The penultimate day of the Paralympics includes two cross-country skiing relays, the 4×2.5km mixed relay and the 4x.2.5 km open relay.
Russia has dominated cross-country skiing over the past week, winning 20 medals and seven golds. No other nation has won more than five medals or two golds.
Also Saturday, two-time 2014 Paralympic silver medalist Mark Bathum goes for another medal in the visually impaired giant slalom and super combined silver medalist Heath Calhoun competes in the sitting giant slalom.
Later, the U.S. sledge hockey team plays Russia in the gold-medal game at noon ET on NBC (preview here) and medals will be decided in curling bronze- and gold-medal games.
Cross-country skiing, 3:30 a.m. ET – CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Paralympic broadcast schedule
The marquee event of the Sochi Paralympics is set for Saturday.
The U.S. and Russia will face off in the sledge hockey gold-medal game at Shayba Arena, a rematch of a 2-1 Russian victory in group play four days before. It will be televised live Saturday at noon ET on NBC and streamed at teamusa.org.
Russia had shocked the U.S. on Tuesday, snapping the Americans’ eight-game Paralympic winning streak dating to 2006 and goalie Steve Cash‘s shutout streak at some 313 minutes.
“We came into this tournament with high hopes, and going into Saturday’s game against Russia, we believe strongly that we can accomplish that goal of winning a gold medal,” U.S. forward and Army veteran Rico Roman said in his blog. “They got us on Tuesday, but we’re coming back strong.”
The U.S. is the defending Paralympic champion. Russia made it to the final in its Paralympic sledge hockey debut.
“Four years ago, when the guys got into the sledge, when they had the sticks and pucks in their hands, it was [captain] Vadim Selyukin who told me, ‘We will do everything we can. We will play at our best and be very hard-working guys,'” Russian coach Sergey Samoylov said in a press release. “He told me, ‘We will compete at the Winter Paralympics, not just as hosts, we are going to do much more. We are going to win. We are going to win a medal.'”
Paralympic broadcast schedule
Swedish Olympic hockey player Nicklas Backstrom will receive a silver medal after testing positive for pseudoephedrine (PSE) at the Olympics, the International Olympic Committee announced Friday.
Backstrom was held out of Sweden’s gold-medal game loss to Canada on Feb. 23 after his Feb. 19 drug test results came back.
The IOC Disciplinary Commission of three said the suspension was fully justified in a press release. The full decision is available here.
“Not only due to the presence in excess of the applicable decision limit of PSE in his urine sample, but also due to the fact that the athlete conceded at the hearing, which took place shortly before the final match, that he had also taken medication containing PSE earlier that day,” the release said.
“There was also no indication of any intent of the athlete to improve his performance by taking a prohibited substance. Based upon these mitigating circumstances, the IOC DC considered that the athlete should be entitled to receive the silver medal and diploma awarded for men’s ice hockey.”
The Disciplinary Commission concluded that Swedish team doctor Bjorn Waldeback made a “serious error” by advising Backstrom that his use of the medicine Zyrtec-D would “not give rise to an adverse analytical finding.”
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