Ashley Wagner

Report: Ten kiss-and-cry areas for Olympic figure skating team event

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The new Olympic figure skating team event must make room to accommodate 10 nations’ worth of skaters watching their teammates compete.

With that in mind, there will be 10 kiss-and-cry areas at the Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“While ice rinks usually have only one area for ‘kiss-and-cry’ — the spangled histrionics that help make figure skating such great television — the Iceberg will have ’10 kiss-and-cry zones, one for each finalist team.'”

Ten nations will qualify for the figure skating team event. The medal contenders are thought to be the U.S., Canada, Japan and Russia.

The team event will begin the night before the Opening Ceremony with the pairs short program and the men’s short program. It will continue two nights later with the short dance, women’s short program and the pairs free skate.

That’s where it gets a little more complicated. The field will be narrowed from 10 to five after the short programs.

So, there will be 10 short dances and 10 women’s short programs, followed by a cut down to the top five teams, and then five pairs free skates on that Saturday night. (and, one could surmise, from 10 kiss-and-cry areas to five kiss-and-cry areas)

The team competition will conclude the next night, Sunday, Feb. 9, with the men’s free skate, free dance and women’s free skate.

Opinions mixed on figure skating team event

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