The Best Way To Watch The Olympics This Year

Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images.
If your dream is to watch gymnast Simone Biles live and up close in Rio, you're in luck. Samsung and NBC have partnered on a viewing opportunity that is far superior to streaming this year's Olympics on your laptop, phone, or TV. We'd even argue that it rivals being at the games in person.

Why? You don't need to book pricey airline seats, accommodations, or event tickets. Thanks to the magic of virtual reality, all you need to get in on August's Olympic action is a Samsung Galaxy smartphone and $99 Gear VR headset.

NBC announced today that it's delivering 85 hours of VR programming during the Olympics. By logging into the VR section of the NBC Sports app, you can be at the opening and closing ceremonies, or watch gymnastics, track and field, beach volleyball, diving, and other sports throughout the games, which run from August 6 through August 22.

This is one of the biggest events that this kind of immersive, 360-degree experience has ever been available for. Some European soccer games have been shot in VR; you can watch Cirque du Soleil in VR. But the Olympics — this is big.

And even though the concept of strapping on a headset still feels foreign, we will happily put one on if it means we can see every perfect arabesque, front tuck, and dismount that Simone Biles performs on her way to gold. And not just see it — but see it from any angle, like we're right there in the stadium.

If you're not an Android user, this might be a compelling reason to make the switch.

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