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Bode Miller rejoins NBC Sports Alpine team; winter sports weekend schedule

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Bode Miller, the most decorated U.S. Olympic skier of all time with six medals, rejoins NBC Sports’ commentary team for World Cup Alpine skiing races this weekend.

Miller will be on the call for races in Val d’Isere, France, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, featuring Olympic champions Ted Ligety and Aksel Lund Svindal.

The women will be racing at Lake Louise, Alberta, featuring Mikaela Shiffrin in what’s expected to be her World Cup downhill debut.

That’s just part of the winter sports coverage that also includes bobsled, luge, skeleton, cross-country skiing, Nordic combined, freestyle skiing and ski jumping.

MORE: Miller trains with U.S. Ski Team ahead of possible return

Date Time (ET) Event Network
Friday 5 a.m. Nordic Combined: Lillehammer STREAM LINK
6 a.m. Cross-Country: Lillehammer STREAM LINK
6 a.m. Alpine Skiing: Val d’Isere (Men SG) STREAM LINK
8 a.m. Nordic Combined: Lillehammer STREAM LINK
11 a.m. Ski Jumping: Lillehammer (Women) STREAM LINK
Noon Freestyle Skiing: Monchengladbach (Big Air) STREAM LINK
1 p.m. Alpine Skiing: – Val d’Isere (Men SG)* NBCSN
2:30 p.m. Alpine Skiing: Lake Louise (Women DH) STREAM LINK
5 p.m. Skeleton: Whistler (Women Run 1) STREAM LINK
6:30 p.m. Skeleton: Whistler (Women Run 2) STREAM LINK
7:30 p.m. Alpine Skiing: Lake Louise (Women DH)* Universal HD
9 p.m. Bobsled: Whistler (Two-Man Run 1) STREAM LINK
10:30 p.m. Bobsled: Whistler (Two-Man Run 2) STREAM LINK
Saturday 3 a.m. Nordic Combined: Lillehammer STREAM LINK
4 a.m. Cross-Country: Lillehammer STREAM LINK
4:45 a.m. Alpine Skiing: Val d’Isere (Men DH) STREAM LINK
6:50 a.m. Cross-Country: Lillehammer STREAM LINK
8 a.m. Nordic Combined: Lillehammer STREAM LINK
9 a.m. Ski Jumping: Lillehammer (Women) STREAM LINK
10:15 a.m. Ski Jumping: Klingenthal (Men) STREAM LINK
Noon Snowboard: Monchengladbach (Big Air) STREAM LINK
1 p.m. Skeleton: Whistler (Men Run 1) STREAM LINK
2:30 p.m. Skeleton: Whistler (Men Run 2) STREAM LINK
2:30 p.m. Alpine Skiing: Lake Louise (Women DH) STREAM LINK
5 p.m. Alpine Skiing: Val d’Isere (Men DH)* NBC
5 p.m. Bobsled: Whistler (Two-Woman Run 1) STREAM LINK
6:30 p.m. Bobsled: Whistler (Two-Woman Run 2) STREAM LINK
8 p.m. Alpine Skiing: Lake Louise (Women DH)* NBCSN
9 p.m. Bobsled: Whistler (Four-Man Run 1) STREAM LINK
9:30 p.m. Luge World Cup: Lake Placid (Women)* NBCSN
10:30 p.m. Bobsled: Whistler (Four-Man Run 2) NBCSN
Sunday 3 a.m. Nordic Combined: Lillehammer STREAM LINK
4 a.m. Alpine Skiing: Val d’Isere (Men GS) STREAM LINK
4:15 a.m. Cross-Country: Lillehammer STREAM LINK
6 a.m. Cross-Country: Lillehammer STREAM LINK
7 a.m. Alpine Skiing: Val d’Isere (Men GS) STREAM LINK
8 a.m. Nordic Combined: Lillehammer STREAM LINK
9 a.m. Ski Jumping: Klingenthal (Men) STREAM LINK
1 p.m. Alpine Skiing: Lake Louise (Women SG) STREAM LINK
5 p.m. Alpine Skiing: Val d’Isere (Men GS)* NBCSN
6 p.m. Alpine Skiing: Lake Louise (Women SG)* Universal HD

*Same-day delay coverage

Vic Wild finds much different welcome at PyeongChang

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — It was a feel-good love story about snowboarders that made Russia smile.

