Bode Miller

Bode Miller to miss entire Alpine season

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Are Bode Miller’s chances of defending his super combined gold medal at next year’s Sochi Olympics dwindling?

The U.S. Alpine skiing star, who has been off the slopes since having his left knee surgically repaired a year ago, announced this week that he will take the rest of the season off to continue his rehab. It’s the first time since 1997 – his first year on the World Cup circuit – that Miller has missed an entire season.

Miller, who has kept himself occupied by playing golf (and accidentally hitting his wife in the eye with a golf ball) and selling his yacht, said the decision was “easy for me when I look at my opportunity next year.”

The 35-year-old Miller married beach volleyball player Morgan Beck in October and in August, the couple is due to have its first child together.

Miller won a pair of silver medals at the 2002 Olympics but came up empty in 2006. At the Vancouver Games, he won the super combined, took second in the super-G and placed third in the downhill.

Will the combined factors of his age and knee issue lead to a failed bid at earning a medal in Sochi?

WATCH LIVE: Big Air at Fenway — 8:30 p.m. ET

Fenway Big Air
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Fenway Park will host some of the world’s best freeskiers in the one-of-a-kind Big Air at Fenway, live on NBC Sports Live Extra on Friday night.

Big air skiers will descend from a ramp that’s four times higher than the Green Monster inside the hallowed Boston Red Sox home.

Ski big air is most like slopestyle of the current Olympic disciplines, except skiers get one jump per run.

WATCH LIVE: Big Air at Fenway — 8:30 p.m. ET

On Thursday, Canadian Max Parrot and American Julia Marino won the snowboard big air competitions at Fenway Park.

Big Air at Fenway coverage will conclude with an NBC show on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.

MORE: Olympic champ suffers concussion at Big Air at Fenway practice

Lillehammer Youth Winter Olympics open with homages to 1994

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In an homage to the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics, Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway lit the Lillehammer Youth Winter Olympic cauldron to cap the Opening Ceremony on Friday night.

The princess’ father, Crown Prince Haakon, lit the 1994 Olympic cauldron in a very similar fashion (video here). Princess Ingrid Alexandra was born in 2004.

The Opening Ceremony, held outdoors at a ski jump (same venue as 1994) in sub-freezing temperatures, included a speech from International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.

“I’m just a little bit too old to compete in the YOG,” Bach said, urging listeners to use the hashtag #IloveYOG during the nine-day Winter Games.

The ceremony included Olympic legends, such as 2010 figure skating gold medalist Yuna Kim and eight-time Olympic cross-country champion Bjorn Daehlie carrying the Olympic flag.

Marit Bjoergen, a 10-time Olympic medalist cross-country skier, handed the Olympic flame to the princess.

NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will air coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Saturday at 12:30 a.m. ET, plus daily coverage throughout the Winter Games. A full broadcast schedule is here.

MORE: Two years to Pyeongchang: Updates on U.S. Olympic medalists from Sochi