We've said our share of bad things about the FIG, and Lord knows they've deserved every single one of them, but today we're going to single them out for praise. In fact, we're going to praise them to the skies for a bit, for it seems they're offering us live coverage of the World Cup Final, with live commentary to boot. Word is they're even going to offer us some IRCOS (Instant Replay and Information System) footage, which is to say they'll post the video footage judges use to check gymnasts' routines in case of inquiries into technical marks. How cool is that?
Cooler for you than for us, probably, because due to some exceedingly ill-timed real-life exigencies, we may not be able to watch the competition or follow the live commentary, nor do much reporting on it afterward. So in order to catch at least some glimpse of the action, we'll probably have to rely on some kindly and most likely Brazilian souls to post the routines on YouTube. Muitas obrigadas in advance, unknown YouTube posters!
Anyhow. About that live broadcast...
For access to the feed, check out the relevant section of the FIG site here!
As to the competition times, on Saturday the competition will start at 18:00 hrs local time, which, if we've done our math correctly, means the same time in Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, and most of Western and Central Europe; 20:00 hrs in Moscow; 19:00 hrs in Bucharest and Johannesburg; 17:00 hrs in London; 15:00 hrs in Rio de Janeiro; 13:00 hrs in Santiago; 12:00 hrs in New York and Toronto; and 09:00 hrs in Los Angeles and Vancouver. People in Australasia will either have to stay up very late or get up very early to watch the competition; it is broadcast on Sunday morning at 01:00 hrs Beijing and Singapore time; 02:00 hrs Tokyo time; and 04:00 hrs Melbourne and Sydney time. On Sunday, the competition will start at 17:00 hrs local time, which means one hour earlier than the times listed above.
Sandra Izbasa (photo: Volker Minkus/FIG)
Finally, some other cool things about the FIG's World Cup site:
--- Check out the photo galleries here. Right now there are only four images there (including a gorgeous portrait of Elsa Garcia), but we expect more high-quality photos to be posted over the course of the weekend. Volker Minkus (the official FIG photographer at the event) is a pretty good photographer.
Elsa Garcia (photo: Volker Minkus/FIG)
--- It appears the finals will be contested in Olympic order, meaning we (or rather you) will see men's floor, pommels, and still rings, as well as women's vault and uneven bars, on Day 1, and men's vault, parallel bars, and horizontal bar, as well as women's beam and floor, on Day 2. In other words, there will be none of this awful reshuffling of events which took place in Beijing, which is good as we still can't get over the fact that the women's vault and floor finals were held on the same day there, even though it's been three months since it happened and we know it's impossible to reverse the results. So, well done, FIG. No, seriously.
If we don't get another chance to talk to you before the competition, enjoy the action, and spare a nice thought for the FIG for enabling us to watch the competition live!