Getty Images

2019 Grand Prix Final TV, live stream schedule

Leave a comment

Nathan Chen and Yuzuru Hanyu headline the Grand Prix Final, the biggest figure skating competition of the fall season, streaming live on NBC Sports Gold this week.

Chen, undefeated since finishing fifth at the PyeongChang Olympics, takes on the two-time Olympic champion Hanyu for the first time since they went one-two at the world championships in March.

The Grand Prix Final pits the top six skaters or teams per discipline from the fall Grand Prix Series, making it the most exclusive annual competition and the most prestigious aside from worlds and the Olympics.

Chen and Hanyu, who each won two Grand Prix Series starts this fall, combined to win the last six Grand Prix Finals. Chen is going for a Grand Prix Final three-peat. Hanyu competes in the event for the first time since 2016, the last of his four straight titles before injuries kept him out back-to-back years.

Russians pepper the fields, including four teenagers in the women’s event headlined by Olympic and world champion Alina Zagitova. However, the strongest skaters this fall were first-year senior countrywomen Alena Kostornaia, Alexandra Trusova and Anna Shcherbakova, who can perform quadruple jumps or triple Axels.

World champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France and Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China are the top-ranked dance and pairs’ teams, respectively.

The U.S. qualified a women’s skater (Bradie Tennell) for the first time since 2015 and two dance couples (Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue and Madison Chock and Evan Bates) for a sixth straight year.

GRAND PRIX FINAL PREVIEWS: Nathan Chen | Yuzuru Hanyu | Alysa Liu
Women | Pairs | TV/Stream Schedule | Entrants

Grand Prix Final broadcast schedule (all times Eastern)

Thursday Pairs’ Short 1:50 p.m. NBC Sports Gold | STREAM
Men’s Short 3:10 p.m. NBC Sports Gold | STREAM
Friday Rhythm Dance 12:30 p.m. NBC Sports Gold | STREAM
Women’s Short 1:50 p.m. NBC Sports Gold | STREAM
Pairs’ Free 2:55 p.m. NBC Sports Gold | STREAM
Highlights 9 p.m. NBCSN | STREAM
Saturday Men’s Free 7 a.m. NBC Sports Gold | STREAM
Free Dance 1:25 p.m. NBC Sports Gold | STREAM
Women’s Free 2:55 p.m. NBC Sports Gold | STREAM
Highlights 9 p.m. NBCSN | STREAM

As a reminder, you can watch the events from the 2019-20 figure skating season live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating 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.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

World short-track speedskating championships will be moved, postponed or canceled

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The International Skating Union announced Tuesday that the world short-track speedskating championships will not proceed as scheduled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Seoul’s Mokdong Ice Rink, where the competition was set to be held March 13-15, held the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships earlier this month but closed on Monday.

The ISU left open the possibility that the championships will be postponed or relocated, but the window to do so may close rapidly.

“Taking into account the uncertain world-wide development of the coronavirus, the limited and uncertain available time slots during the coming weeks and the logistical challenges of potential organizers and participating teams, a postponement and/or relocation of the Championships would be difficult to achieve,” the ISU said. “Nevertheless, a postponement and/or relocation of this Championships might be considered if the circumstances would allow so in due time.”

South Korea is one of short-track speedskating’s traditional powers. Last year, the country dominated the world championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, winning both relays and taking gold in all of the men’s individual races. South Korea also led the medal count on home ice in the 2018 Olympics.

The coronavirus outbreak has forced the cancellation of many events in China, where the illness was first found. The world indoor track and field championships were pushed back a whole year.

With the virus spreading to other regions, other countries’ sports schedules are being affected. Several soccer games are proceeding in empty stadiums in Italy and Iran.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Daniel Romanchuk’s ascent to marathon stardom accelerated at University of Illinois

Leave a comment

The rise of Daniel Romanchuk has been one of the major stories of this Paralympic cycle. The wheelchair racer was eliminated in the first round of all five of his races in Rio.

But now, he’s the world’s best marathoner with a 6-foot-10 wingspan, a world-record holder on the track and already qualified for the Tokyo Games.

Romanchuk, born with spina bifida, was profiled by NBC Sports Chicago as part of a series of NBC Sports Regional Networks pieces published this week — marking 150 days until the Tokyo Olympics and six months until the Tokyo Paralympics.

NBC RSN Olympic and Paralympic Profiles
NBC Sports Bay Area

Abbey Weitzeil (Swimming) — LINK

NBC Sports Boston
Margaret Bertasi (Rowing) — LINK
Abbey D’Agostino Cooper (Track and Field) — LINK

NBC Sports Chicago
Ryan Murphy (Swimming) — LINK

NBC Sports Northwest
Galen Rupp (Marathon) — LINK
Mariel Zagunis (Fencing) — LINK

NBC Sports Philadelphia
Vashti Cunningham (Track and Field) — LINK
Julie Ertz (Soccer) — LINK

NBC Sports Washington
Katie Ledecky (Swimming) — LINK
Kyle Snyder (Wrestling) — LINK

Romanchuk, 21, swept the Boston, London, Chicago and New York City Marathon titles in 2019. He attributes that success to his native Baltimore and his training residence of the University of Illinois.

At age 2, he was enrolled in Baltimore’s Bennett Blazers, an adaptive sports program for children with physical disabilities. Tatyana McFadden, a 17-time Paralympic medalist who dominated women’s wheelchair marathons, planted her athletic roots there.

“Their motto is to teach kids they can before they’re told they can’t,” Romanchuk said.

Things really blossomed for Romanchuk after he moved from Baltimore to the University of Illinois. Illinois was designated a U.S. Paralympic training site in 2014 and has produced McFadden, Jean Driscoll and other U.S. Paralympic stars.

“Without this program, I certainly would not be where I am,” Romanchuk said. “It’s a very unique combination of coaching and teammates.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Ten Paralympic hopefuls to watch for 2020 Tokyo Games