Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin says ‘ongoing glitches,’ delays in Sochi Olympic preparation

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Russian president Vladimir Putin called it “nothing out of the ordinary,” but said there are glitches and delays with the Olympics fewer than 150 days away.

“Despite the large amount of work that has already been done, there are still ongoing glitches and delays in time frames,” Putin said, according to R-Sport. “But overall it’s a normal thing for such a large project. There’s nothing out of the ordinary.

“We know the time the Olympics start, and we can’t slip at all.”

Putin spoke in Sochi at the opening of a $500 million Olympic university for retired athletes seeking new careers in sports. Among those set to study in Sochi are U.S. women’s hockey player Molly Engstrom and Polish swimmer Otylia Jędrzejczak.

Putin said he ordered Olympic supervisor and deputy prime minister Dmitry Kozak to send him progress reports every two weeks.

“I’m going to be coming here more often,” Putin said in Sochi.

Details of Sochi Olympic torch relay trip to North Pole


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