Get your popcorn ready. Wednesday is the biggest night on the Olympic schedule with American stars Lindsey Vonn, Shaun White, and Apolo Ohno all in action on NBC. Here are the three things to look out for:
1. Watch Lindsey Vonn's race from five hours ago. Ripping NBC for showing events on tape delay is like "The Godfather": It never gets old. Though most of the country will have heard long before NBC's coverage begins that Lindsey Vonn lived up to the hype and won the women's downhill in dominating fashion, Bob Costas will still cut to skiing announcer Tim Ryan on Wednesday night and act like Vonn's victory isn't old news. That doesn't mean you shouldn't watch, though. The drama won't be nearly as high as it was during the competition, when Vonn's run and the interminable wait for the other leaders to take the course was as compelling as television (or grainy British feeds available on pirated Internet sites) gets, but it's still going to be pretty exciting.
2. Shaun White. Though we'll see plenty more from Vonn during the Olympics, Wednesday night is the only appearance of NBC's other darling, Shaun White. He'll be competing in the halfpipe semifinals and finals. We'd add the caveat that he might not qualify for the finals, but come on – he's Shaun White. If you're not excited about the event, this might change your mind:
3. Apolo back on the ice. All right, maybe this is NBC's biggest night. It features the three biggest American stars of the Games: Vonn, White, and Apolo Ohno. (Thursday night's male figure skating long program will be a ratings grabber too, though.) The six-time medalist and former "Dancing With the Stars" champ won't be competing for a medal Wednesday; it's just the qualifying heats in the short-track 1,000m.
The biggest question: NBC's Olympic coverage lost to "American Idol" Tuesday night in the ratings. With the brightest three stars in action Wednesday, will this be the night "Idol" finally gets topped? (The show has won its time slot in each of its 221 episodes.)
- Lindsey Vonn
- Shaun White
- Apolo Ohno