FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 20th, 2014
2014 SOCHI WINTER GAMES – FEB. 20 NBC PRIMETIME & NBCSN SKATING HIGHLIGHTS
Friday in Primetime: Mikaela Shiffrin Competes in Women’s Slalom Gold Medal Final
J.R. Celski Aims to Qualify for Gold Medal Finals in 500m and 5000m Relay, Shani Davis Skates in Team Pursuit Semifinals
Team USA vs. Canada in Men’s Hockey Semifinal
Live Coverage Begins at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN
All Events Live Streamed on NBCOlympics.com and NBC Sports Live Extra Mobile & Tablet App
Stamford, Conn. – February 20, 2014 – Highlights of Friday’s coverage of the XXII Olympic Winter Games:
- NBC’s primetime presentation – which begins at 8/7c tomorrow – is highlighted by the women’s slalom gold medal final in alpine skiing where 18-year-old phenom Mikaela Shiffrin, the reigning world and World Cup champion in slalom, takes to the Sochi course for her signature event. In men’s short track, two-time Olympic medalist J.R. Celski aims to qualify for gold medal finals in the 500m and 5000m relay. He is the world record holder in the 500m and anchors the U.S. relay, which is ranked No. 1 in the world. Also in primetime is the team pursuit in men’s speed skating, featuring four-time Olympic medalist Shani Davis skating for Team USA.
- NBCSN’s live coverage on Friday features two men’s hockey semifinal matchups, highlighted by Team USA vs. Canada in the men’s hockey semifinal, with coverage beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET. Live men’s hockey coverage begins at 7 a.m. ET with Sweden and Finland. In addition, NBCSN features the live bronze medal match in men’s curling with China vs. Sweden, and the ski cross gold medal final in women’s freestyle skiing.
- CNBC hosts coverage of Canada vs. Great Britain at 5 p.m. ET, with the winner taking home the gold medal in men’s curling.
Following are highlights from today’s NBC coverage of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi:
Scott Hamilton on Russian figure skater Adelina Sotnikova’s gold medal-winning performance: “She would have gotten his response anywhere she put that program down. Just a spectacular skate, explosive jumps…it’s like a cash register, she just kept ringing it up.”
Sandra Bezic on Sotnikova: “This is so huge for her. Not only to do it here and now, but because so many times she has let herself down in the free program – but not this time…another Russian star is born.”
Bezic on Sotnikova: “She was heartbroken because she was left off the team [competition] and didn’t win the gold medal for Team Russia. But now she’s got one – all to herself.”
Bezic on silver medal winner Yuna Kim: “A performance for the ages…even though it was technically a little pulled back from Vancouver, it was four years better. It was four years more mature, and spirited, and sensual…the level of performance was head and shoulders above anyone else.”
Hamilton on Kim: “Has there ever been a skater in history that is so comfortable on the ice, so confident and able to rise to the occasion?”
Hamilton on American Ashley Wagner: “She was so aggressive all the way through. Aggressive with the jumps, aggressive with the spins, aggressive with the choreography…it’s just incredible how many hours and hours go into four minutes on Olympic ice.”
Hamilton on Japanese figure skater Mao Asada: “To see how devastated she was after that short program, to know this is her last Olympic Games, to know she’s completely out of the competition, and she throws a free program down like that…it’s just everything you need to know about her. That was fantastic…how courageous, how beautifully skated.”
Bezic on Asada: “Her journey these past seven years has not been an easy one, and the skating community and her Japanese fans have adored her. She’s so beloved for this reason, because she’s given her heart every time she’s stepped on the ice.”
Bezic on 15-year-old Russian figure skater Yulia Lipnitskaya, who finished in fifth place: “She’s a competitor, she’s driven, and one day, she’ll complete that dream.”
Hamilton on Italian figure skater Carolina Kostner, who won the bronze medal in ladies’ figure skating: “After everything she’s been through…every single person in the building that has followed her all of these years knows just what this is all about. We’ve seen her fall down so many times in key moments, and this one wasn’t about competing, it wasn’t about the Olympics, as much as it was about just getting up…I’ll never forget this performance.”
American Maddie Bowman to Carolyn Manno following her gold medal win in the Olympic debut of women’s ski halfpipe: “I don’t think it’s possible to put this into words…it means so much for us to be able to show the world what our sport is, what we do and who we are…I think we’re here to make our parents proud, our countries proud, our friends proud…especially Sarah [Burke] proud, because she’s here with us.”
Bowman on Sarah Burke, who was a catalyst in getting women’s ski halfpipe into the Olympics, and passed away in 2012: “Her lasting legacy is to go out and ski as hard as you can and love it…love what you’re doing, love life and Sarah did that. Sarah was an amazing skier, but she was an amazing person. I think every girl here tries to embody that, and it takes all of us to fill her shoes.”
NBCSN ANALYSIS OF LADIES’ FIGURE SKATING COMPETITION
Tara Lipinski on winning a gold medal: “It really changes your life. As a little girl, you step on the ice and you think about going to the Olympics, so obviously making it to the Olympics is an accomplishment in itself…to cross over and actually win an Olympic medal is an honor. Scott Hamilton told me this – any time you step on the ice and they announce your Olympic title, it will be this amazing feeling and it will never get old, and I have to tell you – it never gets old.”
Lipinski on Russian gold medalist Adelina Sotnikova, who is the first ever Russian to win the ladies’ figure skating gold medal: “She meant business…so much sacrifice, so much hard work, so much pressure to stay on the top as you saw here with Yulia [Lipnitskaya]…sliding in there and taking her throne… I was on the edge of my seat… Russia is fierce. They don’t play any games, they are out here, they mean business and they wanted it… the person that wins has the most heart…the one that skated with the most aggression and heart is Adelina.”
Weir on Sotnikova: “The performance was stunning. It’s what Russia has been expecting from Adelina Sotnikova…she was flawless. Since she was 12 and won her first Russian title, she’s been the hope for Sochi…she created the Olympic moment. This is what the Olympics are about.”
Terry Gannon on three-time Olympian and bronze medalist Carolina Kostner of Italy, who won Italy’s first ever medal in ladies’ figure skating: “From teenage heartbreak to veteran ecstasy in one program. Italy has never won a medal in ladies’ skating at the Olympics. That’s going to change.”
Gannon on his gold pocket square: “Terry Gannon along with Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski color coordinated in Mt. Olympus gold tonight… I accessorized with you two. I think Armageddon is on the way – end of days.”
Weir: “Cha-ching, yes… We’re proud of you, Terrance.”
Gannon on the conclusion of ladies’ figure skating: “Saw a number of things we’ve never seen – a Russian win the gold and Yuna Kim defeated. What a night in Sochi.”
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