First women’s Nordic combined World Cup among events on NBC, Peacock this week

Tara Geraghty-Moats
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Nordic combined, the lone Summer or Winter Olympic sport without female participation or a women’s equivalent event, takes a historic step this week.

The first women’s Nordic combined World Cup is Friday in Ramsau am Dachstein, Austria, streaming live on Peacock Premium as part of comprehensive winter sports event coverage among NBC Sports, Olympic Channel and Peacock.

American Tara Geraghty-Moats led the women’s standings the last two seasons in the international Continental Cup, which for the men has been a secondary circuit just below the World Cup. She’s among the entries for Friday’s competition.

“I don’t have any goals or predictions,” Geraghty-Moats, who last put a Nordic combined race bib on in March, posted on Instagram. “I just have a huge feeling of excitement to start in the first ever World Cup with a group of amazing women. I can’t wait to see where my level of competition is, I can’t wait to make history with my teammates.”

More on Geraghty-Moats’ personal story is here.

Women’s Nordic combined makes its debut at the world championships in February — one event, versus four for the men. But it was denied a place on the 2022 Winter Olympic program after a “long discussion,” IOC sports director Kit McConnell said in 2018.

“Nordic combined, and women’s in particular, still need to be developed further in terms of universality [the number of countries with Olympic-level athletes], in terms of the level of the athletes,” McConnell said then.

It could be added for the 2026 Winter Games in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

“The World Cup debut is important, but it should be seen in the context of a step towards Olympic inclusion on the 2026 program in Milan-Cortina,” USA Nordic Executive Director Billy Demong said in a press release. “The women have shown the depth and quality of athleticism in their sport and should be provided with that opportunity.”

Also this week, the U.S. men’s Alpine skiing team looks to notch a first World Cup speed podium in nearly four years with a super-G and downhill in Val Gardena, Italy, on Friday and Saturday.

There’s optimism after Travis Ganong, the last podium finisher, was fourth in a super-G last week, and Jared Golberg was first and fourth in training runs Wednesday and Thursday. The men then head to Alta Badia and Madonna di Campiglio for a giant slalom and slaloms on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup stops in Val d’Isere, France, for two downhills and a super-G. Mikaela Shiffrin, who is focusing on technical events of slalom and giant slalom for the near future, returns next week. Alice McKennis Duran and Breezy Johnson were fastest in training runs Wednesday and Thursday.

Alpine Skiing World Cup  — Val d’Isere, France (women) and Italy (men)

Day Time (ET) Event Network
Friday 4:30 a.m. Women’s Downhill Olympic Channel | Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
5:45 a.m. Men’s Super-G Olympic Channel | Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
Saturday 4:30 a.m. Women’s Downhill Olympic Channel | Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
5:45 a.m. Men’s Downhill Olympic Channel | Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
5 p.m.* Women’s Downhill NBC | STREAM LINK
9:30 p.m.* Women’s Downhill NBCSN | STREAM LINK
10:30 p.m.* Men’s Downhill NBCSN | STREAM LINK
Sunday 4 a.m. Men’s Giant Slalom Run 1 Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
5 a.m. Women’s Super-G Olympic Channel | Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
7 a.m. Men’s Giant Slalom Run 2 Olympic Channel | Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
9:30 p.m.* Women’s Super-G NBCSN | STREAM LINK
11 p.m.* Men’s Giant Slalom NBCSN | STREAM LINK
Monday 4 a.m. Men’s Slalom Run 1 Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
7 a.m. Men’s Slalom Run 2 Olympic Channel | Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
Tuesday 11:45 a.m. Men’s Slalom Run 1 Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
2:30 p.m. Men’s Slalom Run 2 Olympic Channel | Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK

*Delayed broadcast

Bobsled/Skeleton World Cup — Igls, Austria

Day Time (ET) Event Network
Friday 9:30 a.m. Men’s Skeleton
1:30 p.m. Women’s Skeleton
6 p.m.* Men’s Skeleton Olympic Channel
7 p.m.* Women’s Skeleton Olympic Channel
Saturday 9:30 a.m. Two-Woman Bobsled
1:30 p.m. Two-Man Bobsled
6:30 p.m.* Two-Woman Bobsled Olympic Channel
7 p.m.* Two-Man Bobsled Olympic Channel
Sunday 10 a.m. Two-Man Bobsled
6 p.m.* Two-Man Bobsled Olympic Channel

