Michael Phelps’ eight gold medals at Beijing Olympics air on NBCSN on Monday

Michael Phelps
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Michael Phelps‘ eight-gold-medal performance headlines the first of two nights of Return to Beijing Olympic programming on NBCSN on Monday night.

Phelps’ iconic races air at 8:30 p.m. ET as part of eight hours of 2008 Olympic coverage on NBCSN’s Olympic Games Week.

They are preceded by the men’s beach volleyball final (7 p.m.) and followed by the women’s beach volleyball final (10 p.m.), men’s indoor volleyball final (11 p.m.).

LIVE STREAM: NBCSN Olympic Games Week — Monday, 7 p.m.-3 a.m. ET

Phelps began his Beijing Olympics by winning the 400m individual medley in a world record 4:03.84. It’s Phelps’ only individual world record that still stands and the longest-standings world record in any Olympic men’s or women’s event.

From there, Phelps broke world records in six of his next seven events. But there were close calls, starting with his next final. In the 4x100m freestyle relay, the U.S. trailed France by .59 of a second going into Jason Lezak‘s anchor leg against the 100m free world-record holder, Frenchman Alain Bernard.

Lezak trailed by .82 going into the last 50 meters. Then, with a magic surge, he caught and passed Bernard, touching .08 ahead with the fastest relay leg in history by a whopping .57.

Phelps had one more major challenge — the 100m butterfly. Serbian Milorad Cavic broke the Olympic record in the heats and was again faster than Phelps in the semifinals, where Phelps was coming off the 200m individual medley final.

In the final, Phelps was seventh at the turn. He still trailed Cavic going into the final stroke. Cavic took a long stroke, gliding into the wall. Phelps took an extra half-stroke, smashing the wall. He won by .01. The following morning, Phelps finished off the eight-for-eight effort in the medley relay, breaking Mark Spitz‘s record for golds at a single Games.

In NBCSN’s other Return to Beijing programs Monday, the U.S. swept the beach volleyball finals.

Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers became the third different U.S. men’s pair to take Olympic gold. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings repeated as Olympic champions, extending their international win streak to 69 matches.

The U.S. men’s indoor volleyball team endured tragedy — the death of coach Hugh McCutcheon‘s father-in-law in a random attack in Beijing — en route to triumph. McCutcheon missed the first three matches. The U.S. won them all, plus five more, including a comeback final over Brazil.

MORE: Full Olympic Games Week TV, live stream schedule

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NBCSN Olympic Games Week — Monday, April 20

Time (ET) Program Events Live Stream
7 p.m. Return to Beijing Men’s Beach Volleyball Final STREAM LINK
8:30 p.m. Return to Beijing Michael Phelps STREAM LINK
10 p.m. Return to Beijing Women’s Beach Volleyball Final STREAM LINK
11 p.m. Return to Beijing Men’s Indoor Volleyball Final STREAM LINK
1 a.m. Return to Beijing Michael Phelps STREAM LINK
2:30 a.m. Return to Beijing Beijing Olympic Stories STREAM LINK

U.S. Alpine skiers wear climate change-themed race suits at world championships

U.S. Alpine Skiing Team Race Suit
Images via Kappa
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Looking cool is just the tip of the iceberg for Mikaela Shiffrin, Travis Ganong and the rest of the U.S. ski team when they debut new race suits at the world championships.

Even more, they want everyone thinking about climate change.

The team’s predominantly blue-and-white suits depict an image of ice chunks floating in the ocean. It’s a concept based on a satellite photo of icebergs breaking due to high temperatures. The suit was designed in collaboration with Kappa, the team’s technical apparel sponsor, and the nonprofit organization Protect Our Winters (POW).

The Americans will wear the suits throughout the world championships in Courchevel and Meribel, France, which started Monday with a women’s Alpine combined race and end Feb. 19.

“Although a race suit is not solving climate change, it is a move to continue the conversation and show that U.S Ski & Snowboard and its athletes are committed to being a part of the future,” said Sophie Goldschmidt, the president and CEO of U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

ALPINE WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

Global warming has become a cold, hard reality in ski racing, with mild temperatures and a lack of snow leading to the postponement of several World Cup events this winter.

“I’m just worried about a future where there’s no more snow. And without snow, there’s no more skiing,” said Ganong, who grew up skiing at Lake Tahoe in California. “So this is very near and dear to me.”

What alarms Ganong is seeing the stark year-to-year changes to some of the World Cup circuit’s most storied venues.

“I mean, it’s just kind of scary, looking at how on the limit (these events) are even to being possible anymore,” said Ganong, who’s been on the U.S. team since 2006. “Places like Kitzbuehel (Austria), there’s so much history and there’s so much money involved with that event that they do whatever they can to host the event.

“But that brings up a whole other question about sustainability as well: Is that what we should be doing? … What kind of message do we need show to the public, to the world, about how our sport is adapting to this new world we live in?”

The suits feature a POW patch on the neck and the organization’s snowflake logo on the leg.

“By coming together, we can educate and mobilize our snowsports community to push for the clean energy technologies and policies that will most swiftly reduce emissions and protect the places we live and the lifestyles we love,” according to a statement from executive director Mario Molina, whose organization includes athletes, business leaders and scientists who are trying to protect places from climate change.

Ganong said a group of ski racers are releasing a letter to the International Ski Federation (FIS), with the hope the governing body will take a stronger stance on sustainability and climate change.

“They should be at the forefront of trying to adapt to this new world, and try to make it better, too,” Ganong said.

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U.S. Alpine Skiing Team Race Suit

12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

Chloe Covell
Getty
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At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

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