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Winter Olympics: What to watch/stream

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The XXIII Olympiad officially opens in PyeongChang. For those who missed the live stream on NBCOlympics.com in the morning’s early hours, NBC will be airing its primetime coverage of the Opening Ceremony tonight. The Opening Ceremony will be aired on 8:00p.m. EST / 5:00p.m. PST, anchored by co-hosts Mike Tirico and Katie Couric.

Erin Hamlin will be leading the Team USA contingent, it was announced on Wednesday. Hamlin became the first U.S. Olympian to win an Olympic singles luge medal, claiming the bronze in the 2014 Sochi Games. The United States has sent 244 athletes to PyeongChang, its largest-ever contingent for the Olympics.

North and South Korea will be marching together under one flag. Missing from this flag will be the South Korean Taeguk (the iconic red and blue sphere in the middle), and North Korea’s red, white and blue. Instead, a blue silhouette of the Korean peninsula will be displayed on a white background.

Opening Ceremony

In addition to its live television coverage, NBC will be airing its primetime show on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC  Sports app. Online and app coverage will also feature trivia about the countries and athletes, as well as real-time fact cards as the Ceremony unfolds.

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

Snowboarding

In addition to the Opening Ceremony, the snowboarding competition will be kicking off as the men’s slopestyle qualifying rounds begin. Canada’s Max Parrot and Mark McMorris will be two of the biggest stars to watch. The multiple-times X Games medalists are entering the slopestyle with exceptionally high standards. Parrot will be hoping to improve upon his fifth place finish in Sochi to land on the podium, while McMorris will be looking to trade his 2014 bronze medal in for a 2018 gold.

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

Curling

After a comfortable victory over Team OAR in the opening round, Matt and Becca Hamilton have been struggling in the mixed doubles competition. The sibling duo have dropped three straight draws since that opening victory, including a humbling 1-9 defeat versus South Korea. The Hamiltons have a chance to end their skid as they take on fellow strugglers China.

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

NOR vs. FIN Live Stream Here 7:05p.m. EST / 4:05p.m. PST

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

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

Alpine Skiing

The men’s downhill training sessions continue before the competition officially starts on Sunday, Feb. 11.

Live Stream Here 9:00p.m. EST / 6:00p.m. PST

Snowboarding pioneer Jake Burton Carpenter passes away

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Jake Burton Carpenter, the pioneer who brought snowboarding to the masses and helped turn the sport into a billion-dollar business and Olympic showpiece, has died at 65.

He died Wednesday night in Burlington, Vermont, according to an email sent to the staff of the company he founded. Carpenter had emailed his staff this month saying, “You will not believe this, but my cancer has come back.” He had been diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011 but after several months of therapy had been given a clean bill of health.

Carpenter quit his job in New York in 1977 to form the company now known simply as Burton. His goal was to advance the rudimentary snowboard, then called a “Snurfer,” which had been invented by Sherman Poppen a dozen years earlier.

It worked, and more than four decades later, snowboarding is a major fixture at the Winter Games and snowboards are as common as skis at resorts across the globe.

“He was our founder, the soul of snowboarding, the one who gave us the sport we all love so much,” Burton co-CEO John Lacy said in his email to the staff.

Grieving Mikaela Shiffrin returns to World Cup Alpine action with fourth reindeer at stake

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The traditional World Cup Alpine skiing season opener last month in Soelden, Austria, was an emotional one for Mikaela Shiffrin.

Shiffrin’s grandmother, Pauline Condron, was in declining health in the days leading up to the race, making Shiffrin wonder if she should head home instead of staying in Soelden. Condron was especially close to Shiffrin, helping to take care of her soon after birth.

Condron passed away Oct. 22, four days before the Soelden giant slalom, at age 98.

“Polly loved sports,” Condron’s obituary said. “She was an avid bowler in her younger years and enjoyed playing tennis and skiing. Few people know that she excelled at ping pong, had a killer serve, gave up very few games and played into her 90s.”

Condron was able to see Shiffrin in person at World Cup races in Killington, Vt. The World Cup will return next weekend to Killington, which has just passed its FIS inspection.

Shiffrin finished second in Soelden’s giant slalom to an upstart rival, 17-year-old New Zealander Alice Robinson. Shiffrin is the reigning Olympic and World Cup champion in the giant slalom, but she hasn’t won in Soelden since 2014.

In the slalom, Shiffrin is more dominant. She won eight of nine World Cup races last year, losing only to Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova, and won her fourth straight world championship despite battling illness. The last time Shiffrin finished worse than second in the technical discipline was in the 2018 Olympics, when she uncharacteristically faltered and finished fourth.

Saturday’s race in Levi, Finland, is a slalom. Shiffrin has won three of the last five races in Levi, which means she also has three reindeer  Rudolph, Sven and Mr. Gru. She can win a fourth on Saturday.

The men also have a slalom this weekend in Levi, racing Sunday.

Both runs for each event stream live on NBC Sports Gold at 4:15 and 7 a.m. ET, with the Olympic Channel also carrying the second runs each day.

MORE: Alpine skiing TV schedule

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