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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 16, 2008|Randy Harvey


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 has all the information from events that conclude by about 10 p.m. Los Angeles time.

CATCHING UP: For up-to-the-moment news with your morning cup of French roast, go to 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 of your TV screen, that means it's live on the East Coast, so it's three hours delayed here.


MEN'S BASKETBALL: Pau Gasol came from Memphis to Los Angeles to team with Kobe Bryant and turn the Lakers into an NBA championship contender. Now Gasol and Bryant are on opposite sides in the United States vs. Spain men's basketball game. The U.S. is a prohibitive favorite for gold because of the way it has been playing here, but Spain is considered a medal contender despite the distraction of the controversial advertisement the team posed for back home.

WOMEN'S MARATHON: The United States hasn't won a medal in this event since 1984, when Joan Benoit finished first. But the Americans are hopeful with a trio of Californians: Deena Kastor of Mammoth Lakes, Magdalena Lewy Boulet of Oakland and Blake Russell of Pacific Grove. It's fortunate for them that the air has cleared significantly in recent days because of rain.

TRACK AND FIELD: One of the Olympics' premier events, the men's 100, will take place in prime time -- for Chinese audiences. Get up early to see whether Tyson Gay can beat the Jamaicans, Asafa Powell or Usain Bolt.

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