“The 10,000 meters done right is like ‘Stairway to Heaven’ on ice.” – Joey Cheek on speed skating’s similarity to a classic 1970’s rock song
“I put together one of the best races of my life and it wasn’t enough for a medal, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not walking away really happy with today.” – American cross-country skier Jessie Diggins
NBC’s Primetime Coverage, Live Across All Time Zones, Begins at 8 p.m. ET Tonight Featuring Team USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin, Nathan Chen & Adam Rippon
All Events Live Streamed on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app
STAMFORD, Conn. – February 15, 2018 – Tonight’s primetime coverage of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games from PyeongChang, South Korea, is highlighted by:
- NBC’s primetime presentation, which begins at 8 p.m. ET live across all time zones, featuring multi-medal threat Mikaela Shiffrin competing in the women’s slalom*;
- Coverage of the men’s short program in figure skating on NBC and NBCSN in primetime and primetime plus, as Nathan Chen and Adam Rippon begin their medal pursuits;
- Live coverage of the men’s super-G in primetime on NBC, as American Andrew Weibrecht aims for a third consecutive Olympic medal in the event;*
- Live coverage of Team USA men’s hockey taking on Slovakia at 10 p.m. ET on CNBC.
*outdoor events subject to weather conditions
Click here for a preview of tonight’s primetime action.
Following are highlights from today’s coverage of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics on NBC and the networks of NBCUniversal:
FIGURE SKATING – NBCSN
NBC Olympics’ daytime host Carolyn Manno interviewed two-time Canadian Olympic silver medalist and coach Brian Orser. Following are excerpts from their conversation.
Orser, the first man to land a triple axel at an Olympics, on American figure skater Mirai Nagasu being the first American woman to land a triple axel during the Olympics: “I saw her land it in the team event and that’s just a great feeling because getting that first one done and out of the way is a milestone. The other ones seem to come a little bit easier. I anticipate we will see a couple more from her during these Games.”
Orser on the 30 year anniversary of the 1988 Winter Olympics: “I can’t believe it has been 30 years. That ‘Battle of the Brians’ and perhaps even its result, resulted in me doing what I’m doing now, and doing it quite well. Who knows what path I would be on if I had won…I always sort of saw myself as being an Olympic champion and when it didn’t happen I wasn’t really equipped for it. I had to do some soul searching. To go through it together with Brian Boitano it was really special because he is a great guy and a great sport. We were very friendly rivals. It was kind of the beginning of figure skating marketing.”
Click here to watch NBC Olympics’ documentary on Brian Orser and the 1988 Winter Olympics, Calgary ’88.
MEN’S SPEED SKATING – NBC & NBCSN
Analyst Joey Cheek on the 10,000m event: “I think I have found the right analogy for this race. American spectators might look at this and they see one guy skating out there almost all by himself for 25 laps and think ‘What is happening in this race, how do I follow this, how do I stay involved?’ I think the best way to sum it up is the 10,000m is like a really great 1970’s rock song. Not like those three minute pop songs that you hear it and it’s over. This is one of those eight or nine minute records, where you start off and get a rhythm. Then you star to hear some other melodies weaving through it and as the race starts building up and building up you finally get to this huge crescendo. When it is good, the crowd is on their feet, cheering and loving it. But with both the song and the race you have to wait for the payoff. I think what I’m saying is the 10,000m done right is like ‘Stairway to Heaven’ on ice.”
Reporter Steve Sands on the massive interest of speed skating in the Netherlands, during Sven Kramer’s race in the 10,000m: “Interest is at an all-time high right now in the Netherlands. The headline from the newspapers in Amsterdam read ‘This Is The Day.’ The 10,000m is so popular in Holland, according to a couple people I just spoke to on the Dutch team, kids in school are watching this race live during class. It’s just after 1:40 p.m. in Amsterdam. Overall, speed skating during the Olympics gets a massive television rating in the Netherlands, and this race, with Sven Kramer going for his first gold medal in this distance, is expected to draw a record audience. Workers and customers in cafes and restaurants have paused and are currently watching, and bar service is tough to come by right now.”