Four years later, Vic Wild and Alena Zavarzina are still married and still riding.

But boy did this get complicated.

Wild, the American-born rider who now competes for Russia, finished out of the medals, same as his wife, at the parallel giant slalom Saturday, closing a sad chapter to a journey that began as a fairy tale but turned into a drama about cheating, doping and figuring out who was to blame.

It was a small part of a much larger story about the strained, scandal-tainted relationship between Russia, the Olympics and the rest of the world.

“For 18 months, the IOC never told me anything,” Wild said after losing in the round-of-16 in a contest taken by Switzerland’s Nevin Galmarini. “No one would tell me if, somehow, some way, I was involved. That definitely put some gray hairs on my head.”

Read the full story at NBCOlympics.com

How Arianna Fontana quietly skated into short track history

Arianna Fontana
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Arianna Fontana is silently one of the greatest short track skaters in Olympic history.

Her numbers at the Games speak for themselves; one gold, two silver, and five bronze. Those eight total medals make her the most decorated female short track skater by two medals, and tie her with legends Apolo Ohno and Viktor Ahn for most Olympic medals ever won by a short track skater.

But it is her numbers outside the Olympic stage that really call attention to her Olympic success. She is a 14-time world medalist, which is no small feat, but her podium appearances are spread over a 12-year competitive career. Someone like Elise Christie, for example, has won 12 world championships medals in just five years. And also unlike Christie, Fontana has never won an overall title.

But Christie struggled on the sport’s biggest stage in both Sochi and PyeongChang, and has yet to win her first Olympic medal. Fontana, on the other hand, has become such a consistent podium presence over the last two Games that she almost makes it look easy.

Before retiring from competition, Ohno won 21 world medals, eight of them gold. Ahn, still competing but not one of the athletes invited to competed at the PyeongChang Olympics as an Olympic Athlete from Russia, has to date has won 35 world medals, 20 of which were gold.

Fontana does not come from a short track power like South Korea or China, perhaps another reason why she is not more notorious.

Most of her medals are bronze, which could be used as a strike against her, but just ask Lindsey Vonn how hard she worked to get hers this year.

Fontana’s first medal came at the 2006 Torino Olympics, when she helped the Italian women to bronze in the 3000m relay at just 15 years old. Fontana earned her first individual medal, a bronze in the 500m, four years later in Vancouver.

But in Sochi, she exploded, making the podium in three out of four events: the 500m, where she won silver, and the 1500m and 3000m relay, where she picked up two more bronzes.

“I thought I was going to win a gold medal in Sochi but I still don’t have that,” Fontana said to the ISU in early 2017. “That’s there up in my mind and sometimes it comes out and says, ‘Hey, you still miss me? So come get me!'”.

But after the 2014-15 season, Fontana’s desire for gold was eclipsed by something else: burnout.

“I was pretty tired mentally. My body was ready to race again but my mind was not. It was hard for me. After the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, I had some doubts about whether to keep skating or not,” Fontana said to the ISU. “Maybe it would have been better to take that year right after the Olympic Games off, but I decided to keep going. It is not that I regret it, but I had some hard times that season.”

She stayed active during her time off, learning how to box, which eased the transition back to skating.

Her pursuit for gold was what motivated her comeback, and in 2018 Fontana got what she came back for.

“When I saw I was first, I was just yelling and started crying. I worked for four years and the last four months were really hard for me. I was really focused on getting here in the best shape ever,” Fontana said after earning the 500m Olympic title.

“I was chasing it and finally I got it.”

In addition to her 500m gold medal, Fontana also added a 1000m bronze and 3000m relay bronze.

Fontana has spoken about retirement, but has not made a definitive decision. She will only be 31 years old by the time 2022 rolls around, so she could feasibly add to her medal haul if she competes. What she has made clear is that when she does leave the sport she hopes to become a personal trainer.

Whenever she does retire Fontana should be considered not only one of the greatest Italian athletes or greatest short track skaters, but also one of the greatest Winter Olympians.