FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
2014 SOCHI WINTER GAMES – FEB. 18 NBC PRIMETIME HIGHLIGHTS
Wednesday in Primetime: Reigning World Champion Ted Ligety & Six-Time Olympic Medalist Bode Miller Compete in Giant Slalom Gold Medal Final Plus Ladies’ Figure Skating Short Program
Every Men’s Hockey Quarterfinal Game LIVE across NBCSN, MSNBC and USA Network
USA-Czech Republic Men’s Hockey Quarterfinal Airs Live at 12 Noon ET Wednesday on USA Network; Live Ladies’ Figure Skating Remains on NBCSN
All Events Live Streamed on NBCOlympics.com and NBC Sports Live Extra Mobile & Tablet App
Stamford, Conn. – February 18, 2014 – Highlights of Wednesday’s coverage of the XXII Olympic Winter Games:
- NBC’s primetime presentation – which begins at 8/7c tomorrow – is highlighted by the short program in ladies’ figure skating where reigning U.S. champion Gracie Gold makes her individual program debut after winning bronze in the team event. The program also features 2010 Olympic gold medalist Yuna Kim of South Korea, Yulia Lipnitskaya, who helped lead Russia to gold with a top performance in the team event, and two-time U.S. national champion Ashley Wagner. Also highlighting primetime is the giant slalom gold medal final in men’s alpine skiing featuring reigning world champion Ted Ligety and Bode Miller, the most decorated skier in U.S. Olympic history, who most recently earned bronze in the super-G.
- Tomorrow’s live coverage is highlighted by the quarterfinal round of the men’s Olympic hockey tournament at 12 noon ET: USA Network hosts coverage of Team USA vs. Czech Republic, and MSNBC hosts coverage of Canada vs. Latvia. NBCSN’s live coverage on Wednesday begins at 3 a.m. ET with Sweden vs. Slovenia and continues at 7:30 a.m. ET with Finland vs. Russia.
- NBCSN’s live programming Wednesday begins at 3 a.m. ET and includes the short program in ladies’ figure skating and coverage of the team sprint gold medal final in women’s cross-country. The parallel giant slalom gold medal finals in men’s and women’s snowboarding will round out NBCSN’s coverage on Wednesday.
Analysts Sandra Bezic, Scott Hamilton, Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir preview the ladies’ figure skating competition (live on NBCSN at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday):
Hamilton on 2010 Olympic gold medalist Yuna Kim from Korea: “Yuna Kim is spectacular. Four years ago she dominated the field, she won by a million points and here she comes in with a different momentum…This year she’s had one minor international competition and we don’t really have a sense of who she is this year. Technically spectacular, on the money, healthy, everything’s great but not quite with the same momentum as Vancouver.”
Lipinski on Kim: “She’s the type of skater that doesn’t have to skate the entire season. She’ll come back at worlds, do two clean, flawless programs … She has one of those weird things where she just doesn’t feel pressure. She said recently ‘I already have my Olympic gold medal. This is what I’ve been wanting my entire life, now this is just for fun.’ I’m not really sure how skating at the Olympics defending your title is just for fun but…”
Weir on Kim: “She’s so strong coming off of the world title last year and looking really strong at the Korean National Championships this year and that’s really all we’ve seen her. She’s just as strong as she was four years ago. You would think that coming into an Olympic Games you would feel amazing amounts of pressure but she lives her daily life with South Korea resting on her shoulders, so the Olympics might be a vacation for her.”
Bezic on 2010 Olympic silver medalist Mao Asada from Japan: “Mao looks terrific. She’s skating with renewed strength and passion that we haven’t seen in a while. She’s the only woman who’s playing a triple axel in both her short and free program, but she is much more than a triple axel. She is the complete package. She is looking fantastic in practice.”
Hamilton on 15-year old Russian team event gold medalist Yulia Lipnitskaya: “Where did she come from? …Everybody’s talking about her. At her age, and at her look, at her diminutive size, she exploded in the team event to skate two beautiful programs and now she comes with some expectations.”
Bezic on Lipnitskaya: “She just seems so wise beyond her years on the ice and whether she can now carry the weight of that expectation going into the ladies’ competition will be fascinating to watch.”
Weir on Lipnitskaya: “She’s always consistent, she’s always fabulous, and if Yuna Kim, even for a second, loses her guard, Yulia Lipnitskaya will be right there to seize that gold medal.
Lipinski on Lipnitskaya: “Yulia is ready… She is obviously the dark horse for the gold medal but Yuna cannot make one mistake.”
Hamilton on reigning U.S. champion Gracie Gold: “Gracie Gold is spectacular. She is immaculate. Every single thing she does is perfect… I believe she’s going to skate perfectly. I believe she’s going to deliver the goods, I believe she’s going to live up to expectation, but how does that compare to the other women?”
Lipinski on Gracie Gold: “I think she’s most definitely ready… Everything has changed for Gracie, and all eyes are on her on practice. She really does have a great shot.”
Weir on two-time U.S. National Champion Ashley Wagner: “I think also the fact that she has the McKayla Maroney face photo floating around the internet — sort of the winter version – that helps too. When you have public support, it can be such an amazing help. I’m sure Ashley coming off of the National Championships felt as though people might dislike her for ‘technically’ not getting the spot the usual, traditional way.”
Lipinski on Wagner: “I actually think she’s actually in a better position for the way she likes to compete. We’ve seen that she doesn’t do that well under pressure when she’s trying to defend something, so she’s in that underdog position that she likes.”
Lipinski on 2014 U.S. silver medalist Polina Edmunds: “She has this great mix of athleticism, of beauty, and also attack, you can see it in her eyes. When she steps in practice, she doesn’t see anything around her, she just does triple after triple after triple.”
Following are highlights from today’s NBC coverage of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi:
Three-time snowboard cross Olympian Nate Holland on his disappointing Olympic finishes: “There’s something about these five rings that give me a lot of drive and ambition and joy, but they do cause a lot of heartbreak.”
Olympic two-man bobsled bronze medalist Steve Holcomb to Lester Holt: “Our goal was bar-none to win a medal here at Sochi in two-man, I have a four-man Olympic medal, I just don’t have that elusive two-man…so to hit that mark was incredible.”
Olympic two-man bobsled bronze medalist Steve Langton to Lester Holt: “I’ve thought about that moment of what it would feel like to win a medal hundreds of times, and there’s nothing really you can do to prepare yourself for that moment when you do achieve that dream. It’s the first dream I can remember as a young athlete.”
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