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Winter Olympics: What to watch/stream

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The bar could not be set any higher in the men’s snowboard halfpipe competition (almost literally). Coming into the tournament, the talk has surrounded on a showdown between Shaun White and Scotty James. After their qualification performances, we understand why. But there will also be outsiders looking to spoil the party, namely Ayumu Hirano, who won gold in the X Games in January.

With the exceptionally high standard that’s been set in the qualifying rounds, you could expect to see some of the most captivating drama in PyeongChang tonight on NBC’s primetime coverage.

Snowboard

Shaun White performed like he had something to prove in the men’s qualification stage last night. The American, who still remembers his poor form in Sochi, landed an impressive 98.50 in his second run, and looks like his vintage self as he seeks his third Olympic gold medal. But Australia’s Scotty James, White’s biggest competitor, will have a say about that before the halfpipe concludes.

There are a handful of outsiders looking to spoil the party, however. Keep an eye on Ben Ferguson, Ayumu Hirano, and Raibu Katayama.

Men’s Halfpipe Final Stream Live Here 8:30p.m. EST / 5:30p.m. PST

Alpine Skiing

Mikaela Shiffrin has had to wait a while to get her Olympics rolling. The 2014 Olympic gold medalist, though, doesn’t feel any added stress from the delay. France’s Tessa Worley and 2010 gold medalist Viktoria Rebensburg are also serious gold medal contenders.

Women’s Slalom Run 1 Stream Live Here 8:15p.m. EST / 5:15p.m. PST

Figure Skating

The Knierims are back in action tonight in the pairs short program. They enter the competition as outsiders of a gold medal shot, with Germany and OAR set to duke it out for the top of the podium.

Short Program Stream Live Here 8:00p.m. EST / 5:00p.m. PST

Curling

Following a disappointing showing in the mixed doubles competition, Matt Hamilton will look to bounce back in the men’s doubles competition.

Canada, who won the gold in the mixed doubles, remain a solid favorite to win gold again. Great Britain and Sweden will also be looking to emulate their podium positions from 2014.

DEN vs. SWE Stream Live Here 7:05p.m. EST / 4:05p.m. PST

CAN vs. ITA Stream Live Here 7:05p.m. EST / 4:05p.m. PST

KOR vs. USA Stream Live Here 7:05p.m. EST / 4:05p.m. PST

SUI vs. GBR Stream Live Here 7:05p.m. EST / 4:05p.m. PST

Ice Hockey

Sweden and Switzerland have already punched their tickets to the semifinals, both starting 2-0 in group play. So what’s at stake in what could be argued a dead rubber game? Well, on the other side of the bracket are Canada, USA, and Finland. Those three nations are the three medal contenders, and only two – most likely Canada and USA – will advance. A first place finish in this group doesn’t mean much. Would would be meaningful, though, is an improbable win over one of the North American powerhouses.

SWE vs. SUI Stream Live Here 10:10p.m. EST / 7:10p.m. PST

 

USA wins gold in men’s curling

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For the first time in history, the United States won the Olympic gold medal in curling.

A week ago, it didn’t seem like that would happen. Sitting at 2-4 and with a game against behemoth Canada coming up, John Shuster captained the United States to three consecutive wins (over Canada, Switzerland, and Great Britain) to squeak into the semifinals. From there, they took down Great Britain before completing the run against Sweden in the gold medal game.

Tied at 5-5 in the eighth end, Shuster was able to hit both of Sweden’s rocks out of the house, giving the United States an incredible five points and a 10-5 lead heading into the ninth.

NBCOlympics.com: Watch: Team USA scores five points in eighth end

After that, it was all about protecting the lead. Just a few minutes later Swedish skip Niklas Edin conceded the game, and it was the United States standing on top of the podium for the first time ever in the sport of curling.

Click here to read the full recap from the gold medal game 

Ester Ledecka first woman to win gold in two sports at same Winter Olympics

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One week after shocking the world by winning a gold medal in Alpine skiing, Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic strapped back into a snowboard and won a gold medal in her primary sport.

Ledecka, the No. 1 ranked athlete in women’s parallel giant slalom snowboarding, qualified for the finals of that event with the fastest time, then won four consecutive head-to-head races to claim her second gold medal of the PyeongChang Olympics.

With the win, Ledecka is the first woman to win gold medals in two different sports at the same Winter Olympics.

Results: Women’s Parallel Giant Slalom

Gold: Ester Ledecka (CZE)
Silver: Selina Joerg (GER)
Bronze: Ramona Hofmeister (GER)
4. Alena Zavarzina (OAR)
5. Benjamin Karl (AUT)
6. Stefan Baumeister (GER)
7. Roland Fischnaller (ITA)
8. Edwin Coratti (ITA)

Click here to catch up on all of the snowboarding action from PyeongChang