Feb 19, 2014, 11:35 PM EDT
Here’s a look at the compelling events, athletes and storylines of the Sochi Olympics on Thursday, Feb. 20. A complete list of every Thursday event can be found here.
WHAT TO STAY UP LATE FOR …
Nordic combined team event, 3 a.m./6 a.m. ET – CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE EVENT LIVE
The U.S. won silver in this four years ago. Half of the four-man team is back, including the only U.S. individual Olympic Nordic combined champion, Bill Demong, and Todd Lodwick. Lodwick is in his U.S. Winter record sixth Olympics. They’re joined by brothers Bryan and Taylor Fletcher.
It would be a surprise to see the Americans return to the podium, given their best individual finish in two events here is 20th.
Germany and Norway are the favorites for gold.
WHAT TO WAKE UP EARLY FOR …
Men’s ski cross final, 5:41 a.m. ET — CLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE
Ski cross, essentially snowboard cross on skis, debuted at the 2010 Olympics. The U.S. fielded two men four years ago, veteran Olympic Alpine skiers Daron Rahlves and Casey Puckett, who were eliminated before the quarterfinals.
American John Teller is a better medal threat this year, having been in the top 12 of the World Cup standings the last four seasons and won a bronze medal at the 2013 World Championships.
Canadian Chris Del Bosco is a good story, having fallen in the 2010 final shortly before the finish while in medal position. Other medal favorites include World Cup leader Swede Victor Oehling Norberg and 2010 silver medalist Austrian Andreas Matt.
Women’s curling gold-medal game, Canada-Sweden, 8:30 a.m. ET — CLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE
Canadian Jennifer Jones hasn’t lost in 10 games, including taking out reigning world champion Brit Eve Muirhead in the semifinals Tuesday. No women’s rink has gone undefeated at a Winter Olympics since women’s curling debuted at the Olympics in 1998.
Sweden beat Canada in the 2010 Olympic final, but that included two different rinks. The Swedes have won the last two Olympic golds.
WHAT YOU CAN’T MISS DURING THE DAY …
Figure skating, women’s free skate, 10 a.m. ET – CLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE
Defending champion Yuna Kim restored order in the short program, posting 74.92 points for a slim .28 lead over Russian surprise Adelina Sotnikova.
The other Russian, 15-year-old team event sensation Yuliya Lipnitskaya, fell to fifth, nearly 10 points back of Kim and nine behind third-place Carolina Kostner of Italy.
All three Americans have varying shots at a medal — Gracie Gold (fourth), Ashley Wagner (sixth) and Polina Edmunds (seventh).
2010 Olympic silver medalist Mao Asada has no shot at a medal. She’s in 16th place after falling on a triple Axel on Wednesday.
Here are start times for notable skaters Thursday:
Mao Asada — 11:41 a.m. ET
Polina Edmunds — 12:42 p.m.
Yuliya Lipnitskaya — 1:06
Carolina Kostner — 1:14
Adelina Sotnikova — 1:22
Gracie Gold — 1:30
Ashley Wagner — 1:38
Yuna Kim — 1:46
Women’s hockey gold-medal game, U.S.-Canada, 12 p.m. ET – CLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE
The two bitter rivals will face off for the fourth time in five Olympic gold-medal games dating to women’s hockey’s Olympic debut in 1998. Canada has won the last three Olympic gold medals, rendering the current U.S. roster devoid of gold-medal experience.
The U.S. beat Canada in Ottawa for the World Championship in April and won a pre-Olympic series 4-3. Canada, under new coach Kevin Dineen, beat the U.S. 3-2 in a group-play game Feb. 12.
Expect this one to be tight and tense and tears to be shed once it’s all over.
Women’s ski halfpipe final, 12:30 p.m. ET – CLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE
The U.S. looks to sweep the first Olympic ski halfpipe golds with Maddie Bowman, the two-time reigning Winter X Games champion, going two days after David Wise took the men’s event.
Bowman’s primary competition figures to come from world champion Swiss Virginie Faivre as well as Canadian Roz Groenewoud, who has won medals at the last five X Games.
Americans Angeli VanLaanen and Brita Sigourney are also medal threats.
Oct 25, 2014, 11:44 PM EDT
Machida breaks record for winning margin; U.S. matches its longest drought.
Oct 25, 2014, 4:02 PM EDT
Two Russians lead the way.
Oct 25, 2014, 1:04 PM EDT
Miller, 37, had documented back problems in the offseason.
Oct 25, 2014, 11:46 AM EDT
Olympic slalom champion and World Cup overall champion have matching times.
Oct 24, 2014, 10:59 PM EDT
Machida can become first repeat Skate America men’s winner since 2001.
Oct 24, 2014, 10:31 AM EDT
Austrian eyes history, while Ted Ligety, Bode Miller look to fill resume holes.
Oct 24, 2014, 8:42 AM EDT
New rule allows women to compete in four-man bobsled this year.
Oct 23, 2014, 8:11 PM EDT
Sochi disappointment gave Davis a deeper appreciation for past success going into post-Olympic season.
Oct 23, 2014, 3:14 PM EDT
Felix came back from torn hamstring to post the fastest 200m time since the London Olympics.
Oct 23, 2014, 12:58 PM EDT
Several U.S. Olympians dot the field in Grand Prix series opener.
Oct 23, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT
Pistorius is banned from competing during his sentence, even if not in jail, by Paralympic and South African Olympic Committees.
Oct 23, 2014, 9:52 AM EDT
Expect to see more of Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn than last year, but neither appears a threat to the world’s best overall skier.
Oct 23, 2014, 9:49 AM EDT
Kosovo, which gained independence from Serbia in 2008, could field an Olympic delegation for the first time in 2016.
Oct 23, 2014, 9:31 AM EDT
Gardner’s Olympic medals were sold last year.
Oct 22, 2014, 5:06 PM EDT
Olympic ski slopestyle champion also needed rabies shots after dog bite.
Oct 22, 2014, 3:25 PM EDT
Kosovo has never competed at the Olympics as an independent nation.
Oct 22, 2014, 1:22 PM EDT
Vincenzo Nibali, Chris Froome, Alberto Contador have mixed opinions.
Oct 22, 2014, 10:09 AM EDT
Team will make its season debut with Skate America this weekend.
Oct 22, 2014, 9:44 AM EDT
Zubkov, 40, had already said he wouldn’t compete this season.
Oct 22, 2014, 9:16 AM EDT
Tarmoh was part of the infamous tie at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.
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- Alpine skiing men’s World Cup preview 0
- Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski preview Skate America 0
- Oscar Pistorius’ agent seeks prison meeting to discuss running future 1
- Alpine skiing women’s World Cup preview 0
- Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski, Terry Gannon named NBC’s lead figure skating announcers 0
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- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)