U.S. skier Shiffrin, 17, makes history in World Cup race

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Ever heard of Mikaela Shiffrin?

If you don’t closely follow Alpine ski racing, your answer is probably a no. But now is the time to start reading up on this 17-year-old Alpine skiing phenom.

At 17 years, 9 months and 7 days, Shiffrin became the third youngest American to ever win an Alpine World Cup race on Thursday after claiming victory in a slalom race in Are, Sweden.

Shiffrin is from Vail, Colo., and attends Burke Mountain Academy, a private school in East Burke, Vt. that teaches both academics and ski racing. Shiffrin made her World Cup debut in March 2011. Later that year she raced in another World Cup event and finished eighth in the slalom. A year ago, Shiffrin placed third in a slalom race at Lienz, Austria. Last March, she won the slalom at the U.S. National Championships – after doing the same at the 2011 Nationals.

So yeah, it’s probably time to start paying attention to this talented teenager.

When asked about her victory, Shiffrin had this to say (courtesy of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association): “I was just trying to fly. I couldn’t imagine what winning [a World Cup race] would feel like. I only knew the feeling of knowing you’ve skied your best.”

Let’s think about this for a minute. Lindsey Vonn has the speed events covered for the U.S. women, the downhill and the super-G. You can throw Julia Mancuso into that mix as well. Mancuso and Shiffrin are solid in the giant slalom. In the slalom there’s really only one American we need to know about: Shiffrin. Her victory yesterday catapulted her to the top of the World Cup slalom standings.

So will we see Shiffrin on more podiums in the near future? And what about the Sochi Olympics, which are just over a year away?

“I met Mikaela last summer and she is indeed a great kid with a wonderful ski future in front of her,” said Kiki Cutter, the youngest American to win a World Cup race (slalom in 1968 at 16 years, 7 months, 1 day). “I am sure that we are going to see many more victories from Mikaela.”

Cutler was also the first American in history to win a World Cup race, so you can’t get much more of an expert opinion than hers. And if she’s right, Mikaela, we’ll see you on the slopes in Sochi.

Winter Olympics late night: What to watch/stream

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NBC’s nighttime coverage leads into Thursday morning with Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin continuing their combined runs.

Elsewhere tonight, the USA take on Canada in the men’s curling semifinals. The USA will be looking to continue their improbable medal run, putting an end to Canada’s dominance in curling.

Continue reading below to check out what else is on schedule tonight in PyeongChang.


Alpine Skiing

Women’s combined continues from Wednesday night’s coverage into the early hours on Thursday. Lindsey Vonn, who just competed in the downhill on Tuesday, will have to find a way to quickly recover in time to be well enough to compete in the combined.

Mikaela Shiffrin will also be continuing her run. Though Shiffrin missed two of her other events last week, she is still considered a serious medal contender for the combined.

Women’s Combined Run 2 Stream Live Here 1:00a.m. EST / 10:00p.m. PST

Curling

It’s a massive Canada-USA double-header tonight. After the two countries battle it out for the gold in the women’s hockey tournament, they meet again in the semifinals of men’s curling.

The USA have been fantastic ever since they fell to 2-4 in group play, posting big wins over Switzerland, Great Britain, and their semifinal opponents. Confidence for this team has to be sky high, and they must certainly feel that they’ve got nothing to lose. Canada, since starting 5-0, have lost three of four.

Men’s Tournament

Semifinal 1 SWE vs. GBR/SUI Stream Live Here 6:05 a.m. EST / 3:05a.m. PST

Semifinal 2 USA vs. CAN Stream Live Here 6:05 a.m. EST / 3:05a.m. PST

Nordic Combined 

The Germans swept the large hill in the individual competition earlier this week, and should be heavy favorites to dominate the competition again in the team event. If Norway can have a better performance on the ski jump tonight, then they could challenge Germany for the top spot.

Team Large Hill Ski Jump Stream Live Here 2:30a.m. EST / 11:30p.m. PST

Short Track

It’s the hottest ticket in town, and the South Korean crowd is sure to be buzzing with several of their athletes in contention for gold. Cho Minjeong and Shim Sukhee have looked particularly strong in the women’s 1000m.

Seo Yira is leading the charge in the men’s 500m, but he’s in a tough quarterfinal group featuring 1000m champion Samuel Girard.

Men’s 500m Stream Live Here 5:00a.m. EST / 2:00a.m. PST

Men’s 5000m Relay Stream Live Here 5:00a.m. EST / 2:00a.m. PST

Women’s 1000m Stream Live Here 5:00a.m. EST / 2:00a.m. PST

Biathlon 

Germany, France, and Sweden lead the first line in the women’s relay. Vanessa Hinz and Laura Dahlmeier put Germany in front during the first stages of the mixed relay, and if they can shoot clear then Germany could run away with this one quickly.

Women’s 4x6km Relay Stream Live Here 6:15a.m. EST / 3:15a.m. PST

Hilary Knight: Heavy is the crown for the selfie queen

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Following three-time Olympian Hilary Knight on social media means pictures. Specifically, selfies.

Lots and lots of selfies.

The forward easily qualifies as the selfie queen of the U.S. women’s Olympic hockey team. But it’s not because the 5-foot-11 Knight doesn’t try to share the photo duties documenting these Olympic moments with her teammates.

“I always ask someone else to do it, and they’re like, ‘No, no you just do it,'” Knight said with a laugh. “Just because of my arms. I have the angle or something figured out.

Knight stayed busy the night of the opening ceremonies at the Pyeongchang Games.

She’s also been documenting life in the athletes’ village.

Knight says she startles herself when she opens up her SnapChat app and finds it on selfie mode.

“I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, what’s going on there?” she said. “But I feel badly for posting all the selfies. At the same time, we’re trying to capture all these memories we have together because they’re something special.”