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Visa Olympic partnership comes full circle in Pyeongchang

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The Pyeongchang Winter Games mark the 30th anniversary of Visa’s Olympic partnership, a run that has and should continue to produce plenty of highlights.

The slogan “Everywhere you want to be” has been joined with the Olympic Movement for three decades.

Famous Visa commercials included the Dream Team, Michael Phelps swimming across the Atlantic Ocean, the velvety voice of Morgan Freeman and U.S. women’s ski jumpers fight for equality.

In 2018, Visa will head back to where it all started in South Korea.

“Our first [Summer] Games were the Seoul Games in 1988,” said Chris Curtin, ‎Visa’s Global Head of New Platform Marketing Transformation and Chief Digital Officer. “So, we’re kind of coming home in our own way to South Korea after 30 years of having a relationship with the IOC.”

Visa, the official payment technology partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the only payment card accepted at Olympic venues, will debut an interactive shopping experience for fans in Pyeongchang and for viewers back home.

“We gear up for the Games just like these athletes do,” Curtin said. “It’s nothing short of a Herculean effort.”

At the Olympics, which open Feb. 9, fans can make purchases with wearable payment devices — gloves, commemorative stickers and Olympic pins.

For those watching via NBC Olympics, Visa Checkout will offer a first-time, real-time experience.

Viewers will be directed to a newly launched digital platform where they can browse and buy gear from the Team USA Shop worn by athletes from the ice and snow to the medal podium.

“When you see your favorite U.S. athlete, and you are like, gosh, I wish I had that USA vest or USA shirt, we’re going to offer that up on the website, and you can buy that in real time,” Curtin said.

Another round of Visa’s memorable Olympic commercials will debut over the next two months, featuring athletes such as the Nigerian bobsled team. No African nation has competed in Olympic bobsled before.

“There’s a World’s Fair element to the Olympics that allows for if not begs for brands like Visa to showcase their best,” Curtin said. “The Olympics are important to us because they share a lot of the same attributes that we do. They’re global in nature. They stand for and recognize excellence. There’s a sense of nationalism, but, frankly, they all live in a village together.”

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Anna van der Breggen is first cyclist to sweep road world titles in 25 years

Anna van der Breggen
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Dutchwoman Anna van der Breggen added the road race crown to her time trial victory at the world road cycling championships, becoming the second rider in history to win both events at the same edition.

“This is, for me, pretty good so far,” she said.

Van der Breggen, the Rio Olympic road race champion, won after a solo attack with more than 25 miles left of an 89-mile course in Imola, Italy, on Saturday.

She prevailed after more than four hours of racing by 80 seconds over countrywoman Annemiek van Vleuten, the 2019 champion. Van Vleuten raced nine days after breaking her left wrist in a Giro Rosa crash.

Italian Elisa Longo Borghini took bronze in the same time as van Vleuten after losing a photo-finish sprint. Lauren Stephens was the top American in 11th.

Full results are here.

The race lacked American standout Chloé Dygert, who crashed out of the time trial while leading on Thursday and required leg surgery.

Van der Breggen joined Frenchwoman Jeannie Longo as the only male or female cyclists to sweep the time trial and road race at a single worlds. Longo did so in 1995 at age 36.

Van der Breggen, 30, said in May that she will retire after the 2021 Olympic season.

It will be the end of one of the great cycling careers. She is now a three-time world champion and nine-time world medalist to go along with her road race gold and time trial bronze in her Olympic debut in Rio.

Worlds conclude Sunday with the men’s road race. A TV and stream schedule is here.

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2020 French Open TV, live stream schedule

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Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams can each tie Grand Slam singles titles records at the French Open, with daily live coverage among NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel.

NBC coverage starts Sunday with first-round action at Roland Garros, its 38th straight year covering the event. Tennis Channel airs the majority of weekday coverage. Peacock, NBC Universal’s new streaming service, has middle weekend broadcasts.

All NBC TV coverage alo streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

Nadal is the primary men’s storyline, favored to tie Roger Federer‘s male record of 20 major titles and extend his own record of 12 French Open crowns. Federer is absent after knee operations earlier this year.

The Spaniard’s primary competition is top-ranked Novak Djokovic, the 2016 French Open champion whose only defeat in 2020 was a U.S. Open default for hitting a ball that struck a linesperson in the throat.

Williams bids again to match the overall Grand Slam singles mark of 24 held by Australian Margaret Court. Williams, a three-time French Open champion, lost in the third and fourth round the last two years and is coming off a U.S. Open semifinal exit.

The women’s field is led by 2018 champion Simona Halep but lacks defending champion Ash Barty of Australia, not traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also out: U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka, citing a sore hamstring and tight turnaround from prevailing in New York two weeks ago.

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French Open TV Schedule

Date Time (ET) Network Round
Sunday, Sept. 27 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
12-3 p.m. NBC
Monday, Sept. 28 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Tuesday, Sept. 29 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Wednesday, Sept. 30 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Thursday, Oct. 1 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Friday, Oct. 2 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
Saturday, Oct. 3 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Sunday, Oct. 4 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Monday, Oct. 5 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Tuesday, Oct. 6 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Wednesday, Oct. 7 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Thursday, Oct. 8 5 a.m.-2 p.m. Tennis Channel Women’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Friday, Oct. 9 5 a.m.-4 p.m. Tennis Channel Men’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Saturday, Oct. 10 9 a.m. NBC Women’s Final
Sunday, Oct. 11 9 a.m. NBC Men’s Final