Set Your Alarms: 50 Must See Olympic Moments


The quadrennial sporting extravaganza that is the Olympic Games is nearly upon us, and as a result later this week the eyes of the world turn to Rio. In preparation for the late nights caused by patriotic attention to sports neglected for all bar 16 days every 4 years, The Sportress will look at a few sports of interest and at some Australian medal chances.

We know it can be hard to try and navigate the schedules of 28 sports across 16 days, all the while calculating time zone differences, and work out what to focus on. Today we take the guess work out of it and give you the specifics of what you need to see and when it’s on, increasing your chances of seeing Aussie Olympic glory and experiencing the best Rio 2016 can offer. So set your alarms, because here are the 50 must see Olympic Moments.

Saturday 6th August

9am: Opening Ceremony – where else are you going to watch fireworks, interpretive dance and the largest collection of the world’s elite athletes assembled in one place? If you’ve ever wanted to know how to say Burkina Faso in Portugese or Turkmenistan in French, then this is for you as each of the 206 participating countries will be introduced in English, French and Portugese.

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Mearesy! will be carrying the flag for Australia 

10.30pm: Mens Olympic Road Race – Richie Porte

Fresh from his strong showing in the Tour de France, Porte could figure prominently in this race which appears to favour strong climbers like him. If he doesn’t, hopefully Phil Ligget is commentating, because it really doesn’t matter what you are watching if he is commentating, it will just be an enjoyable few hours.

Sunday 7th August:

7am Women’s Football Group F Match – Matildas v Germany.

After their first up loss to Canada the highly fancied Matildas now walk a tightrope if they are to claim Australia’s first Olympic Football medal. It starts with this match up against Germany. You can read our take on the Olympic Football Tournament here.

12.24pm: Women’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Final – The Campbell sister’s first opportunity for gold, as between them they hold the 100m world record and world championship gold. Teammates Emma McKeon and Brittany Elmslie must be pretty happy with their chance of becoming Olympic Gold Medallists.

Monday 8th August

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It seemed so cool at the time

12.54pm: Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Final – Perennially strong, the Aussie men will fancy their chances of at least bringing home a medal and maybe, if they can win, they can replicate the air guitars of Thorpey, Klimmy and co played when we won gold over the US in 2000.

Tuesday 9th August

8am: Women’s Rugby Gold Medal Match – Will the World Champion Pearls crown 2016 with Olympic Gold? Did you read our Olympic Rugby preview, don’t fear it’s never too late, you can here.

11:38pm: Men’s 100m backstroke final – Mitch Larkin is the favourite in the 200m backstroke, and being ranked third in the world in the 100m means he has a strong chance to medal here.

Wednesday 10 August

11:22pm Rowing: Men’s Quad Sculls Final A – Karsten Fosterling, Alexander Belongogoff, James McRae and Cameron Girdlestone two world cup regatta wins in the lead up to Rio mean these guys are a serious medal threat.

Thursday 11 August

8am Men’s Basketball Group A Match – Our Boomers take on the USA in this Group A match up. How will our team packed with NBA talent go against Kevin Durant and Co? If you want a little light reading you can take a look at our Olympic Basketball Preview here.

thumbnail_Professor McEvoy chases the winning formula
Is there anything McEvoy can’t do? 

12:03pm Men’s 100m freestyle final – Cameron McEvoy is the hot favourite, can he become the first Aussie man since Michael Wendon in 1968 to claim the blue riband event?

Friday 12 August

1.30am Womens Kayak K1 Slalom Final – After being christened the ‘Silver Fox’ after an unlikely London placing, Jessica Fox is the strong favourite to go one better in Rio. ‘Golden Fox’ doesn’t have the same ring though.

thumbnail_Will the silver fox change her moniker

Sly like a?

7.30am Men’s Rugby Bronze Medal and Gold Medal Matches – With luck our Thunderbolts will be in action in either of these matches. If not there is a fairytale for Australians to follow, with Fiji favoured to win the nation’s first ever Olympic Gold. Fair to say Kava sales may be in line for a spike. You still haven’t read our Rugby preview? Go and take a look here.

11:26am Men’s 200m backstroke final – Mitch Larkin could be chasing his second medal of the games as he is the World Number 1 in the event.

