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Watching Winter Olympics 'Live' Is For The Early Birds And Night Owls

The 12-hour time difference between the Pacific Northwest and Sochi, Russia threatens to rob sleep from diehard sports fans and the families of local athletes competing at the Winter Olympics.

Watching events 'live' will often require getting up in the middle of the night or early in the morning.

Mary Bjornsen is the mother of two Olympians from Washington's Methow Valley. She says she's used to the night owl routine from watching live streams of World Cup racing in Europe earlier in the season.

Bjornsen sees an advantage to staying home rather than crossing the pond to Sochi. She says the better view offered by a live webcast makes up for the 2 a.m. alarm.

"You get to see it upfront," she says. "We would never be able to see it if we were there live. I am plenty comfortable in getting up and watching it."

Winter Olympic enthusiasts have a number of options to time-shift their favorite events. Cable subscribers can download a mobile app from NBC that offers full event replays.

For the growing number of people without cable, there are other options. Techies can download software to bypass the out-of-country blocks at the CBC or BBC websites, although the legality of that is questionable.

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.