2006 as part of the Swedish men's relay team.
What about the outfits? What will the Swedish team be wearing?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Swedish Olympic team has been outfitted by H&M with designs that "bring together sport and fashion in a totally new way" and are influenced by "Swedish heritage". Tune in and judge for yourself how Sweden stacks up in terms of winter Olympic fashion.
With all those athletes, surely Sweden stands to bring home some medals, right?
Well, Swedes certainly hope so. And yes, Sweden is expected to pick up some medals in Sochi. At the most recent Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Sweden snagged five golds, two silvers, and four bronzes, although the total of 11 medals fell short of the record 14 medals Sweden captured in Turin in 2006.
OK, so who are the favourites to represent Sweden on the podium? Who should I be supporting?
For Sweden, achieving Winter Olympic glory tends to land on the shoulders of the country's cross-country skiers and men's ice hockey teams. While a number of experts have picked both the men's and women's curling teams to reach the medal stand, national pride gets a bit more of a boost if the men's ice hockey team wins gold (or at the very least finished ahead of the Finns). Similarly, cross-country skiing (and biathlon) has brought Sweden past success, and even if a medal eludes them, as long as Sweden beats Norway in some of the events, Swedes have something to cheer about.
For a full run down of all the events in which Swedes are competing, check out this guide (in Swedish) from the Swedish Olympic Committee.
And how do I tune in from Sweden to watch all this Olympic fun?
It's worth remembering that Sochi is three hours ahead of Sweden, so action will start and end early, meaning there will be plenty of prime-time action.
Usually, public broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT) broadcasts the Olympics, but they lost out to Swedish media giant MTG, which owns TV3, TV10, as well as the Viasat cable channels.
Under the new set up, TV3 will broadcast live coverage from Sochi from 6am to 10pm every day during the Olympics. TV10 will broadcast Olympic events 24/7, with a mixture of live coverage, reruns, and highlights.
Cable subscribers with Viasat's sports package also have plenty to choose from on multiple Viasat channels, including some dedicated entirely to the Olympic Games. Viasat is also touting its streaming service, ViastaPlay, for people who want to watch Olympic action from their smartphones or tablets.
What else do I need to know?
Well, if you were planning on watching the Olympics during office hours, you may want to think twice. A news item earlier this week reminding Swedes that they shouldn't expect their employers to turn a blind eye when staff slack off from their duties to check what's happening in Sochi. An employment law expert suggested staff look into organizing office-wide viewing parties as a way to avoid getting into trouble with the boss.