Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

What to Watch on the Dew Tour: Friday

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With the Sochi Games a mere 14 months away, some of the top Olympics snow sports athletes are in Breckenridge, Colo. for the Dew Tour this week to start preparing their runs for the world’s biggest stage. Here are four events you shouldn’t miss on Friday. (And don’t worry, you can catch them from your work desk here on NBCSports.com)

Women’s Snowboard Superpipe Semi-final (10:30 a.m.)
All three medalists from Vancouver are set to compete at Breckenridge, headlined by gold medalist Torah Bright. The 25-year-old Australian likely has one last shot at adding to her medal count in Sochi.

Vancouver silver medalist and Turin champ Hannah Teter leads a strong pack of American hopefuls, including Salt Lake City winner Kelley Clark and 2012 X Games silver medalist Elena Hight. Veteran Gretchen Bleiler – who came into Vancouver as a favorite and greatly disappointed – will also compete.

Spain’s Queralt Castellet and Cai Xuetong of China are among the best young up-and-comers in the field.

Women’s Freeski Superpipe Finals (12:30 p.m.)
22-year-old Brita Sigourney won superpipe gold at the 2011 Dew Tour stop in Ogden, and became the first woman to stick a 1080 at the 2012 X Games. The Carmel, California native was the top qualifier in the semis.

Lake Tahoe native Maddie Bowman finished 2nd in the final standings of the 2012 Dew Tour, including a win at the Killington event. Just 18, Bowman is the most talent teenager the U.S. has left in the event.

Roz Groenewoud – the reigning X Games Champ and owner of the top score in event history – headlines the Canadian contingent. Teammate Keltie Hansen also qualified for the finals.

Japan’s Ayana Onozuka is a darkhorse in the event. The 24-year old recently made the transition from alpine and finished 5th overall in her first season (2012) on the Dew Tour and 5th in the semis at Breckenridge.

Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle Finals (1 p.m)
American Jamie Anderson is the lone American in the field, but it’s quality over quantity. The Lake Tahoe native posted an event high 94.25 in her first run and is the clear-cut favorite heading into the finals.

Canada’s Spencer O’Brien and Germany’s Silvia Mittermueller are also top contenders.

Men’s Freeski Superpipe Finals (3:00 p.m.)
Canada’s Mike Riddle’s 87.75 was enough to propel the 26-year-old into first place. Despite a disappointing 4th place qualification, France’s Kevin Rolland remains the favorite to top the podium. Americans David Wise and Tanner Hall should also be in the mix.

All Times Mountain

Blake Griffin will miss Olympics, report says

Blake Griffin
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For the second straight Olympics, Blake Griffin will not be able to join Team USA due to injury, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Clippers power forward will be out several months due to his left quad injury, according to the newspaper.

Griffin was originally chosen for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team but withdrew due to a torn meniscus, opening a spot for Anthony Davis.

Davis is also expected to miss the Rio Games due to injury.

Other power forwards on the U.S. finalist list released in January are LaMarcus Aldridge, Kenneth Faried, Draymond Green and Kevin Love.

Love is the only name from that list of healthy players with Olympic experience. Faried is the only player from that list who suited up at the 2014 World Cup, starting all nine games.

At London 2012, the U.S. started NBA small forwards LeBron James and Kevin Durant at the forward spots in all eight games, with another small forward, Carmelo Anthony, bringing similar versatility off the bench.

MORE: Why Candace Parker was left off Olympic team

Rio Olympic cauldron likely to be located near Plaza Maua

Candelaria Church
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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Mayor Eduardo Paes says he wants the Olympic cauldron to burn in Rio de Janeiro’s revitalized port area.

The cauldron will be lit at Maracana Stadium during the Opening Ceremony on Aug. 5, and will spend the night there before traveling to a permanent home.

Mario Andrada, spokesman for the Rio organizing committee, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the cauldron will be placed in the port area, but not in the heart of the renovated port area known as Plaza Maua.

“It will be close to Plaza Maua, but not exactly in Plaza Maua,” Andrada said. He said it was likely to be located near the Candelaria Church, which is near the plaza.

“Don’t get me into a fight with the mayor,” Andrada added.

Paes said he hoped the new plaza would be a center for outdoor entertainment during the Games, including performance stages, musical attractions, and large-screen televisions.

“It seems that the Maracana Stadium has limitations,” Paes said, adding that moving out of the Maracana “is good because it democratizes the access to the cauldron.”

The new plaza and downtown Rio are far from the heart of the Games in suburban Barra da Tijuca. It is also an area not usually visited by tourists.

The Olympic flame arrives from Greece and Switzerland on Tuesday in the capital Brasilia, to be carried off the plane by IOC member Carlos Nuzman, the head of the Rio organizing committee.

The flame then goes to the Planalto presidential palace where it is expected to be greeted by President Dilma Rousseff.

Andrada said IOC President Thomas Bach and other top IOC officials would not be at the ceremony.

Rousseff is facing impeachment charges and could be suspended from office as early as May 11, turning over authority to Vice President Michel Temer.

Temer, himself, could also face impeachment proceedings and has a scandal-tainted career.

PHOTOS: Olympic flame visits Acropolis, 1896 Olympic Stadium