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Changed Yevgenia Medvedeva returns at Skate Canada; TV/stream schedule

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Yevgenia Medvedeva, after three nearly flawless years atop a revolving-door sport, earned silver medals at her last three competitions.

It’s not a shock given the circumstances. Even her most recent outing, taking second to U.S. champion Bradie Tennell at a lower-level season debut last month, if you listen to new coach Brian Orser.

Medvedeva, after the most dominant run in women’s skating since Katarina Witt in the 1980s, succumbed first to a broken bone in her right foot last fall and second to 15-year-old (now former) training partner Alina Zagitova. Zagitova beat Medvedeva at January’s European Championships and in PyeongChang (by a mere 1.31 points).

Medvedeva returns to the Grand Prix series at this week’s Skate Canada in Laval, Quebec, across the provincial border from her new home in Toronto. NBC Sports Gold streams live coverage:

Day Time (ET) Event Network
Friday 2:15-3:45 p.m. Pairs’ Short NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
3:45-5:30 p.m. Men’s Short NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
7-8:30 p.m. Rhythm Dance NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
8;45-10:30 p.m. Women’s Short NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
Saturday 1:15-2:45 p.m. Pairs’ Free NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
3-5 p.m. Men’s Free NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
7-8;45 p.m. Free Dance NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
9-11 p.m. Women’s Free NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
Sunday 2 p.m. Exhibition NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
4-6 p.m. Highlights NBC | STREAM LINK

Medvedeva will not face Zagitova before December’s Grand Prix Final. At Skate Canada, the notable foes are world silver medalist Wakaba Higuchi of Japan and 2015 World champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, whom Medvedeva succeeded as the leading Russian.

Some uncertainty shadows Medvedeva going into a season for the first time since she turned senior in 2015.

There is the icy spring split from her coach of 11 years, Eteri Tutberidze, and the transatlantic move.

Medvedeva turns 19 in November, older than any Russian medalist at an Olympics or worlds since Adelina Sotnikova ushered in the nation’s dominance at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. The Russian conveyor belt is now producing 14-year-olds with quadruple jumps, though they are not yet eligible for senior international events.

Orser, who coached Yuna Kim and Yuzuru Hanyu to Olympic titles, is reworking part of Medvedeva’s jump technique.

“She has embraced the idea of rebuilding,” Orser told Olympics reporter Phil Hersh before the season. “I think she understands that’s the only option, and we may have to take a couple hits along the way.”

Zagitova has the world’s top score this season by nearly 17 points — 238.43. Medvedeva tallied 204.89 at last month’s Autumn Classic, falling in the free skate and getting passed by Tennell. A 220 this week would put Medvedeva atop everyone except her former training partner.

Also at Skate Canada, PyeongChang silver medalist Shoma Uno of Japan is the only man from the top 10 at the Olympics in the field. He posted the world’s top score in the pre-Grand Prix season and is the defending champion at this event. His rivals — Olympic champ Yuzuru Hanyu and world champ Nathan Chen — should be waiting at December’s Grand Prix Final.

Other Skate Canada podium contenders include Jason Brown, the top American finisher at the Sochi Olympics (ninth) who missed the PyeongChang team with a sixth-place finish at January’s nationals. Brown, 23, then left his coach since age 5 and “second mom” — Kori Ade. He moved from Colorado to Orser’s Toronto group.

Brown, yet to land a clean quadruple jump in competition, opened his season with a fourth-place finish at the Autumn Classic. It marked his first time off the podium in seven career lower-level Challenger Series events. Like Medvedeva, he is a work in progress.

In ice dance, U.S. champions and world silver medalists Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue are favored to make it back-to-back Grand Prix wins following their maiden Skate America title last week. The Skate Canada field is slightly stronger with Russians Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov and Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, Nos. 4 and 5 in the world this season.

World bronze medalists Vanessa James and Morgan Ciprès lead the pairs’ field.

As a reminder, you can watch the ISU Grand Prix Series live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. GO HERE to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season…NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

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Kitzbuehel hosts Hahnenkamm weekend; Mikaela Shiffrin speeds up; Alpine World Cup TV, live stream info

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The world’s most daring Alpine skiers descend the most famous annual race this weekend, while Mikaela Shiffrin tackles her own challenge, live on NBC Sports.

The men’s World Cup stops in Kitzbuehel, Austria, for the Hahnenkamm. The granddaddy is Saturday’s downhill, sandwiched between Friday’s super-G and Sunday’s slalom.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has been among the celebrity attendees in the finish area. Lindsey Vonn will be on hand this weekend, inspecting the course.

