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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

Richard Callaghan, figure skating coach, banned for life

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Richard Callaghan, a figure skating coach best known for helping Tara Lipinski earn 1998 Olympic gold, was ruled permanently ineligible for violations including sexual misconduct involving a minor.

Callaghan can still appeal the sexual misconduct violation, according to the U.S. Center for SafeSport, a watchdog for U.S. Olympic sports organizations that updated Callaghan’s status Wednesday.

He was first suspended in March 2018 pending an investigation into allegations first made against him more than 20 years ago.

Earlier this month, another former skater, Adam Schmidt, said in a lawsuit that he was sexually molested as a teenager by Callaghan starting in 1999.

Callaghan was previously accused of sexual misconduct in April 1999 by Craig Maurizi, one of his former students and later an assistant to him in San Diego and Detroit.

Maurizi told The New York Times that Callaghan had engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with him beginning when he was 15 years old. The alleged misconduct had begun nearly 20 years earlier. Callaghan denied the allegations.

In March 2018, Callaghan told ABC News: “That’s 19 or 20 years ago. I have nothing to say.”

Maurizi’s previous grievance against Callaghan with the U.S. Figure Skating Association, the precursor to U.S. Figure Skating, was dismissed on procedural grounds.

He was Callaghan’s assistant at the Detroit Skating Club until they split after Lipinski turned pro, left Callaghan and decided to train with Maurizi.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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MORE: Eight matchups to watch in figure skating Grand Prix Series

Pita Taufatofua, Tonga flag bearer, finishes last in kayak debut

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Pita Taufatofua, the Tonga Olympic flag bearer who went viral in Rio and PyeongChang, began his quest to make a third straight Olympics in a third different sport with a last-place finish in his opening-round heat at the world sprint kayak championships in Hungary on Wednesday.

The start of the heat appeared delayed as Taufatofua struggled to get his kayak into position in the water. He was left at the start as the other six kayakers raced out and finished between 33 and 40 seconds. Taufatofua took 58.19 seconds, the slowest of 53 finishers among seven total heats.

“Well that was slightly better than the first time I competed in Taekwondo or skiing,” was tweeted from Taufatofua’s account. “Would have liked to start facing the right way but that’s life.”

Taufatofua, 35, was the oldest athlete in the heat by nearly a decade. He is also entered in doubles races with Tonga canoe federation president Malakai Ahokava with heats Thursday and Friday.

Taufatofua hopes to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in taekwondo, where he competed in Rio, and in sprint kayak.

But he hasn’t competed in taekwondo in three years and just started training kayak this spring. At worlds, Taufatofua told the BBC he is still having trouble staying afloat in the water.

Taufatofua said in announcing the new sport in April that it would be “largely impossible” to qualify for Tokyo. He could be the first athlete to compete in a different sport in three straight Olympics (Summer and Winter) since the Winter Games began in 1924, according to the OlyMADMen.

“It’s certainly going to be the greatest challenge that I’ve ever had to embark on,” he said then.

Taufatofua’s results at worlds this week has little bearing on his Olympic qualifying prospects. Rather, he just needed to compete in Hungary to stay eligible for the Olympics.

The key will be an Oceania qualifying event early next year, where one Olympic bid is available. He will likely have to beat the best kayakers from Australia and New Zealand to grab it. Australian Stephen Bird placed eighth at the Rio Olympics and 11th at the 2018 World Championships.

If Taufatofua fails, he could receive a special tripartite invitation sometimes offered to smaller nations like Tonga.

Taufatofua became a social-media celebrity by marching into the Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony shirtless and oiled up. He then lost in the first round via mercy rule in his taekwondo tournament.

He made a quixotic bid for the PyeongChang Winter Games in cross-country skiing — and accomplished the feat, barely, in a sport that has lenient qualifying requirements for nations with a lack of Winter Games depth.

Taufatofua finished 114th out of 116 in his 15km Olympic cross-country skiing race, nearly 23 minutes behind the winner.

If Taufatofua is able to carry the Tongan flag at a third Opening Ceremony, he will definitely be shirtless again, in a similar outfit to what he wore in Rio and PyeongChang, he said last year.

MORE: Five-time Olympic kayak medalist banned four years

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