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What to watch in Olympic sports this week

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It’s the busiest time of the winter sports season with world championships in both alpine skiing and freestyle skiing/snowboarding headlining this week in Olympic sports.

At the World Alpine Skiing Championships in Are, Sweden, three-time Olympic medalist Lindsey Vonn is expected to close out her career. Vonn, the most successful female skier in World Cup history, plans to retire after the downhill, which airs live on Sunday at 6:25 a.m. (ET) on NBCSN/Olympic Channel. Mikaela Shiffrin opened her 2019 Worlds with a win in Tuesday’s super-G. The 23-year-old plans to skip the super combined and downhill before returning to the slopes for the giant slalom and slalom during the second week of competition.

Five-thousand miles away in Utah, the best freestyle skiers and snowboarders are also looking to earn world titles. The U.S. team is headlined by 2018 Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim, who is expected to compete in Friday’s halfpipe competition (1:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN/NBCSportsGold).

ALPINE SKIING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP — Are, Sweden

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Friday 5:30 a.m. Women’s Super Combined Downhill Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
9:00 a.m. Women’s Super Combined Downhill* NBCSN
10:15 a.m. Women’s Super Combined Slalom NBCSN NBCSN/NBC Sports Gold
Saturday 6:25 a.m. Men’s Downhill Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
3:30 p.m. Men’s Downhill* NBC
6:30 p.m. Men’s Downhill* NBCSN
Sunday 6:25 a.m. Women’s Downhill NBCSN/Olympic Channel NBCSN/Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
3:00 p.m. Women’s Downhill* NBC
10:30 p.m. Women’s Downhill* NBCSN

*Same-day delay

BIATHLON WORLD CUP — Canmore, Alberta

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Thursday 2:20 p.m. Men’s 15km Short Individual OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
4:45 p.m. Women’s 12.5km Short Individual OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
8:00 p.m. Men’s 15km Short Individual & Women’s 12.5km Short Individual* Olympic Channel
Friday 2:30 p.m. Men’s 4×7.5km Relay OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
4:45 p.m. Women’s 4x6km Relay OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
7:00 p.m. Men’s 15km Short Individual & Women’s 12.5km Short Individual* NBCSN
9:00 p.m. Men’s 4×7.5km Relay* Olympic Channel
10:00 p.m. Women’s 4x6km Relay* Olympic Channel
Saturday 1:00 p.m. Men’s 10km Sprint OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
4:00 p.m. Women’s 7.5km Sprint OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
6:00 p.m.* Men’s 10km Sprint Olympic Channel
700 p.m. Women’s 7.5km Sprint* Olympic Channel

*Same-day and next-day delay

FIE FENCING GRAND PRIX — Doha, Qatar; Torino, Italy

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Friday 8:00 a.m. From Doha, Qatar* Olympic Channel
Sunday 12:30 p.m. From Torino, Italy OlympicChannel.com

*Pre-recorded

FOUR CONTINENTS FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS — Anaheim, California

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Thursday 3:30 p.m. Ladies’ Short Program NBC Sports Gold
5:00 p.m. Ladies’ Short Program NBCSN NBCSN
9:15 p.m. Men’s Short Program NBC Sports Gold
11:30 p.m. Men’s Short Program NBCSN NBCSN
Friday 2:45 p.m. Pairs’ Short Program NBC Sports Gold
6:00 p.m. Rhythm Dance NBC Sports Gold
10:00 p.m. Ladies’ Free Skate NBC Sports Gold
Midnight Ladies’ Free Skate NBCSN
Saturday 5:00 p.m. Pairs’ Free Skate NBC Sports Gold
10:00 p.m. Men’s Free Skate NBC Sports Gold
11 p.m. Men’s Free Skate NBCSN NBCSN
Sunday 4:00 p.m. Free Skate NBC Sports Gold
Midnight Free Dance NBCSN

FREESTYLE SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS — Park City, Utah