The Streif downhill track is a two-minute, two-mile test of guts: a 3,000-foot drop at an average 65 miles per hour (and maxing out much faster than that). Crashes are commonplace. A helicopter is at the ready to airlift skiers to the nearest hospital.

“You go into the starting gate, and it’s intimidating,” said American Ryan Cochran-Siegle, who makes his Kitzbuehel downhill debut on Saturday. “You don’t really know how it’s going to go. You think it’s just going to be kind of chaos.”

Cochran-Siegle, whose uncle Bob Cochran was the first American to earn a World Cup podium in the race in 1973, used two words to describe the Streif: fun … and fear.

The only American to win the Hahnenkamm downhill was Daron Rahlves in 2003. The last podium finisher was Bode Miller in 2014. The best U.S. finish the last four years was 10th.

Bryce Bennett took confidence from finishing seventh at a World Cup downhill in Wengen, Switzerland, last Saturday. That’s the best U.S. downhill finish this season outside of the home snow of Beaver Creek, Colo.

“Team morale is good, and it’s been great all season long,” said Steven Nyman, who was fifth in 2015. “We’re looking for those top-tier performances. Bryce’s seventh is a good step forward. We all know we can ski well, and it’s cool as a team we’re pushing toward the top, but we’re not there yet.”

Over in Bansko, Bulgaria, Shiffrin is expected to race downhills Friday and Saturday and a super-G on Sunday. They would mark the slalom ace’s first downhills outside of Lake Louise and Cortina d’Ampezzo, which she’s contested a combined 10 times.

Shiffrin made the podium of her last super-G in St. Moritz and her last downhill in Lake Louise, both in December. She’s coming off surprising results in slaloms and giant slaloms, not having won in her last five starts overall.

Still, Shiffrin leads the World Cup overall standings by a substantial 199 points with a tour-leading four outright victories this season.

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MORE: Alpine skiing season TV schedule

Day Time (ET) Event Network
Friday 3:30 a.m. Women’s Downhill Olympic Channel | NBC Sports Gold
5:30 a.m. Men’s Super-G NBC Sports Gold
Saturday 3:30 a.m. Women’s Downhill Olympic Channel | NBC Sports Gold
5:30 a.m. Men’s Downhill NBC Sports Gold
9 a.m.* Women’s Downhill NBCSN
Sunday 3:30 a.m. Women’s Super-G Olympic Channel | NBC Sports Gold
4:30 a.m. Men’s Slalom Run 1 NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. Men’s Slalom Run 2 NBC Sports Gold
12:30 p.m.* Women’s Super-G NBCSN
Monday 1 p.m.* Kitzbuehel Highlights NBCSN

*Delayed broadcast

Maya Moore withdraws from Olympic consideration

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Maya Moore, the U.S. second-leading scorer at the Rio Olympics, withdrew her name from Tokyo Olympic consideration and will skip a second straight WNBA season.

Moore is on hiatus from competitive basketball to focus on criminal justice reform. Specifically, the case of a man who was sentenced to 50 years in prison but Moore believes is innocent, according to The New York Times.

USA Basketball confirmed Wednesday’s Times report that Moore took her name out of consideration for the 12-player Tokyo Olympic team, which is expected to be named in late spring or early summer.

“We are going to miss Maya tremendously, but we also respect her decision,” U.S. women’s national team director Carol Callan said, according to the report. “A player of Maya’s ability does not walk away from the gym lightly. Everyone feels it. The thing that makes her so special is her approach, her dedication, which has always been contagious for our team.”

Moore last played for the U.S. in major competition at the Rio Olympics. She was one of the leaders on a team that earned a sixth straight gold medal. Moore started all eight games and averaged 12 points per game, second on the team behind fellow former University of Connecticut star Diana Taurasi.

Breanna Stewart, another former UConn standout, entered the starting lineup at the 2018 FIBA World Cup in Moore’s absence and earned tournament MVP. Stewart is returning after missing the entire 2019 WNBA season with an Achilles tear.

Moore also started five games at the 2012 London Olympics as the team’s youngest player.

Moore, 30, said “this is not the time” to retire, according to the Times, but it’s unknown when she might return to the national team or to the WNBA, where she won four titles and an MVP with the Minnesota Lynx from 2011-18.

“I got to experience the best of my craft, and I did that multiple times,” Moore said, according to the report. “There is nothing more I wish I could experience.”

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