AP

How to watch Mikaela Shiffrin ski for history this weekend

2 Comments

Mikaela Shiffrin goes for the World Cup slalom wins record, live as part of NBC Sports’ coverage of winter sports this weekend.

Shiffrin, the double Olympic champion, has been on a tear in 2018, racking up a record-tying 14 World Cup wins for one year, including her last five starts. She is up to 50 career World Cup victories (youngest of the eight skiers to reach the milestone) and last lost Dec. 1.

The current win streak includes two super-Gs, a giant slalom, a slalom and a parallel slalom (she also skipped a downhill and super-G in Italy last week).

She is the favorite for Friday’s giant slalom and Saturday’s slalom in Semmering, Austria, streaming live on NBC Sports Gold.

On Saturday, Shiffrin can break her tie with retired Austrian Marlies Schild for the most career World Cup slalom victories. The 23-year-old American and her childhood idol are both at 35.

The last alpine skier to win six straight World Cup starts was German speedster Katja Seizinger, who swept a trio of downhills and super-Gs in November and December 1997. Seizinger didn’t skip any races in her streak, though.

The last skier to win more than six straight World Cup starts was Italian Alberto Tomba, who captured eight in a row between giant slaloms and slaloms in 1994 and 1995, according to the International Ski Federation.

Also this week, Olympic team sprint champion Jessie Diggins is expected to compete in the opening stages of the Tour de Ski. Last season, Diggins became the first American to finish on the overall Tour de Ski podium.

The most prestigious ski jumping competition — the Four Hills Tournament — opens with the first of four stops. Poland’s Kamil Stoch, winner of three of the last four individual Olympic titles, is looking to become the first man to three-peat at Four Hills in 50 years.

ALPINE SKIING WORLD CUP — Semmering, Austria and Bormio, Italy

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Friday 4:30 a.m. Women’s Giant Slalom (Run 1) NBC Sports Gold
5:30 a.m. Men’s Downhill Olympic Channel NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. Women’s Giant Slalom (Run 2) NBC Sports Gold
12 p.m.* Men’s Downhill NBCSN
Saturday 4:30 a.m. Women’s Slalom (Run 1) NBC Sports Gold
5:30 a.m. Men’s Super-G Olympic Channel NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. Women’s Slalom (Run 2) NBC Sports Gold
2:30 p.m.* Men’s Super-G NBCSN
5 p.m.* Women’s Slalom NBC NBC

*Same-day delay
All races stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING WORLD CUP — Toblach, Italy

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 8:30 a.m. Men’s, Women’s Sprints Olympic Channel NBC Sports Gold
Sunday 6:30 a.m. Women’s 10km Olympic Channel NBC Sports Gold
8:30 a.m. Men’s 15km Olympic Channel NBC Sports Gold

All races stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

SKI JUMPING WORLD CUP — Oberstdorf, Germany

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 10:20 a.m. Four Hills Qualifying Olympic Channel | NBC Sports Gold
Sunday 10:20 a.m. Four Hills Olympic Channel | NBC Sports Gold
11 a.m.* Four Hills Olympic Channel NBC Sports Gold

*Same-day delay
All events stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

David Boudia adjusts diving event, goal for world championships

Getty Images
Leave a comment

David Boudia earned diving medals at his last three world championships and the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, but that was on the platform. He competes on the global stage on the springboard for the first time at worlds this week.

“I don’t have a lot of high hopes,” Boudia, who is still learning the springboard after switching to it in the last year, said in a phone interview from South Korea, where he begins competition Wednesday (TV schedule here). “But I think my biggest goal is to walk away with an Olympic spot.”

An Olympic spot not necessarily for himself, but for the U.S.

Boudia, a 30-year-old father of three, and any other American will clinch 2020 Olympic quota spots by placing in the top 12 in their respective individual events this week. Those spots, and any others earned at later competitions in the next year, will be filled at trials in June in Indianapolis.

NBC Sports analyst Cynthia Potter believes Boudia, who left the sport to sell homes in 2017 and came back and suffered a concussion off the platform in 2018, can meet his goal of making Friday’s 12-man final in Gwangju.

“He would have to dive well, but not better than he’s been diving,” she said. “His springboard is really well-timed, rhythmic, and he’s for a long time known how to go into the water without making a splash.”

But challenging Rio Olympic gold and silver medalists Cao Yuan of China and Jack Laugher of Great Britain, plus defending world champion Xie Siyi of China would be very tough.

Boudia lacks their degrees of difficulty, for now. He hopes to switch out two of his six dives before his first competition of 2020, though he could insert one of them should he make the world final.

“I need a good six months, so from August to December is when we’re kind of really drilling the fundamentals of learning those new dives and getting them perfected,” he said.

Boudia rallied to beat Rio Olympic springboard diver Michael Hixon for the title in May at nationals, where the top two per event earned world berths. But Boudia competed there with about a month of competition dive practice, about half as long as he would prefer.

“Hix and I are going to have a lot of training to do if we want to be even close to cracking that top five,” at worlds, Boudia said in May, according to TeamUSA.org.

Boudia is the lone U.S. diver to earn an individual world medal in an Olympic diving event since 2009.

The U.S. produced breakthroughs at worlds so far. Sarah Bacon became the first American woman to earn a world title since 2005, taking the non-Olympic 1m springboard event. Murphy Bromberg and Katrina Young bagged bronze in synchronized platform, ending a decade-long medal drought in any synchro event.

But Boudia’s goal must be shared among the whole team — as many top-12 finishes individually and top three in synchro events to gobble up Tokyo 2020 quota spots. The U.S. failed to qualify full teams for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

“Getting in the top 12 in the four individual Olympic events is the big deal right now,” Potter said. “Whether you are on the awards stand or not, that would be icing on the cake for a lot of these divers.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Diving Worlds TV Schedule

Anita Wlodarczyk, one of track and field’s most dominant, sidelined

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Poland hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk, the only woman to win the last five combined Olympic and world titles in a track and field event, will not go for a fourth straight world championship this fall.

Wlodarczyk had season-ending, arthroscopic left knee surgery on Monday, according to Polish media citing her coach.

Wlodarczyk, 33, has the top 15 throws on the IAAF’s all-time list, and 27 of the top 29. Her world record of 82.98 meters (scribbled on her leg pre-op) is 11 and a half feet farther the second-best woman in history. She originally took silver at the 2012 Olympics and 2013 Worlds but was upgraded to gold after Russian Tatyana Lysenko was stripped for doping.

Wlodarczyk won a reported 42 straight finals between 2014 and 2017, then suffered three losses in 2018 and two so far this year in three lower-level meets before the operation.

Americans DeAnna Price and Brooke Anderson rank Nos. 1 and 2 in the world this year. A U.S. woman has never finished in the top five of an Olympic or world championships hammer throw, which debuted at worlds in 1999 and the Olympics in 2000.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Wayde van Niekerk has setback in return from injury