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Winter Olympics: What to watch/stream

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Sunday brings some of the biggest action in PyeongChang as a slew of big-name Americans compete.

Let’s begin with a conclusion: figure skating. The team event concludes tonight with the free programs. Airing on NBC primetime, Team USA find themselves in the middle of a medal hunt in the team skate program. Currently sitting in third, the USA will be relying on strong performances by Adam Rippon and 2010 Olympian Mirai Nagasu to close the gap between them and leaders Canada.

Jamie Anderson is also featured in primetime tonight, participating in the women’s slopestyle competition. Windy conditions forced the qualifying rounds to be cancelled, thus all participants were moved to the final. More competition for the defending Olympic champion means that her focus must be razor-sharp to avoid any slip-ups.

Chloe Kim also makes her Olympic debut tonight, featuring in the snowboard halfpipe. Leading our coverage into the late night and early hours, Kim is one of a handful of young guns in the halfpipe ready to make a name for themselves.

Figure Skating

The five remaining teams in the competition are as follows: Canada, Olympic Athletes from Russia, United States, Italy, Japan.

Canada hold a comfortable six point margin at the top ahead of OAR. USA currently sit third at 36 points, nine points behind Canada Each team knows, though, that the margin for error is razor thin, and a perfectly executed technical challenge could be the difference between gold and fourth.

NBCOlympics.com: Team USA advances to free skate in team event; currently in third place

Along with Rippon, Nagasu is tapped to be competing in the women’s free skate, and Alex and Maia Shibutani will be performing again in the ice dance.

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

Snowboard Slopestyle

Yesterday’s postponement added some extra intrigue for this competition, as the women’s final field has essentially doubled. While Anderson remains the favorite for gold, her compatriots Anna Gasser and Hailey Langland will give her a run for her money. And let’s not forget Spencer O’Brien, perhaps Anderson’s biggest foe. The Canadian, who was hampered in Sochi with rheumatoid arthritis, will be gunning for a seamless 2018.

And, who knows, with the added pressure of 27 finalists, there’s bound to be at least a couple of wildcards ready to emerge.

Women’s final Stream Live Here 8:00p.m. EST / 5:00p.m. PST

Snowboard Halfpipe

The United States has brought four medal contenders to PyeongChang. Kelly Clark, 34, is the oldest of the bunch (twice the age of Chloe Kim and Maddie Mastro). The three-time Olympic medalist is still a strong competitor, despite the ridiculous young talent that’s making a breakthrough. Two of those names: Chloe Kim and Maddie Mastro. Kim is the bigger name, and the heir-apparent to Clark. Mastro is a consistent performer herself. Last is Kelly Clark, the 21-year old, whose 2014 dreams were cut short because of a shoulder injury. She proved in the X Games that she’s more than capable of pushing Kim.

Women’s Snowboard Halfpipe qualifying Stream Live Here 11:30p.m. EST / 8:30p.m. PST

NBCOlympics.com: Olympic preview: Women’s snowboard halfpipe

Alpine Skiing

Mikaela Shiffrin became the youngest Olympic slalom gold medalist in 2014, at just 18 years old. Now, 22, the American is firmly at the top of her sport and will surely continue her dominance as she aims for multiple Olympic medals this year.

NBCOlympics.com: How Olympic gold changed (or didn’t change) Mikaela Shiffrin

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

Curling Semifinal 1: Canada versus Norway

Norway battled past China in the tie-breaker to set up a semifinal clash versus Canada. The Canadians did fall to Norway in the mixed doubles opener 6-9; however, since then, have won six straight. They’ll be hard to beat.

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

 

 

World short-track speedskating championships will be moved, postponed or canceled

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The International Skating Union announced Tuesday that the world short-track speedskating championships will not proceed as scheduled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Seoul’s Mokdong Ice Rink, where the competition was set to be held March 13-15, held the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships earlier this month but closed on Monday.

The ISU left open the possibility that the championships will be postponed or relocated, but the window to do so may close rapidly.

“Taking into account the uncertain world-wide development of the coronavirus, the limited and uncertain available time slots during the coming weeks and the logistical challenges of potential organizers and participating teams, a postponement and/or relocation of the Championships would be difficult to achieve,” the ISU said. “Nevertheless, a postponement and/or relocation of this Championships might be considered if the circumstances would allow so in due time.”

South Korea is one of short-track speedskating’s traditional powers. Last year, the country dominated the world championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, winning both relays and taking gold in all of the men’s individual races. South Korea also led the medal count on home ice in the 2018 Olympics.

The coronavirus outbreak has forced the cancellation of many events in China, where the illness was first found. The world indoor track and field championships were pushed back a whole year.

With the virus spreading to other regions, other countries’ sports schedules are being affected. Several soccer games are proceeding in empty stadiums in Italy and Iran.

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Daniel Romanchuk’s ascent to marathon stardom accelerated at University of Illinois

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The rise of Daniel Romanchuk has been one of the major stories of this Paralympic cycle. The wheelchair racer was eliminated in the first round of all five of his races in Rio.

But now, he’s the world’s best marathoner with a 6-foot-10 wingspan, a world-record holder on the track and already qualified for the Tokyo Games.

Romanchuk, born with spina bifida, was profiled by NBC Sports Chicago as part of a series of NBC Sports Regional Networks pieces published this week — marking 150 days until the Tokyo Olympics and six months until the Tokyo Paralympics.

NBC RSN Olympic and Paralympic Profiles
NBC Sports Bay Area

Abbey Weitzeil (Swimming) — LINK

NBC Sports Boston
Margaret Bertasi (Rowing) — LINK
Abbey D’Agostino Cooper (Track and Field) — LINK

NBC Sports Chicago
Ryan Murphy (Swimming) — LINK

NBC Sports Northwest
Galen Rupp (Marathon) — LINK
Mariel Zagunis (Fencing) — LINK

NBC Sports Philadelphia
Vashti Cunningham (Track and Field) — LINK
Julie Ertz (Soccer) — LINK

NBC Sports Washington
Katie Ledecky (Swimming) — LINK
Kyle Snyder (Wrestling) — LINK

Romanchuk, 21, swept the Boston, London, Chicago and New York City Marathon titles in 2019. He attributes that success to his native Baltimore and his training residence of the University of Illinois.

At age 2, he was enrolled in Baltimore’s Bennett Blazers, an adaptive sports program for children with physical disabilities. Tatyana McFadden, a 17-time Paralympic medalist who dominated women’s wheelchair marathons, planted her athletic roots there.

“Their motto is to teach kids they can before they’re told they can’t,” Romanchuk said.

Things really blossomed for Romanchuk after he moved from Baltimore to the University of Illinois. Illinois was designated a U.S. Paralympic training site in 2014 and has produced McFadden, Jean Driscoll and other U.S. Paralympic stars.

“Without this program, I certainly would not be where I am,” Romanchuk said. “It’s a very unique combination of coaching and teammates.”

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MORE: Ten Paralympic hopefuls to watch for 2020 Tokyo Games