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Yevgenia Medvedeva earns record score, U.S. trails at World Team Trophy

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Russian Yevgenia Medvedeva became the first woman to break 80 points in an international short program to open World Team Trophy on Thursday.

Medvedeva, the two-time reigning world champion, tallied 80.85 points for her short, which included a triple flip-triple toe loop combination. Full results are here.

World Team Trophy is a team event that includes the top six nations from this season — U.S., Russia, Canada, France, Japan and China. Results (but not scores) from men’s, women’s, ice dance and pairs programs are added up to determine the winning nation.

Russia and Japan are tied for the lead through three of eight programs, with the U.S. one point behind. NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app will air coverage Thursday, Friday and Saturday (broadcast schedule here).

Three-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner placed sixth in the women’s short program but with her highest international score of a subpar season.

“This was a show program, and I loved how the audience reacted to it, so I wanted that for my competitive experience this year,” Wagner said, according to U.S. Figure Skating.

Karen Chen, the surprise U.S. champion and worlds fourth-place finisher, was eighth Thursday. She performed a triple-double jump combination rather than a triple-triple and later singled a planned triple jump.

In the men’s short program, Olympic and world champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan was shockingly seventh. That’s his lowest standing in a short program since the 2013 World Championships.

Hanyu botched his first two jumping passes and scored 83.51 points, which is 27 points shy of his world record.

Japan’s Shoma Uno, the world silver medalist, earned a leading 103.53 points.

U.S. champion Nathan Chen was second in the short program with 99.28 points, landing two quadruple jumps and a triple Axel.

“I was really hesitant going into the Axel just because of what happened at worlds,” said Chen, who fell on his triple Axel in his worlds short program three weeks ago, when he wore faulty boots. “But the boots are better [now]. These are brand-new boots. They’re about a week old.”

Two-time world medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates topped the short dance with a personal-best international score. All of this year’s world medalists in dance chose to skip World Team Trophy.

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MORE: Patrick Chan: Maybe ISU should put limit on quadruple jumps

What is the Alpine skiing team event?

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The Alpine skiing team event will make its Olympic debut in PyeongChang

How to watch
Friday, Feb. 23, 9:00 p.m. ET
LIVE EVENT STREAM

Olympic skiing has always been an individual sport. Simply, the fastest skier down the mountain wins the gold medal.

But the world’s best skiers will have to rely on their teammates for the first time in the team event, which is making its Olympic debut in PyeongChang.

The team event will feature 16 teams, or nations, of four athletes (two men and two women). The 16 teams will be arranged in a bracket-style, single-elimination format. Think NCAA March Madness.

A skier from each of the two competing nations will race down the course in a series of head-to-head slalom races. The winner will earn a point for his or her team. The team with the most points after four heats will advance. If the teams have the same number of points, the winner will be the nation with the lower combined time of its fastest male and female competitor.

Teams are allowed to have a maximum of two reserves.

France won the team event at the 2017 World Championships. The U.S., competing without Mikaela Shiffrin, was knocked out in the first round by Canada.

“It’s a really fun event,” said American AJ Ginnis. “The atmosphere—the fact that you get to race with girls and guys and it’s a team effort is really cool.”

Men’s snowboard big air preview

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Now that Anna Gasser of Austria has successfully captured the first-ever Olympic gold medal in women’s snowboard big air, it’s almost time to crown the first-ever Olympic champion on the men’s side.

Big air snowboarding has progressed tremendously in recent years, and there’s been a lot of build-up to these Olympics, so expect heavy tricks to come out quickly in the final.

Or as Mark McMorris put it: “There’s probably [going to be] some mind-boggling s—.”

Every time there’s a big air event, there’s always talk about “quads” — a type of trick that features four inverted flips. It’s such a progressive trick that only two riders have landed a quad in competition, only a few others have done it in training, and many are hesitant to even try.

Read the full preview at NBCOlympics.com