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BEIJING 2008

How to follow the Games: Confused? Who isn't? Trying to figure out what happened yesterday, what's happening today and what's happening tomorrow in Beijing has become an Olympic exercise in confusion. Here's a little help.

August 14, 2008

When it's 8 a.m. in Los Angeles . . . it is 11 p.m. in Beijing

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VIEWERS GUIDE

TIMING: Beijing is 15 hours ahead of Los Angeles. That means as you grab your morning paper at 8 a.m. today, it's already 11 p.m. in Beijing. Much of the action takes place from about 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. Pacific time. The Times' daily special section Beijing 2008 will have all the information from events that conclude by about 10 p.m. Los Angeles time.

CATCHING UP: For up-to-the-moment overnight news with your morning cup of French roast, go to latimes.com/olympics and pull up the "While you were sleeping" entry on The Times' Olympic blog, Ticket to Beijing. Times Sports Editor Randy Harvey will fill you in on the big events that took place after you finally turned off coverage of women's handball and hit the sack.

LIVE TV? Because of the time difference, virtually no competition we see on NBC on the West Coast is live. When you see "Live" in the upper right-hand corner of your TV screen, that means it's live on the East Coast, so it's three hours delayed here.

COMING UP

GYMNASTICS: The United States finished second in the women's gymnastics team competition to China, but Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin lived up to their billing as two of the world's best. They are gold-medal contenders for the United States in the women's all-around. China has more than one contender, too.

SWIMMING: Michael Phelps will be going for his sixth gold medal here, the 12th of his career, in the 200-meter individual medley. It could be Amanda Beard's final Olympic swim in the 200 breaststroke. Phelps passed Paavo Nurmi (Finland), Larysa Latynina (Soviet Union), Mark Spitz (U.S.) and Carl Lewis (U.S.) -- all with nine -- as the most decorated gold medalist in Olympic history.

BASEBALL: Get a look at some major league prospects, not only on the U.S. team, but also on Cuba's as they meet in round play. Cuban players like to defect, though it's unlikely they will do so in Beijing.

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