WATCH LIVE: Skate America free programs

Skate America
Getty Images
0 Comments

Skate America crowns champions in all four disciplines, live on NBC Sports and Peacock Premium on Saturday.

Peacock Premium, NBC Universal’s new streaming service, airs every program starting at 2 p.m.

NBC has coverage from 3-6 p.m. ET of the women’s and men’s free skates. NBCSN picks it up from 9 p.m.-12 a.m. for the pairs’ free and free dance from Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. All TV coverage streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

Results from Friday’s short programs are here. Skate America usually includes some of the world’s top skaters, but this year it is limited to mostly Americans given coronavirus-related travel concerns and being held in front of cardboard cutouts of fans rather than ticketed spectators.

Skate America Live Broadcast Schedule

Saturday Free Skates 3-6 p.m. NBC | STREAM LINK
Free Skates 9 p.m.-12 a.m. NBCSN | STREAM LINK
Women’s Free 1:59 p.m. Peacock Premium | Skate Order
Men’s Free 4:03 p.m. Peacock Premium | Skate Order
Pairs’ Free 8:43 p.m. Peacock Premium | Skate Order
Free Dance 10:17 p.m. Peacock Premium | Skate Order

The women’s free starts the competition. Mariah Bell, a 2018 Olympic alternate and 2020 U.S. silver medalist, owns a small lead after the short program, seeking the biggest title of her career.

Nathan Chen is the overwhelming leader in the men’s event, trying to tie the record of four straight Skate America titles shared by U.S. figure skating legends.

In pairs, Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Brandon Frazier, each U.S. champions with previous partners, will win their first top-level event together since teaming up if they hold onto their lead from Friday.

And in ice dance, Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue go for a Skate America three-peat in the absence of their top domestic rivals.

The Grand Prix figure skating season continues in two weeks with Cup of China. A full figure skating season TV and streaming schedule is here.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

World champion skier Kyle Smaine dies in avalanche at age 31

Kyle Smaine
Getty
0 Comments

Kyle Smaine, a retired world champion halfpipe skier, died in an avalanche in Japan on Sunday, according to NBC News, citing Smaine’s father. He was 31.

Smaine, a 2015 World champion in ski halfpipe, had been doing ski filming in Japan, sharing videos on his Instagram account over the past week.

The native of South Lake Tahoe, California, finished ninth in ski halfpipe at the 2016 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.

In 2018, Smaine won the fifth and final U.S. Olympic qualifying series event in ski halfpipe but did not make the four-man team for PyeongChang. His last sanctioned international competition was in February 2018.

Late Sunday, two-time Olympic champion David Wise won the X Games men’s ski halfpipe and dedicated it to Smaine.

“We all did this for Kyle tonight,” Wise said on the broadcast. “It’s a little bit of an emotional day for us. We lost a friend.”

Ilia Malinin wins U.S. Figure Skating Championships despite quadruple Axel miss

0 Comments

One year ago, Ilia Malinin came to the U.S. Championships as, largely, a 17-year-old unknown. He finished second to Nathan Chen in 2022 and was left off the three-man Olympic team due to his inexperience, a committee decision that lit a fire in him.

After the biggest year of change in U.S. figure skating in three decades, Malinin came to this week’s nationals in San Jose, California, as the headliner across all disciplines.

Though he fell on his quadruple Axel and doubled two other planned quads in Sunday’s free skate (the most ambitious program in history), he succeeded the absent Chen as national champion.

Malinin, the world’s second-ranked male singles skater, still landed two clean quads in Friday’s short program and three more Sunday. He totaled 287.74 points and prevailed by 10.43 over two-time Olympian Jason Brown, a bridge between the Chen and Malinin eras.

“This wasn’t the skate that I wanted,” said Malinin, who was bidding to become the second man to land six quads in one program after Chen. The Virginia chalked up the flaws at least partially to putting more recent practice time into his short program, which he skated clean on Friday after errors in previous competitions.

FIGURE SKATING NATIONALS: Full Results

Brown, a 28-year-old competing for the first time since placing sixth at the Olympics, became the oldest male singles skater to finish in the top three at nationals since Jeremy Abbott won the last of his four titles in 2014. As usual, he didn’t attempt a quad but had the highest artistic score by 9.41 points.

Brown’s seven total top-three finishes at nationals tie him with Chen, Michael WeissBrian Boitano, David Jenkins and Dick Button for the second-most in men’s singles since World War II, trailing only Todd Eldredge‘s and Hayes Jenkins‘ eight.

“I’m not saying it’s super old, but I can’t train the way I used to,” Brown said after Friday’s short program. “What Ilia is doing and the way he is pushing the sport is outstanding and incredible to watch. I cannot keep up.”

Andrew Torgashev took bronze, winning the free skate with one quad and all clean jumps. Torgashev, who competed at nationals for the first time since placing fifth in 2020 at age 18, will likely round out the three-man world team.

Japan’s Shoma Uno will likely be the favorite at worlds. He won last year’s world title, when Malinin admittedly cracked under pressure in the free skate after a fourth-place short program and ended up ninth.

That was before Malinin became the first person to land a quad Axel in competition. That was before Malinin became the story of the figure skating world this fall. That was before Malinin took over the American throne from Chen, who is studying at Yale and not expected to return to competition.

Malinin’s next step is to grab another label that Chen long held: best in the world. To do that, he must be better than he was on Sunday.

“You always learn from your experiences, and there’s always still the rest of the season to come,” he said. “I just have to be prepared and prepare a little bit extra so that doesn’t happen again.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!