Winter Olympics: What to watch/stream

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Few teams are quite as dominant as the Canadian men’s snowboard slopestyle team. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see four Maple Leafs at the top of the standings. Mark McMorris and Max Parrot are the two big names to look out for today and could quickly put Canada atop the overall medal race. These two athletes, whose trickery on the slopes is boundless, are nearly beatable; yet, the American team did pull off a surprising gold medal in 2014. Do look out for Red Gerard. His strong performance on Friday keeps him in the hunt to become one of the youngest American Olympic medalists.

Elsewhere around the grounds, the figure skating team competition resumes with the ladies short program and short dance. Airing on NBC primetime, Team USA will be competing to remain in the hunt to advance to the second phase of the competition. Currently sitting 2nd, a decent showing will essentially secure a place in the latter stages of the tournament.

Figure Skating

Bradie Tennell will be making her Olympic debut tonight in the ladies short program. The Olympic rookie will be taking a page out of Korean culture, performing to a medley of songs from the film Taegukgi. She will be followed by Maia and Alex Shibutani, who will be performing the pairs ice dance. The Shibutanis have some Olympic experience, competing in the Sochi Games (though not for the team event).

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

Snowboard

While the Norwegian, Canadian teams are grabbing the spotlight in the slopestyle competition, New Zealand’s Carlos Garcia Knight posted a very strong performance in qualification, finishing second in his heat behind McMorris. Don’t sleep on this Kiwi; he could very well spoil the party.

Meanwhile, Jamie Anderson will begin her Olympic gold medal defense as the women’s snowboard slopestyle qualification begins. Anderson remains a top candidate to win gold. Hailey Langland and Julia Marino could be two potential dark horses for the tournament.

Men’s Slopestyle Final Stream Live Here 8:00p.m. EST / 5:00p.m. PST

Women’s Slopestyle Qualifying Stream Live Here 11:30p.m. EST / 8:30p.m. PST

Curling

After a 4-6 loss to China, Becca and Matt Hamilton’s chance of medaling in the mixed doubles event is essentially dashed. Canada and Norway, meanwhile, have been looking like serious medal contenders throughout round robin play. Canada faces a difficult test tonight, though, taking on hosts South Korea.

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

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

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

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

Alpine Skiing

The sport’s first medal event, the men’s normal downhill, will be featured tonight. Kjetil Jansrud, one of Norway’s “Attacking Vikings,” netted the fastest time in training and is expected to maintain his sharp form; meanwhile, Austria’s Matthias is hoping to defend his 2014 Olympics gold medal. The current leader atop the World Cup rankings, Beat Feuz, is also expecting to dethrone Matthias.

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

Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

Teri McKeever
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Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

Diana Taurasi
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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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