were mostly watched in silent mode from an exercise bike in the gym, and only at the hours NBC deemed suitable; ie, marketable. They were interleaved with commercials, roughly a sheaf of them every 10 minutes, with garishly colored square pizzas at unbeatable prices and aging men with incredible sixpacks.
My London daughter, like every other British person I know, grumbled (the NYT taught us a new word for this, "whinged") in the months leading up to the games, swore she would leave town; but once they started kept sending me links to Youtubes I couldn't watch, because "this video is not available in your part of the world"; eg., the BBC version of the Queen being escorted to her chopper by James Bond. NBC had exclusivity on that.
By the end of Week One, my daughter, who is not British, though she has lived in London for a fair number of years, told me that for the first time in her life she found herself saying "we" and meaning "we British."
Me too, I almost felt British, though that goes back a few generations to some salt smuggling sabbath breakers in Scotland. Four years ago I wondered how London was ever going to put on an Opening Ceremony after the Beijing Extravaganza. Mais voilà! All you need is a sense of humor. Thanks, GB.
(And now at the gym it's American football, which I don't begin to understand and baseball, which is not a spectator sport.)