Sports2022 Winter Olympics

Actions

Daily Olympic Briefing: Shiffrin, White, Kim headline Day 5's night of stars

Daily Olympic Briefing: Shiffrin, White, Kim headline Day 5's night of stars
Posted at 8:38 PM, Jan 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 19:38:29-05

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.

On Day 5, Mikaela Shiffrin returns for her trademark event, Shaun White and Chloe Kim begin their Olympic halfpipe title defenses, the U.S. keeps searching for its first gold medal and the men’s hockey and men’s curling tournaments begin.

All times listed below are Eastern Time on the night of Tuesday, February 8 or the morning of Wednesday, February 9.

Alpine Skiing

Alpine Skiing: Women's Slalom
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Run 1 9:15 p.m. NBCOlympics.com
Run 2 🏅 12:45 a.m. NBCOlympics.com

The Olympic women’s slalom has been billed for so long as a duel between Mikaela Shiffrin and Slovakian rival Petra Vlhova, and it might still turn out that way.

But after Shiffrin’s rare DNF in Monday’s opening giant slalom -- her first in four years in a GS -- the focus turned to how the greatest slalom skier in history will bounce back in her trademark event.

Historically, Shiffrin accomplished some pretty special things in her next race following a DNF (in a GS or a slalom), including:

  • At 16, her first of 116 career World Cup podiums (not after a DNF, but after failing to qualify for a second run, which is similar)
  • At 17, her first of 73 World Cup wins
  • In 2015, winning a World Cup slalom by 3.07 seconds, the largest margin in history
  • Her 2018 Olympic giant slalom gold medal
  • Last month, winning the last slalom before the Olympics, the first time Vlhova lost a slalom this season without making a significant mistake

Shiffrin takes another shot at becoming the first American to win three Olympic skiing gold medals. Many call her the underdog to Vlhova, who despite emerging as Shiffrin’s primary rival five years ago, has no Olympic medals.

But one notable observer who likes Shiffrin’s chances is a woman who can empathize with her.

Austrian Marlies Schild was the world’s best slalom skier when Shiffrin arrived. The American denied Schild an Olympic gold medal and, after Schild retired, supplanted her as the most successful World Cup slalom skier in history.

Schild, now married (to Benjamin Raich) and with kids, still follows the sport. She believes the conditions in Yanqing – hard, artificial snow unlike anything on the World Cup – benefit Shiffrin over the bigger Vlhova.

“Maybe [Vlhova] is too strong for this aggressive snow,” Schild said in an interview before the GS (where Vlhova was a disappointing 14th). “[Shiffrin] knows a lot about different conditions. She knows how to ski with a lot of feeling, and I think that's what you need on these conditions.”

When Shiffrin rebounded to make her first World Cup podium in Lienz, Austria, on Dec. 29, 2011, she blurted out to the winner Schild.

“Oh my gosh, I’m such a big fan,” Shiffrin said, according to The New York Times. “Well, I’m also on the podium with you. But I’m still a big fan.”

A little over two years later, Schild blazed down the 2014 Olympic slalom course with the fastest second run, taking the lead. She had a shot for her first Olympic gold after two previous silvers and a bronze.

Then Shiffrin came down, bleeding her 1.34-second lead from the first run and briefly losing her balance around a late gate. She showed remarkable composure for an 18-year-old, getting to the bottom to relegate Schild to silver and become the youngest Olympic slalom champion. Schild became the oldest woman to win a slalom medal of any color.

“She always said she's looking up to me,” Schild said of standing on the second podium step. “I was looking up to her that moment.”

Schild remembered one more moment from a World Cup slalom in Courchevel, France, in 2013. Schild was third after the first run. Shiffrin was seventh, the only time that entire season she wasn’t fastest in the first run.

“And [Shiffrin] came to me after the first run and she told me how she loved my skiing,” Schild said. “She showed me that she loved what I do. And I think that that shows how big a person she is.”

Snowboarding

Halfpipe & Snowboard Cross
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Women's Halfpipe Qualifying 8:30 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA
Women's Snowboard Cross Qualifying 10:00 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA
Men's Halfpipe Qualifying 11:30 p.m. NBCOlympics.com
Women's Snowboard Cross Finals 🏅 1:30 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA

Chloe Kim and Shaun White begin their Olympic halfpipe title defenses. They should have no problem making the 12-rider finals (Wednesday for the women, Thursday for the men). Kim is a substantial gold-medal favorite. White, in the last competition of his career, is an underdog to earn any medal after making one podium in five contests since returning from a three-year break after his 2018 gold.

