Observations and indignations heading into Valentine’s night’s Olympic coverage.
Wednesday night’s highlights
Is this the day Mikaela Shiffrin finally gets on the slopes? While only Mother Nature knows, NBC sure is hoping so.
Shiffrin and many of her Alpine skiing mates have been held off the course as high winds have forced postponements since Sunday. The first run of the women’s giant slalom will be, fingers crossed, Wednesday night (8 p.m., Eastern) with the second run about four hours later. Both runs (hopefully) will be on NBC.
The compacted schedule means that Shiffrin, who went to Pyeongchang eyeing gold in multiple events, could race on three consecutive days. The slalom, which she won in Sochi in 2014, will be Thursday and the super-G will be Friday. The two other Alpine races she could enter are next week. The final for the women’s downhill will be Tuesday and the women’s combined (one downhill race, one slalom race) is scheduled for Feb. 22 and 23. If she wins Thursday’s slalom, she would be the first skiier ever to win that event in the Olympics twice.
Other than Shiffrin, it’s a relatively light night for live Olympics coverage, which is why NBC needs the wind to subside.
There will be some minor seeding at stake when the U.S. plays Canada at (10 p.m., NBCSN) in a women’s hockey game. Both teams have advanced to the semifinals and remain on a collision course to meet again for the gold medal, which would be Feb. 22.
Wednesday’s prelim will be their first Olympic meeting since Canada shocked the USA by rallying from a late 2-0 deficit to win the 2014 gold medal in overtime.
“Honestly, it’s exciting any time we play them,” American defenseman Kacey Bellamy said. “We’re going to give 100 percent. We have a lot of respect for each other. Once we hit the ice, it’s going to be a fun.”
This and that
*Shaun White’s gold medal in the halfpipe on Tuesday night (our time) was the third of his career and the 100th in U.S. winter games history. White’s first two were U.S. No. 71 (Torino, 2006) and No. 86 (Vancouver, 2010). The greatest gold of them all, the 1980 U.S. men’s hockey team, was No. 36.
*The current men’s hockey team blew a 2-0 third-period lead and was upset by Slovenia, 3-2, in overtime in each team’s Olympic opener. Yardley native, and former Junior Flyers member, Brian O’Neill had a goal and an assist for the Americans. South Jersey native Bobby Sanguinetti added an assist.
It’s the biggest win in Slovenia’s brief Olympic hockey history. Its only other appearance was in 2014, which included a 5-1 loss to the Americans and their NHL-filled roster. No current NHL players in these Olympics, only former ones, including Slovenia’s Jan Mursak. He tied it with 97 seconds left and won it 38 seconds into overtime. “This is a kick in the teeth for the USA,” NBC analyst Mike Milbury correctly stated.
*The U.S. men next play Slovakia on Thursday (10 p.m., NBCSN). Slovakia surprised the Athletes from Russia, 3-2, in its opener.
Through 2 p.m. Eastern, Wednesday, Feb 14
Gold (4): Shaun White (snowboarding/men’s halfpipe), Chloe Kim (snowboarding/women’s halfpipe), Jamie Anderson (snowboarding/women’s slopestyle), Red Gerard (snowboarding/men’s slopestyle).
Silver (1): Chris Mazdzer (luge/men’s singles).
Bronze (2): Arielle Gold (snowboarding/women’s halfpipe), U.S. Team (figure skating).
And finally …
NBC’s morning coverage can get a little cozy with anchors fawning over athletes like bobbysoxers seeing the Beatles for the first time, but kudos to Savannah Guthrie and her crew for stepping away from the studio to bring viewers an inside look at the DMZ and the story of the North Korean soldier who defected to the South in November. The guy was shot as he was trying to cross the border. Yo. Below is her report.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 14, 2018