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Daily Olympic Briefing: Shiffrin, Gerard, figure skating highlight Day 3 schedule

Daily Olympic Briefing: Shiffrin, Gerard, figure skating highlight Day 3 schedule
Posted at 7:12 PM, Jan 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-06 18:07:44-05

Each day of the 2022 Winter Games, NBC Olympics will run down every sport in action, highlighting the biggest athletes and marquee events. Every single event streams live on NBCOlympics.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock, and many are also on the TV networks of NBC. Visit the Olympic schedule page for listings sorted by sport and TV network.

Among the nine medal finals on Day 3 are the men’s downhill, women’s giant slalom, the figure skating team event and men’s snowboard slopestyle. The U.S. is likely to win its first gold medal of the Games.

All times listed below are Eastern Time on the night of Sunday, February 6 or the morning of Monday, February 7.

 

Alpine Skiing

Alpine Skiing
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Women's Giant Slalom: Run 1 8:30 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, NBC
Men's Downhill 🏅 11:00 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA
Women's Giant Slalom: Run 2 🏅 1:30 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, NBC

Mikaela Shiffrin begins her bid for all sorts of history at these Games with a defense of her giant slalom title from 2018. She can become the first American skier to win three career Olympic gold medals.

Her boyfriend, Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, is the favorite in the men’s downhill, postponed from Sunday due to winds.

Shiffrin has been the most consistent GS skier of this Olympic cycle, following her gold from PyeongChang with bronze and silver medals at world championships. She ranks third in the world this season.

While Swede Sara Hector won three of the last four GS races on the World Cup, NBC Olympics analyst Ted Ligety believes the terrain in Yanqing favors Shiffrin.

“From the word on the ground there, the conditions are really easy conditions to ski: hard snow, but not like icy or challenging snow, which actually lines up really well for Mikaela,” Ligety said.

Ligety, the greatest GS skier in U.S. history, has a unique perspective on Shiffrin’s development in the event.

In autumn 2014, a 19-year-old Shiffrin approached a 30-year-old Ligety and asked if she could study GS film with him.

Shiffrin was coming off becoming the youngest Olympic slalom champion in history in Sochi. Ligety coming off an Olympic GS title of his own.

“I like to watch the men because I like the way they’re aggressive toward skiing fast,” Shiffrin said then. “They don’t look like they’re scared of anything. Women, the smallest thing can set a girl back two seconds. Like if fog blows in. Or if there’s a little bump in the course. It just seems, girls are so wimpy, myself included. I’m shooting to be more the man mentality. I still want to be soft and smooth and elegant and feminine when I ski, but I want to have a little bit more of that mental toughness.”

Shiffrin wanted to blossom from a slalom ace into a versatile technical skier to, eventually, an all-around racer contending in all five events.

She sat behind Ligety and his coaches as they watched video. In an interview from that season, she remembered Ligety studying in silence for 15 minutes.

Then he turned around to Shiffrin and asked, “So, do you want to know anything?”

“Yeah,” Shiffrin replied. “How do you ski so fast?”

“I was not under the impression she was a long way away from winning World Cups in giant slalom,” Ligety says now. “A lot of what I said was, ‘It's not like you need to glean anything groundbreaking from what you're watching.’ She was already on the right track.”

Days later, Shiffrin earned her first GS victory in the first race of the season.

Figure Skating

Figure Skating: Team Event
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Pairs Free Skate 8:15 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, NBC
Free Dance 9:30 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, NBC
Women's Free Skate 🏅 10:30 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, NBC

The Russian Olympic Committee leads by three points over the U.S. through five of eight programs of the team event. Russia also has a clear edge on the U.S. in two of the remaining three programs, but the Americans are in good shape for silver after taking bronze in 2014 and 2018. Japan is solidly in third, looking for its first team medal.

The pairs’ team of Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier, ice dancers Madison Chock and Evan Bates and Karen Chen will skate the final programs for the U.S. Bates, 32, is set to become the first U.S. figure skater to compete in four Olympics and the oldest American to win a medal in any skating discipline, according to Olympedia.org.

Russian Kamila Valieva should become the first woman to land a quadruple jump in Olympic competition, 30 years after Surya Bonaly was the first woman to attempt one.