12:18pm Women’s 100m freestyle final – Cate Campbell is the World Record Holder in this event and her sister Bronte Campbell is the World Champion. It will take quite a swim to stop one of these siblings claiming gold.

thumbnail_Campbell sisters lead oz assault in pool
The Campbell family is very talented

12.01pm Men’s 200m Individual Medley Final – American Michael Phelps has done just about everything in the sport. Enough Gold Medals to sink a ship (18). One aborted retirement. In Rio he is aiming to become the first swimmer to win the event 4 times. This is the first of his two best chances.

Saturday 13 August

07:42am Track cycling: men’s team pursuit final – Australia are the World Champions and strong favourites for the gold. So it may be fair to say that the rest of the field are pursuing the Aussies, but only if you like puns like that.

11:03am Women’s 200m backstroke final – There was said to be only a ‘length of Donald Trump’s finger’ between Belinda Hocking and World Champion Emily Seebohm at the Australian Olympic Trials. The gap between them and the field should be considerably longer.

thumbnail_Enough gold to sink two ships
Good looking rooster

11.12am Men’s 100m Butterfly Final – Michael Phelps will again line up to win an event for the 4th successive Olympics. If he was successful yesterday he will also be swimming for Olympic Gold Number 20! Nearly enough to sink two ships.

11:44pm Rowing: women’s single sculls final A – World Champion Kim Brennan should better the silver she won in London by claiming the gold in Rio.

Sunday 14 August

6.27am Women’s Cycling – Keiren Final – Anna Meares should again figure prominently; is there another golden chapter left in her story book career? The Sportress took a look at Anna and her amazing career last year – take a look here.

9.50am Men’s Long Jump Final – Farbrice Lapierre having won silver at the most recent indoor and outdoor World Championships it is clear his best is good enough to mix it. Can he produce it on the day and supplant Jumping Jai Taurima as Australia’s most recent Long Jump Olympic Medallist? Does anyone else remember Jumping Jai Taurima??

thumbnail_Lapierre in full flight

Fortunately Lapierre isn’t a smoker like Jumping Jai

11:11am Men’s 1500m freestyle final – An event Australia is traditionally strong in, Mack Horton, will hope to add his name to the long list of Australian winners. Standing in his way might be favourite Gregorio Paltrinieri or the two Americans Connor Jaeger and Jordon Wilimovsky.

11:35am Women’s 100m Final – One of the true classic Olympic events. Who will be crowned the fastest woman on earth?

11:49am Women’s 4 x 100m medley relay final – With selection headaches in almost every leg, the swimmers who miss out on this team would almost be a medal chance too. With either Bronte or Cate Campbell anchoring the team they will be very hard to beat.

8pm Golf Men’s Individual Stroke Play Final Round – After a 112 year absence golf makes a heavily star reduced return to the Olympics. I suggest this as a potential peculiarity only, if the withdrawal rates are similar in Tokyo in 2020, this may well be a very short return for golf to the Olympic fold.

Monday 15 August

04:34am Gymnastics men’s pommel horse final – no real Australian fancy in this but it wouldn’t be the Olympics if you didn’t watch something you had no idea about and profess an expert scoring knowledge after 10 minutes. Plus there is always the chance of this happening.

06:04am Cycling: men’s sprint final – Matthew Glaetzer

The silver medallist at the world champs will be a serious medal chance here.

thumbnail_Will Bolt sprint off with a hat trick of hat trick
You might remember this gent from previous games 

11:25am Men’s 100m Final – Can Usain Bolt sign off from Olympic competition with an unprecedented 3 consecutive golds in the Olympic Games true blue riband event?

TBC Men’s Tennis Gold Medal Match – Can Novak Djokovic become just the 3rd man, behind Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal, to claim a career ‘Golden Slam’?

Tuesday 16 August

10:23am Women’s kayak double 500m final A – Alyssa Bull and Alyce Burnett after winning bronze at the under 23 World Champs, this pair will be hoping to do similar in the their Olympic debut.

Wednesday 17 August

06:05am Track cycling: women’s omnium points race – Annette Edmondson claimed two gold at the 2015 World Championships, winning the Omnium by a healthy 16 points, her chances are not overstated.

06:44am Track cycling: women’s sprint final – Aussie Treasure Anna Meares, after carrying the flag at the Opening Ceremony, will be shooting for her third Olympic gold here.