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Wednesday 4:00 p.m. Freestyle Skiing: Aerials Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
5:00 p.m. Freestyle Skiing: Slopestyle NBCSN
9:00 p.m. Freestyle Skiing: Aerials Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
Thursday 12:00 a.m. Freestyle Skiing: Aerials* NBCSN
9:00 p.m. Freestyle Skiing: Team Aerials NBCSN NBCSN/NBC Sports Gold
Friday 1:00 p.m. Snowboarding: Halfpipe NBCSN NBCSN/NBC Sports Gold
9:00 p.m. Freestyle Skiing: Moguls NBCSN NBCSN/NBC Sports Gold
Saturday 1:00 p.m. Freeski & Snowboarding: Halfpipe NBC NBC/NBC Sports Gold
9:00 p.m. Freestyle Skiing: Dual Moguls Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
Sunday 2:00 a.m. Freestyle Skiing: Dual Moguls* NBCSN
1:00 p.m. Snowboarding: Slopestyle Olympic Channel Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold
4:30 p.m. Snowboarding: Slopestyle* NBC

*Same-day delay

LUGE WORLD CUP — Oberhof, Germany

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 3:35 a.m. Doubles (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com
5:05 a.m. Doubles (Run 2) OlympicChannel.com
6:35 a.m. Men’s Singles (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com
8:15 a.m. Men’s Singles (Run 2) OlympicChannel.com
1:00 p.m. Doubles* Olympic Channel
1:30 p.m. Men’s Singles* Olympic Channel
Sunday 3:00 a.m. Women’s Singles (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com
4:25 a.m. Women’s Singles (Run 2) OlympicChannel.com
7:15 a.m. Team Relay OlympicChannel.com
7:00 p.m. Women’s Singles* Olympic Channel

*Same-day delay

PARA ALPINE SKIING WORLD CUP — Kranjska Gora, Slovenia; Veysonnaz, Switzerland

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 4:00 a.m. Giant Slalom (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com
7:00 a.m. Giant Slalom (Run 2) OlympicChannel.com
Sunday 4:00 a.m. Giant Slalom (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com
6:30 a.m. Giant Slalom (Run 2) OlympicChannel.com

SAILING WORLD CUP — Miami, Florida

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Sunday 6:00 p.m. From Miami, Florida* Olympic Channel

*Pre-recorded

SNOWBOARDING WORLD CUP — Feldberg, Germany

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 4:00 a.m. Snowboard Cross OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
Sunday 4:00 a.m. Team Snowboard Cross OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold

SKI JUMPING WORLD CUP — Ljubno, Slovenia

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Friday 8:00 a.m. Women’s Individual OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
2:00 p.m. Women’s Individual* Olympic Channel
Saturday 8:00 a.m. Women’s Team OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
3:00 p.m. Women’s Team* Olympic Channel
Sunday 8:00 a.m. Women’s Individual OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
3:00 p.m. Women’s Individual* Olympic Channel

*Same-day delay

WORLD SINGLE DISTANCES SPEED SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS — Inzell, Germany

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Thursday TBA Day 1 OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
Friday TBA Day 2 OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
8:00 p.m. Day 2* Olympic Channel
Saturday TBA Day 3 OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
8:00 p.m. Day 3* Olympic Channel
Sunday TBA Day 4 OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold
8:00 p.m. Day 4* Olympic Channel

*Same-day delay

SHORT TRACK WORLD CUP — Torino, Italy

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 9:00 a.m. World Cup Final Day 1 NBC Sports Gold
4:30 p.m. World Cup Final Day 1* Olympic Channel
Sunday 9:00 a.m. World Cup Final Day 2 NBC Sports Gold
11:00 p.m. World Cup Final Day 2* Olympic Channel

*Same-day delay

ISA SURFING

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Wednesday 8:00 p.m. Season Review* Olympic Channel

*Pre-recorded

IAAF WORLD INDOOR TOUR & MILLROSE GAMES — Madrid, Spain; New York City, New York

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Friday TBA IAAF from Madrid, Spain NBC Sports Gold
11:00 p.m. IAAF from Madrid, Spain* Olympic Channel
Saturday 4:30 p.m. Millrose Games NBC NBC/NBC Sports Gold

*Same-day delay

Kristoffersen topples Hirscher to win giant slalom at worlds

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ARE, Sweden — Norwegian skiing is in safe hands, even with its beloved king now in retirement.

