Winter Olympics Viewer's Guide: Saturday, Feb. 8
The start of the U.S. women's hockey team bid for gold, more team figure skating and the first medals handed out in Sochi highlight Saturday's schedule.
Trying to watch the Olympics? Even with NBCOlympics.com now streaming every event live online, the wild array of events can make the viewing experience a bit bewildering.
But we're here to help. Here's our chronological list of the events U.S. Olympic fans should consider watching, and where. All times Eastern and all events are live action unless otherwise noted.
With the Olympics officially opened Friday, things start getting serious Saturday with the first medals of the 2014 Winter Games handed out. It also represents the start of women's hockey and continuation of team figure skating events.
Here's a look at some of the big events happening Saturday.
-- Medal event
3 a.m. ET – Women’s Hockey: USA vs. Finland, NBC Sports Network: The U.S. women’s hockey team comes into the Winter Games as the favorites, but they’ll have to open the tournament’s preliminary round with a tough opponent. Finland upset the Americans in November at the Four Nations Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y., so this opener is no walk for the American women.
3:45 a.m. ET – Men’s Slopestyle Final, NBCOlympics.com: The first medals of the games will be awarded in the Olympics’ newest snowboarding event with the Men’s Slopestyle final. The semis will take place earlier Saturday, but qualifier runs were completed Thursday. Staale Sandbech of Norway had the top run, while Canada’s Mark Morris was critical of the judging during qualifying providing a little bit of drama heading into Saturday.
5:30 a.m. ET – Men's 5,000m Speedskating, NBCOlympics.com: The 5,000m event will open speedskating at the Winter Olympics and it will conclude with medals being handed out. Americans Patrick Meek, Emery Lehman and Jonatahn Kuck will be vying for gold, but they'll all be chasing Sven Kramer of the Netherlands. Kramer is the defending Olympic gold medalist and did not lose any races during his World Cup season.
9:30 a.m. ET – Team Ice Dancing Short Dance, NBC Sports Network: American ice dancing pair Meryl Davis and Charlie White will compete for the first time in figure skating’s new team event with the ice dance short dance portion of the competition. After a rocky start from men’s singles and pairs short programs, the Americans are in seventh. Davis and White will hope to get the U.S. back on track. They’re slated to go 10th in competition.
11:10 a.m. ET – Team Ladies Short Program, NBC Sports Network: Assuming White and Davis can get the Americans a great score in ice dance earlier in the day, Ashley Wagner will have a lot of pressure to deliver in ladies short program. Only the top five teams advance to the free skate portion of the team event. With the U.S. currently in seventh, Wagner can help keep their team medal hopes alive.
1 p.m. ET – Women’s Moguls Final, NBCOlympics.com: American Hannah Kearney goes for her second straight gold medal in Women’s Moguls. She nailed her first qualifying run and sits atop the leaderboard after posting a score of 23.05 showing she’s still the skier to beat in this event. This event will not air live on TV, but will be part of NBC’s primetime coverage on tape delay if you’re worried about spoilers.
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