Cheek on Sven Kramer missing the podium in the 10,000m: “I can’t believe this. Looking at his face, it looks like he’s ceding. I think he’s throwing up his hands. He’s been bested. I’ve never seen him not have a fight. It’s incredible. A hush has fallen over the crowd right now, looking around at the sea of orange that has come to witness this race, it’s almost like they’re at a funeral. I hate to say that, but they’re shocked. Every speed skater I talked to before this race, it was almost a given – everyone knew that Sven Kramer was not a shoe-in to win this race, but everyone had him picked as their favorite.”
Watch Ted-Jan Bloemen set an Olympic record to win gold in the 10,000m here.
LUGE – NBCSN
Play-by-play commentator Leigh Diffey on Germany’s final run in the luge team relay: “This is not pretty to watch for Team USA. They know they are being pushed off the medal podium…Germany to the line and Germany gets gold again! The two times team relay is featured in the Olympic Games, Germany wins both.”
Diffey on Team USA taking fourth place: “Spare a thought for Team USA. They missed the podium by one-tenth of a second, but a terrific effort from Summer Britcher, Chris Mazdzer and also Matt Mortensen and Jayson Terdiman. The U.S. team has so much to be proud of. It was a really gritty performance, and in the end they came up just shy of a medal here at the Olympic Sliding Center.”
Watch Team USA’s fourth place finish in the luge team relay here.
WOMEN’S CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING – NBCSN
Analyst Chad Salmela on American cross-country skier Jessie Diggins in the 10k race: “She is all systems go. She has matched, or tied, the best Olympic finishes in the two races coming into these Games. I think she has a really good shot at a medal today.”
Play-by-play Steve Schlanger added: “The weight of history on her shoulders, in her skies.”
Diggins to reporter Abby Chin on her fifth place finish: “I gave it everything I had and I absolutely killed myself out there. I’m really proud of the race I put together. Yeah it’s a little heartbreaking to be so close but at the same time there’s more to racing than the number on a piece of paper. I’m really proud of what I did out there today…I put together one of the best races of my life and it wasn’t enough for a medal but that doesn’t mean that I’m not walking away really happy with today.”
Watch the women’s 10km individual here.
BIATHLON – NBCSN
Analyst Chad Salmela on American biathlete Lowell Bailey’s first shooting performance in the men’s individual biathlon: “Two misses. That is pretty much game over for him now. You can’t ski off two penalty minutes in this event.”
Salmela on biathletes shooting in between heartbeats: “That’s an old wives tale that got perpetuated somewhere that they shoot between heartbeats. It’s virtually impossible to shoot between 180 beats a minute.”
Salmela on French biathlete Martin Fourcade’s fourth shooting performance: “What did I say about Johannes Thingnes Boe? It’s never over until it’s over. Martin Fourcade wilted under the pressure. 41.4 seconds back now, and Johannes Boe is in the lead. Somebody send Boe a message on the final four-kilometer lap, because the unflappable Martin Fourcade just got flapped.”
Salmela on Bailey’s struggles: “I don’t think it’s just about today, I think it’s about the preparation for the Games. I think he had trouble with sickness and he’s not really gotten the preparation he needed physically to be ready to contend for a medal here. The shooting performance just added insult to injury, that’s all.”
Watch Johannes Thingnes Boe win gold here.
MEN’S HOCKEY – NBCSN
Analyst Pierre McGuire on Rene Bourque’s goal to give Canada a 3-0 lead over Switzerland: “I love the point from Tessa Bonhomme and Anson Carter after the first period. They talked about North America style goals. There was another example – Rene Bourque not sitting below the icing line, getting to the front of the net and taking the feed and jamming it home from two and a half feet. That’s the kind of goal you would score Mike.”
Analyst Mike Milbury added: “Well, it’s also the kind of goal I would have prevented with a good cross check.”
Play-by-play Kenny Albert on Team Canada’s lack of Olympic experience: “This Canadian roster has 23 players with NHL experience. Four have played in over 600 games. Although with no prior Olympians, this is the first time that Canada has come to the Winter Olympics without anybody that has been there before since 1956.”
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— PYEONGCHANG 2018 —