As weighty as NBC's site is—it's the Britannica of Olympic Web sites—there's little fat here. "I just spoke at a conference today," said Feuer, 38, in July, "at which some middle-aged sports journalist complained that there was too much on our site. I told him that he didn't have to look at everything. It's compartmentalized for a reason."
If you're the up-close-and-personal type, you may while away hours reading some of the more than 1,000 Athlete Bios, which typically run 200 words. If you're someone who has dog-eared copies of Track & Field News lying around the house, you may want to compare sprinters' starting-block reaction times. Or you may want to hear one of 50-odd participants discussing his or her favorite topic—himself or herself—on Athlete's Voice. Or perhaps you feel like going on a walkabout; in that case you should click on the Australia link, which includes 50 Things You Might Not Know about Australia (e.g., Koala bears are not bears).
"You couldn't possibly have predicted how much this site has grown in four years," says NBC track analyst Dwight Stones. In 1996, when the Web site was the network's unloved stepchild, Stones was clandestinely hosting chats on AOL for audiences that numbered in the dozens. "Now I'm writing on our site nearly every day," he says, "and we're expecting roughly 10 million unique visitors from now until the end of the Olympics."
The official site of the 2000 Games lives up to its billing. Each link has an attractively designed home page. Particularly worthwhile links are About the Games, History and Sydney. A nice touch is the boomerang that serves as the Return to Top of Page icon.
About the Games: The Torch Tracker provides exhaustive information about the world-flameous 16,777-mile torch relay, the longest in Olympic history, which wound through 13 countries.
History: The lineage of every sport is told in-depth. Trampoline, for example, which will make its debut in Sydney, originated with Alaskan Inuit, who centuries ago used walrus skins to propel one another into the sky. (Either that or the IOC got the idea from watching an old episode of F Troop.)
Sydney: The best link on the site, whether you're attending the Games in spirit or are at the Games attending to spirits. The Pub Grub link has a list of all the best places to quaff a shandy (a beer with a pinch of lemonade) or bond with a bonzer (a great person).