FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, February 22nd, 2014
2014 SOCHI WINTER GAMES – FEB. 22 NBCSN HIGHLIGHTS
Tonight at 8/7c on NBC: Figure Skating Gala, Gold Medal Finals Featuring Two-Time Gold Medalist Ted Ligety in Slalom & Steven Holcomb in Four-Man Bobsled
All Events Live Streamed on NBCOlympics.com and NBC Sports Live Extra Mobile & Tablet App
Stamford, Conn. – February 22, 2014 – Coming up on NBC Olympics’ coverage of the XXII Olympic Winter Games:
- Tonight at 8/7c on NBC, Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski and Terry Gannon host coverage of the figure skating gala featuring performances from the top six finishers from the men’s and ladies’ events and the top five couples from pairs and ice dancing. In addition, NBC presents gold medal finals in men’s slalom highlighted by Ted Ligety and the four-man bobsled, headlined by Team USA pilot Steven Holcomb.
- Also highlighting primetime is the team pursuit in both men and women’s speed skating, the men’s snowboard parallel slalom and the premiere of the heartwarming feature Long Way Home: The Jessica Long Story. For more information on tonight’s primetime program on NBC, click here.
- NBC’s live coverage of the men’s hockey gold medal final between Canada and Sweden begins at 6:30 a.m. ET (3:30 a.m. PT). Tomorrow’s live coverage begins at 4 a.m. ET on NBCSN with the four-man bobsled gold medal final.
FOLLOWING ARE HIGHLIGHTS FROM TODAY’S NBCSN COVERAGE OF THE 2014 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES IN SOCHI:
Vladimir Pozner on if the Games were successful for Russia: “Very successful from the point of view of the athletes – much more [medals] won than in Vancouver, which was a debacle. The Olympics are the Olympics with all the negative talk that preceded them, now everyone says, ‘Yes, these are the Olympic Games.’ I would say the population is delighted so I would say yes, successful… It’s being watched all over the country… [President Putin] has proven his point that these are great Games and, what’s more, the Russian team has really performed very well. I think he’s very happy.”
Pozner on the significance of Ukraine winning a gold medal: “It’s very bittersweet because the fact that they won the gold medal is symbolic, but when you look at what’s going on in Ukraine, it’s tragic. There may be a civil war there, you never know, because you have Eastern Ukraine, that’s very pro-Russian, and Western that wants to be part of Europe. There’s been how many people killed already? Over 100? It’s a tragic, sad story and this winning the gold medal isn’t going to bring people back together again, but it is a symbol.”
Pozner on Russia’s future: “I’m hoping that Russia will gradually move in the direction of more democracy as younger people come in, people who were not part of the Soviet Union, not brought in Soviet times, a different outlook, traveling more, going to other countries. That’s what I hope is going to happen, but it’s going to take a couple generations.”
Pozner on what will happen to Sochi post-Games: “According to what I’ve heard, they’ve got to bring in 200,000 people to fill up this city. A lot of people are going to come with the new apartments and the new housing – provided it’s not too expensive – the weather here is better than most parts of Russia. It’s going to attract people. But that’s a challenge and I don’t think anybody really knows how well it’s going to work. Is it going to become this resort – winter, summer, people going to come from all over the country?”
Pozner on the Russian men’s hockey team: “Oh god… There was a great joke, just came up, the Russian biathlon team was asked to shoot the men’s hockey team, nobody was wounded – they all missed. Russians love to laugh at themselves, and I think that’s a good thing.”
Mike Milbury on the bronze medalist Finnish men’s hockey team: “This is a team that prides itself on its national character. They work hard every tournament they’re in and this one is no different.”
Team USA men’s hockey forward Zach Parise on the 5-0 loss to Finland in the bronze medal game: “We didn’t show up to play a tough team in Canada and lost that game. And today, once we got down, I thought we had a pretty good start, but once we gave up that first goal, we kind of deflated. They played like they had something to win and we just kind of shut it down. Kind of disappointing, a little bit embarrassed by what happened, especially today. It wasn’t a good effort by us.”
Roenick on four-time Olympic medalist and 43-year old Finnish forward Teemu Selanne: “I don’t care what country you’re from, what language you speak. Teemu Selanne, to me, is the one of the greatest players in history. One of the greatest people… What a show he put on to get the bronze medal… He’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet on the planet. There’s not a person who runs into Teemu Selanne and doesn’t leave saying ‘what a spectacular person.’”
McHugh: “You see the joy in Teemu Selanne’s face. You see the passion that he plays with and he still brings the energy which is most impressive at age 43. He was sensational in this tournament.”
Milbury: “He cares about the game, he cares about the way he plays and obviously this is a national hero in Finland. He’s been doing this a long time – six Olympics.”
Roenick on tomorrow’s gold medal men’s hockey game (Canada vs. Sweden 6:30 a.m. ET/3:30 a.m. PT on NBC): “I think Canada’s going to take it.”
Milbury on the gold medal game: “The [Canadian] defense is too strong and their team has played a great defensive game, but there’s a little steel in those Vikings. They may not look emotional. This is a very intelligent team with lots of talent, it will not be easy.”
Steve Schlanger on the pressure on the shooting range in biathlon: “Some of these athletes have compared the pressure in the shooting range to an amateur golfer who for the first time has a chance to break 80 and they’re coming down to the final few holes and then they start to think about it, and then they bogey-double bogey-bogey the last three and they blow it. It’s because of that pressure, because you’re starting to think about the moment – it’s the same thing about the shooting range in biathlon.”
Chad Salmela on biathlon: “It’s like golf on speed… This is absolutely electric.”
Schlanger on the significance of the men’s biathlon 4×7.5km team relay: “Here in Russia, biathlon transcends sports overall to a degree. In the former Soviet Union, they always thought that biathlon’s athletic components of endurance, marksmanship and precision in the psuedo-military setting really intersected perfectly with the country’s geo-political outlook. So the Soviet government used it as a tool to promote their ideology so a lot of these Russian fans still see themselves see national pride through the eyes of this sport, that’s why it means so much. For [anchor Anton] Shipulin, he’s going to be a national hero.”
Salmela on Russian men’s biathlon 4×7.5 team relay anchor Anton Shipulin: “He won’t have to buy a drink in Russia for the rest of his life.”
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