Feb 19, 2014, 11:35 PM EST
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.
Nov 22, 2014, 4:24 PM EST
It’s unlikely a U.S. man will qualify for the Grand Prix Final.
Nov 22, 2014, 9:05 AM EST
“i just don’t want to puke,” Wagner said.
Nov 21, 2014, 3:10 PM EST
This year’s winners came from unprecedented nations and events.
Nov 21, 2014, 2:24 PM EST
Wagner could match a Michelle Kwan feat at the French event.
Nov 21, 2014, 8:59 AM EST
“Unbroken” film about Olympian and World War II hero comes out on Christmas.
Nov 20, 2014, 5:34 PM EST
Young Dmitry Melnichenko lost the match, then lost his cool.
Nov 20, 2014, 4:57 PM EST
Olympic ski slopestyle champion uses a chainsaw every day.
Nov 20, 2014, 3:03 PM EST
Vito thought he had what it took to make the Olympic team, but judges didn’t see it the same way.
Nov 19, 2014, 11:30 PM EST
Olympic champion could face the only woman who beat her in the quarterfinals.
Nov 19, 2014, 8:25 PM EST
“I don’t really want to race unless I have a shot at winning.”
Nov 19, 2014, 1:40 PM EST
Her name could be “erased from the list of participants,” IOC president said.
Nov 19, 2014, 11:29 AM EST
Eight stadium events will have morning finals, a first for Olympic track and field since 1988.
Nov 18, 2014, 4:11 PM EST
The IOC will vote on 40 proposed changes to the Olympics in December.
Nov 18, 2014, 4:01 PM EST
Also, Natalie Coughlin said she reached out to Phelps.
Nov 18, 2014, 3:52 PM EST
Four years ago, Michael Phelps’ coach said Lochte was the world’s best swimmer.
Nov 18, 2014, 9:23 AM EST
U.S. has never hosted the World Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Nov 17, 2014, 4:35 PM EST
Olympic silver medalist’s partner in London was April Ross, who is now with Kerri Walsh Jennings.
Nov 17, 2014, 4:18 PM EST
Both could make history at Rio Olympics.
Nov 17, 2014, 1:42 PM EST
Miller hopes to return one week before the one storied race he has never won.
Nov 17, 2014, 1:16 PM EST
Swede being inducted into Hall of Fame authored one of the iconic Olympic moments in 1994.
- Maksim Kovtun rallies to win Trophee Bompard; Grand Prix Final picture 0
- Ashley Wagner in Grand Prix Final fight after finishing behind Russians at Trophee Bompard 0
- Angelina Jolie showed Louis Zamperini scenes of ‘Unbroken’ on hospital bed 1
- Joss Christensen becomes ‘mountain man’ since Sochi Olympics 0
- IOC proposes adding Olympic events, bid reforms 0
- Ryan Lochte: I have no doubt Michael Phelps will come back 1
- Doha gets 2019 World Track and Field Championships over Eugene, Barcelona 2
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- 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)