Thursday 18 August

03:00am Boxing: Women’s 60kg Semi Final – With luck Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist Shelley Watts will still be in action. A defeat means a Bronze, victory sees her one win away from being Australia’s first Boxing Gold Medallist.

03:05am Sailling: men’s 470 medal race –Mat Belcher and Will Ryan are defending champs and are every chance of repeating their London success (and catching a supervirus).

10:15am Women’s long jump final – Brooke Stratton broke the Australian record in March in a leap that would have been good enough for bronze in London. At her best she could push for a medal here.

thumbnail_Beach volleyball is a sport
Beach volleyball is being played at the Copa….Copacabana…

11am Women’s Beach Volleyball Gold Medal Match – If women in bikinis and picturesque beaches are your thing, then this is sport perfect for you. Please forgive me for the attempt at humour, if you tune in you will see a rapid fire, highly athletic sport played out in front of 15,000 screaming fans on Copacabana Beach.

10:00pm Kayak: men’s K2 1000m Final  – Ken Wallace and Lachlan Tame have dominated this event since pairing up two years ago, and they’re as close to certainties for a medal as is possible. Anything can happen on the day though, just ask Shane Kelly.

Friday 19 August

05:00am Diving Women’s 10m Platform Final – Australia’s Beijing Silver Medallist Melissa Wu will again contest this event. Expectations are overly high for the diminutive veteran but an Olympics wouldn’t be an Olympics without arguing with one of the judges scores despite your complete lack of expertise in the sport.

06:00am Hockey: men’s gold medal match – The World Champion Kookaburras are perennial gold medal favourites. They again enter the games with high expectations, and should be there when the whips are cracking but the Dutch might play party poopers.

thumbnail_The kookaburras will be shooting for gold
We care deeply about Hockey once every four years

08:00am Men’s 50km race walk – Jared Tallent enters this event the defending champion, he will be hoping to walk away from Rio with the gold after having to wait 4 years for his London gold.

11:30am Men’s 200m Final – Usain Bolt, the fastest man on two legs will be trying to add another Olympic gold to his famed Olympic career.

Saturday 20 August

1:00am Women’s Hockey Bronze Medal and Gold Medal Matches – The Hockeyroos are second favourites behind the Netherlands. You might actually be able to sleep in and our girls may be playing off for the gold at 6am.

2:00am Women’s Football Bronze Medal and Gold Medal Matches – With luck the Matildas will have managed their tight rope to the business end of the tournament. The Gold medal game starts at 6.30 where the US team will most likely once again start favourites.

04:00am Women’s BMX final – Caroline Buchanan is as good a chance as any in the mad dash that is Olympics BMX Racing.

04.30am – Women’s Water Polo Gold Medal Match – Gold Medal favourites the USA have only lost two games this year, both times to our Stingers. Can the Stingers replicate the heroics of our 2000 gold medal team?

11:35am Men’s 4 x 100m Relay Final – This will be the last chance for you to see Usain Bolt in Olympic competition. You don’t want to miss this, will he end his Olympic journey with 3 from 3 yet again?

Sunday 21 August

4.30am Women’s Basketball Gold Medal Match – Our Opals won World Championship Gold in Brazil in 2006. Will lightning strike twice and see them finally taste Olympic Gold?

6.30am Men’s Football Gold Medal Match – The match Brazil will have waited the entire Games for, ghosts of 1950 and 2014 can be exorcised if Neymar can lead the Canarinho to Gold.

thumbnail_Brazil fans hope to bury ghosts of 1950 and 2014
Can they overcome the pain of 2014? 

Monday 22 August

4.30am Men’s Basketball Gold Medal Match – Will the depleted US team defend their London gold? If the US make it you’ll have a chance to see some of the world’s best in action while cheering against them.

9.00am Closing Ceremony – Rio, a city that loves and knows how to throw a party, gets one last chance to celebrate with the world.

If you just want all your news in one simple place consider signing up to The Guardian’s Daily Olympic briefing. Their promise is: Each day we’ll send you a catch-up of the latest winners and losers, a guide to the highlights of the day, plus all the news you need and the stories you might have missed. We’ll take you through all the events, from A(rchery) to W(restling, Greco-Roman) in the world’s greatest sporting contest, from 5 to 21 August.

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