Admittedly, Ted Turner's cold war-era loss leader has occasionally gotten lost in the shuffle. But these games, while not exactly Olympic, at least feature Olympians—in real sports. If a few sports are out of season, that just adds to the fun; it's a kick to tune into ice skating one day and boxing the next. There's also the chance you'll see some history, like the U.S. men's 4 x 400-meter world record on July 22.
Skysurfing, speed climbing and wakeboarding may be unconventional, but they make this concoction more than a watered-down version of the summer of '96. You can watch a street luger skitter into hay bales at 70 mph, or a hell-bent skateboarder bonk while trying to catch bigger air. There's a spirit of one-upmanship that hits the spot for those engaged in the universal summer event—channel surfing.