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Winter Olympics late night: What to watch/stream

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It’s not often that cross-country skiing is featured as must-watch TV. The sport looks absolutely grueling as athletes have to use every single muscle of their body for at least 1 mile (a spring), and up to 30 miles. Today, though, we’re shifting our attentions towards the 15km race (9.3 miles), and the man racing it: Pita Taufatofua.

Yes, the shirtless Tongan may be getting the headlines because of his Olympic entrances but it shouldn’t undermine his ability as an athlete and the sacrifices he’s made to get there. To read more about Taufatofua’s story, click here. 

Elsewhere around PyeongChang, Team OAR looks to find their groove on the rink and Ashley Caldwell and Kiley McKinnon look to medal in women’s aerials.

Cross-Country

The most notable name in the men’s 15km field doesn’t stand a chance at medaling. That man is Pita Taufatofua, the world-famous shirtless Tongan who graced the Olympic stage not once, but twice. Having sacrificed everything to qualify for the Olympics, Taufatua became a trailblazer for his native Tonga. Whether he finishes 30th, 50th, or worse, his vision for Tonga’s future serves as almost a beautiful backdrop for this course as the PyeongChang mountainside.

Men’s 15km Stream Live Here 1:00a.m. EST / 10:00p.m. PST

Hockey

The Olympic Athletes from Russia entered the Olympics with a lot of hype: they were a shoo-in for gold. Their first game against Slovakia showed that they’re far from unbeatable; actually, relatively beatable. So, what’s next for this team? They take on the team that beat the U.S. Maybe the other night’s result was a wake-up for this squad or, maybe, they just didn’t fit as well as people once thought.

OAR vs. SLO Stream Live Here 2:40a.m. EST / 11:40p.m. PST

Freestyle Skiing

Lydia Lasilla is the name to look out for in this competition, as she continues her quest to become the most decorated aerial skier in Olympic history. Ashley Caldwell and Kiley McKinnon are two other contenders to look out for, and could potentially steal the gold from their Australian counterpart.

Full women’s aerials preview here

Women’s Aerial Finals Stream Live Here 6:00a.m. EST / 3:00a.m. PST

Skeleton

Katie Uhlaender finished fourth in Sochi (and will receive bronze following Eleni Nikitina was stripped of hers for doping).

Women’s Runs 1 and 2 Stream Live Here 6:20a.m. EST / 3:20a.m. PST

Curling

A big game between Sweden and Great Britain highlight tonight’s curling action (or this morning’s). It hasn’t been as smooth as the Britons would liked to have hoped, losing a tough battle against Canada and then barely edging out Japan. Sweden have looked impressive in both of their games so far.

Women’s Tournament

DEN vs. CAN Stream Live Here 12:05a.m. EST / 9:05p.m. PST

SWE vs. OAR Stream Live Here 12:05a.m. EST / 9:05p.m. PST

KOR vs. SUI Stream Live Here 12:05a.m. EST / 9:05p.m. PST

Men’s Tournament

JPN vs. SUI Stream Live Here 6:05a.m. EST / 3:05a.m. PST

DEN vs. USA Stream Live Here 6:05a.m. EST / 3:05a.m. PST

SWE vs. GBR Stream Live Here 6:05a.m. EST / 3:03a.m. PST

CAN vs. KOR Stream Live Here 6:05a.m. EST / 3:05a.m. PST

Chinese figure skating judges banned for biased Olympic scoring

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Two Chinese figure skating judges were suspended by the International Skating Union for biased judging at the PyeongChang Olympics.

Chen Weiguang and Huang Feng had “preferential marking” for top Chinese skaters Jin Boyang (fourth place in PyeongChang) and the silver medalist pairs’ team of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, respectively, according to the ISU.

Chen was banned two years and excluded from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Huang got a one-year ban.

Chen awarded her highest grades of execution scores of the men’s competition to Jin, as well as her second-highest program components scores, trailing only gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu. Both sets of scores, in both the short and long programs, were out of line with the other eight judges.

“There is evidence of preference for the Chinese skater and prejudice against his strongest competitors,” an ISU report read. “Her marks were completely unrealistic.”

The pairs’ judge Huang “obviously favored his pair also vis-à-vis the other top candidates for the Olympic gold medal,” the ISU said in a report, referencing inflated scores for Sui and Han and lower scores for gold and bronze medalists Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada.

Huang was warned one month before the Olympics by the ISU for biased judging at the December 2017 Grand Prix Final pairs’ event.

Both suspensions are subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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Javier Fernandez to skip Grand Prix, still compete next season

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Javier Fernandez, who in PyeongChang became the first Spanish Olympic figure skating medalist, will skip the fall Grand Prix series but return for January’s European Championships, which could be his final competition.

Europeans will be Fernandez’s focus for the season, his agent said Tuesday.

Fernandez, 26, added an Olympic bronze medal to his 2015 and 2016 World titles. He has said that his third Olympics in PyeongChang would be his last. But Fernandez did not say he would retire after the Winter Games, though he did skip the world championships in March.

Fernandez now plans to compete in his 13th straight European Championships in Minsk in January. He won the last six titles. It’s unknown if he will continue on to the world championships in Saitama, Japan, in March.

In Fernandez’s absence, the top male singles skaters in the fall Grand Prix season should be double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, PyeongChang silver medalist Shoma Uno and American Nathan Chen, who was fifth at the Olympics after a disastrous short program but ran away with March’s world title by the largest margin in history.

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