In snowboard cross, world champion Charlotte Bankes will try to win Great Britain’s 12th Winter Olympic title, but its first on snow. White’s fellow five-time Olympian Lindsey Jacobellis is the top U.S. hope. Jacobellis is the most decorated snowboard cross rider in history with 15 gold medals between the biennial world championships (the most recent in 2017) and the annual X Games (stopped holding snowboard cross after 2016). She has one Olympic medal, and it’s that infamous silver from 2006. She finished in the top 5 of six of her last eight World Cups, with elbow surgery sandwiched in November.

Freestyle Skiing

Freeski Big Air
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Men's Final 🏅 10:00 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, NBC

The first Olympic men’s freestyle skiing big air features three Americans looking to end the longest-ever U.S. wait for its first gold medal of a Winter Olympics (31 events so far). If the first gold is to come in big air, Alex Hall is the most likely to deliver it. Hall, who was born in Alaska, grew up in Zurich and lived out of his car for 70 days during the pandemic, won the X Games last month.

But a new threat emerged this season. Matej Svancer, 17, won both World Cups before placing fifth at X Games. In June, Svancer switched from representing his birth nation of the Czech Republic to Austria, where he moved at 10. Svancer can become the youngest Olympic freestyle skiing champion, supplanting yesterday’s women’s big air champion, Eileen Gu.

Short Track

Short Track
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Men's 1500m Finals & More 🏅 6:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA

China’s Ren Ziwei is two-for-two in gold medals (mixed relay, 1000m), and he’s ranked No. 1 in the world in the 1500m, the longest individual short track event. This has been South Korea’s best event, but it could be shut out of the medals here. The 2018 gold medalist, Lim Hyo-Jun, hasn’t competed internationally since a 2019 ban for 'pantsing' a male teammate in front of female skaters.

In women’s events, American Kristen Santos skates the opening round of her best distance, the 1000m, where she ranked second in the World Cup standings. The U.S. women will take part in the 3000m relay for the first time since earning bronze at the 2010 Games. The medal races in both events are later this week.

Luge

Luge: Doubles
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Run 1 7:15 a.m. NBCOlympics.com
Run 2 🏅 8:30 a.m. NBCOlympics.com

A day after German Natalie Geisenberger won a record third Olympic women’s singles title and record fifth Olympic luge gold overall, countrymen Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt can become the first three-time Olympic doubles champions and win their fifth total gold medals, too. Wendl and Arlt are the two-time defending champions in the two-run event, but fellow Germans Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken won every world title in this Olympic cycle, won a November World Cup on the Olympic track and won this season’s World Cup overall title.

Nordic Combined

Nordic Combined: Men's Normal Hill
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Ski Jump 2:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA
10km 🏅 6:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com

It looks like the first Nordic combined event of the Games will be without German Eric Frenzel, who won the last two Olympic normal hill golds, and Norwegian Jarl Magnus Riiber, who won the last two world titles, due to positive COVID-19 tests. Frenzel announced last Friday he tested positive and was still in isolation as of Monday, according to German media. Riiber tested positive earlier last week, and a teammate said Monday he will miss the normal hill. The door is open for 20-year-old Austrian Johannes Lamparter, last year’s large hill world champion, and German Vinzenz Geiger, who ranks second in the world this season.

Curling

Men's Curling: Round Robin
All events also stream live on Peacock
Matchup Time (ET) How to Watch
USA vs ROC 7:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com
Denmark vs Canada 7:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com
China vs Sweden 7:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com
Norway vs Switzerland 7:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com

The U.S. men’s curling team, again skipped by John Shuster, begins defense of its Olympic title. It will play nine games over nine days, looking to advance from the 10-team round-robin to the four-team playoffs. The U.S. upset Sweden in the 2018 final, and the Swedes are the favorites this year.

Hockey

Men's Hockey
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
ROC vs. SUI 3:50 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA
CZE vs. DEN 6:30 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA
SWE vs. LAT 7:15 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, CNBC

The men’s hockey tournament begins with favorite and defending champion Russian Olympic Committee facing Switzerland. The Russians benefited from the NHL’s Olympic withdrawal, since the world’s second-best league is the Russian KHL. The entire Russian roster is KHL players, just like 2018. The U.S. and Canada play their first games Thursday.