Henrik Kristoffersen gave Norway its second individual gold medal of the world championships by toppling an under-the-weather Marcel Hirscher to win the giant slalom on Friday.

With Kjetil Jansrud also victorious in the downhill last week, Norway appears in great shape heading into the post-Aksel Lund Svindal era.

Svindal signed off his illustrious career with a silver medal behind Jansrud in the downhill, and said he was leaving behind a strong generation of Norwegian skiing talent.

Kristoffersen is at the forefront of that — especially now that he has ended his long wait for a medal at a world championship.

The 24-year-old Kristoffersen had finished fourth in his last three races at the worlds — the giant slalom and slalom in 2017 and the slalom in 2015 — and headed into his second run of the GS in third place behind leader Alexis Pinturault and Hirscher, the favorite and one of skiing’s all-time greats.

However, Kristoffersen produced an aggressive run under the lights, his speed and flow particularly apparent in the bottom section, to win by 0.20 seconds over Hirscher. Pinturault won the bronze medal, 0.42 seconds back.

“It was about time to get a medal,” said Kristoffersen, who wasn’t necessarily expecting it to come in GS.

Kristoffersen’s last win in the discipline came at Meribel in 2015 and he has been consistently behind Hirscher, the seven-time overall World Cup winner and defending Olympic and world GS champion. He finished second to Hirscher at last year’s Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Kristoffersen was without a win in any discipline for a year but said he gained confidence from the course being doused with salt to maintain the snow surface amid unseasonably warm weather. The temperature in Are for the first leg was 8 C (46 F).

“There’s no one that skis on salt as much as Norwegians do,” he said. “Even though I haven’t trained on salt in GS in a long, long time, I have it from childhood.”

Hirscher’s preparations for the race were affected by a bout of flu that kept him in bed for much of the past two days. He acknowledged after the race that the likelihood of him lining up on the starting gate wasn’t high on Thursday.

“Normally,” Hirscher said, “if you have regular work on those days, you normally tell your boss I’m done for the day.”

Yet he managed to be only 0.10 seconds behind Pinturault after an error-free first run, keeping Hirscher on course for a record-tying seventh gold medal at the worlds. But he went wide at two gates in the top section of his second run, causing him to lose 0.41 seconds on Kristoffersen in the middle section.

“Second place is the first loser but Henrik had an amazing day with two great runs,” Hirscher said. “Henrik is at the top for such a long time. He was more than ready for a world title.”

Hirscher, who was noticeably sniffing after the race, added that he was “looking forward to getting back to bed again” to rest up ahead of Sunday’s slalom.

When Pinturault crossed the finish line in third place, Kristoffersen clenched his fists before walking into the finish area, crouching on one knee and acknowledging the jubilant Norwegian fans in the grandstand.

For Pinturault, it was his second medal of the championships after winning the Alpine combined on Monday.

Wesenberg wins first U.S. skeleton World Cup medal in two years

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With a bronze medal in Lake Placid earlier today, Kendall Wesenberg became the first American to reach the World Cup podium in skeleton in two years.

Wesenberg, who finished 17th at her first Olympics in PyeongChang, had a combined time of 1:51.10 in Lake Placid. Prior to today, her last podium finish at the World Cup was in St. Moritz in January 2017.

“This has never been my strongest track, so we really broke it down piece by piece, and I think it paid off,” Wesenberg said, according to USA Bobsled and Skeleton. “The second run, I kind of tried to throw it away at the top there. By the time I made it to corner 10, I was just thinking ‘build speed, build speed.”

Wesenberg, 28, grew up in California’s Central Valley, but her interest in sliding sports piqued while watching the 2010 Vancouver Games. When the commentators discussed the athletic backgrounds of the athletes, Wesenberg realized she played some of the same sports growing up. A quick Google search brought her to the USA Bobsled and Skeleton page. She told her siblings she was thinking of trying skeleton. They said she’d never do it. Challenge accepted.

Wesenberg emailed a U.S. coach and signed up for a combine and driving training in January 2011. Seven years later, she was sliding on Olympic ice.

Sliding coverage continues today on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, with women’s bobsled live at 3:15 p.m. ET and men’s bobsled live at 4:15.