Snowboarding

Snowboard Slopestyle
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Men's Final 🏅 11:00 p.m. NBCOlympics.com

Red Gerard was the first American to win gold in 2018 and he’ll get the same chance in slopestyle here. He’s the world’s top-ranked rider. The competition includes Canadian legend Mark McMorris, who is coming off his sixth X Games title and seeking his first Olympic gold. China’s Su Yiming, a 17-year-old who has not made an elite slopestyle podium, topped qualifying.

The field does not include the world’s second-ranked rider. Norwegian Marcus Kleveland, the 2021 World champion and 2022 X Games silver medalist, failed to make the 12-man final.

Speed Skating & Short Track

Speed Skating & Short Track
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Speed Skating: Women's 1500m 🏅 3:30 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA
Short Track: W 500m, M 1000m 🏅 6:30 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA

In the women’s 500m, defending champion Arianna Fontana of Italy eyes her 10th Olympic medal. She finished first or second in all four World Cups this season. Canadian Kim Boutin, who earned silver or bronze in all three individual races in 2018, is likely her biggest threat.

In the men’s 1000m, South Korean Hwang Dae-Heon and Canadian Pascal Dion have been the top skaters this season. The 2018 Olympic champion Samuel Girard of Canada retired. Silver medalist John-Henry Krueger is back, though he left the U.S. due to lack of financial support and now skates for Hungary.

Flagbearer Brittany Bowe can end a number of U.S. speed skating medal droughts, but she must navigate a field that includes the reigning Olympic champion (Ireen Wust of the Netherlands), reigning world champion (Ragne Wiklund of Norway) and world-record holder (Miho Takagi of Japan).

Bowe, whose best event is the 1000m, was fifth in the 1500m at the 2018 Olympics, second at the 2021 Worlds and first, second, seventh and eighth in four World Cups this season.

The U.S. has won more gold medals and total medals in speed skating than any other Winter Olympic sport, but its last individual speed skating medal came in 2010. Its last individual women’s medal came in 2002.

Biathlon & Ski Jumping

Biathlon / Ski Jumping
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Biathlon: Women's 15km 🏅 4:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com
Ski Jumping: Mixed Team 🏅 5:25 a.m. NBCOlympics.com

Four years ago, Swede Hanna Oeberg won surprise gold in the 15km individual without any prior individual podiums in two seasons on the World Cup. She followed that with a world title in 2019, but Czech Marketa Davidova beat her for the 2021 World title, then earned a World Cup victory in the event to start this season.

The mixed-gender team event makes its Olympic debut. Two men and two women each contest two rounds for eight total jumps per nation (with a cut down to eight nations for the second round).

Germany won the last four world titles, but put just one jumper in the top-10 between the individual men’s and women’s events the last two days. Norway and Austria took silver and bronze at the last two worlds, but each is without its top female jumper (Maren Lundby and Marita Kramer). Slovenia has impressed the most so far.

Luge

Luge: Women's Singles
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Run 1 6:45 a.m. NBCOlympics.com
Run 2 8:30 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA

Germany will likely win a seventh consecutive Olympic women’s luge title once all four runs are complete on Tuesday. Natalie Geisenberger is the two-time reigning gold medalist. Julia Taubitz is the world’s top-ranked slider. Austrian Madeleine Egle, who won a World Cup on the Olympic track in November, is likeliest to disrupt.

Freestyle Skiing

Freeski Big Air
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Women's Qualifying 8:30 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA
Men's Qualifying 12:30 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA

It’s the Olympic debut for ski big air and for China’s Eileen Gu, the 18-year-old born in San Francisco to an American father and Chinese mother who could win three gold medals. American Alex Hall won men’s big air at X Games two weeks ago.

Hockey

Women's Hockey: Preliminary Round
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
CAN vs. ROC 11:00 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA

Canada looks to match the U.S. at 3-0 before the rivals meet in group play on Tuesday. The Canadians have been the most impressive team so far, winning their first two games by a combined 23-2.

Curling

Mixed Doubles Curling
All events also stream live on Peacock
Matchup Time (ET) How to Watch
Round Robin: USA vs Great Britain 8:00 p.m. NBCOlympics.com
Semifinal: Teams TBD (Sheet A) 7:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com
Semifinal: Teams TBD (Sheet C) 7:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com

The mixed doubles tournament enters the playoff round. Americans Vicky Persinger and Chris Plys were eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday. Italy, fifth at the 2021 World Championship, is shockingly 8-0. Defending champion Canada was stunned by Australia and now must beat Italy to make the playoffs.