Luge World Cup — Winterberg, Germany

Day Time (ET) Event Network
Saturday 2:55 a.m. Doubles
5:50 a.m. Women’s Singles
Sunday 2:25 a.m. Men’s Singles
6 a.m. Doubles Sprint
6:45 a.m. Women’s Sprint
7:25 a.m. Men’s Sprint

Biathlon World Cup — Hochfilzen, Austria

Day Time (ET) Event Network
Thursday 8:15 a.m. Men’s Sprint Olympic Channel | Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
Friday 8:15 a.m. Women’s Sprint Olympic Channel | Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
Saturday 7 a.m. Men’s Pursuit Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
9 a.m. Women’s Pursuit Olympic Channel | Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
10 a.m.* Men’s Pursuit Olympic Channel
8:30 p.m.* Women’s Pursuit NBCSN | STREAM LINK
Sunday 6 a.m. Men’s Mass Start Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
8:25 a.m. Women’s Mass Start Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
8 p.m.* Men’s Mass Start Olympic Channel
9 p.m.* Women’s Mass Start Olympic Channel

*Delayed broadcast

Cross-Country Skiing World Cup — Dresden, Germany

Day Time (ET) Event Network
Saturday 7:25 a.m. Men’s/Women’s Sprints Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
8 a.m. Men’s/Women’s Sprints Olympic Channel
Sunday 6:45 a.m. Men’s/Women’s Team Sprints Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
5 p.m. Men’s/Women’s Team Sprints Olympic Channel
7 p.m. Men’s/Women’s Team Sprints NBCSN | STREAM LINK

Freestyle Skiing World Cup –Val Thorens, France

Day Time (ET) Event Network
Saturday 7 a.m. Ski Cross Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
Sunday 6 a.m. Ski Cross Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK

Nordic Combined World Cup — Ramsau, Austria

Day Time (ET) Event Network
Friday 3:30 a.m. Women’s Ski Jump Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
7:45 a.m. Women’s Cross-Country 5km Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
Saturday 4:30 a.m. Men’s Ski Jump Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
8:15 a.m. Men’s Cross-Country 10km Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
Sunday 5 a.m. Men’s Ski Jump Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
9:15 a.m. Men’s Cross-Country 10km Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK

Ski Jumping World Cup — Ramsau, Austria and Engelberg, Switzerland

Day Time (ET) Event Network
Friday 9:40 a.m. Women Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
Friday 12 p.m. Men’s Qualifying Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
Saturday 10 a.m. Men Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK
Sunday 10 a.m. Men Peacock Premium | STREAM LINK

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Marie-Philip Poulin is first female hockey player to win Canada Athlete of the Year

Marie-Philip Poulin

Marie-Philip Poulin became the first female hockey player to win Canada’s Athlete of the Year after captaining the national team at the Winter Olympics and winning her third gold medal.

Poulin, 31, scored twice and assisted once in Canada’s 3-2 win over the U.S. in the Olympic final on Feb. 17. She has scored seven of Canada’s 10 goals over the last four Olympic finals dating to the 2010 Vancouver Games — all against the U.S.

Nine different male hockey players won Canada Athlete of the Year — now called the Northern Star Award — since its inception in 1936, led by Wayne Gretzky‘s four titles. Sidney Crosby won it in 2007 and 2009, and Carey Price was the most recent in 2015.

Poulin is the fifth consecutive Olympic champion to win the award in an Olympic year after bobsledder Kaillie Humphries in 2014, swimmer Penny Oleksiak in 2016, moguls skier Mikaël Kingsbury in 2018 and decathlete Damian Warner in 2021.

Canada’s other gold medalists at February’s Olympics were snowboarder Max Parrot in slopestyle, plus teams in speed skating’s women’s team pursuit and short track’s men’s 5000m relay.

In men’s hockey, Cale Makar won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP in leading the Colorado Avalanche to the Stanley Cup and the Norris Trophy as the season’s best defenseman.

The Northern Star Award is annually decided by Canadian sports journalists.

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‘Her eyes would obliterate you’: Bold Isabeau Levito faces skating idol at Grand Prix Final


The highlight of Isabeau Levito’s season so far came at Skate America in October.

It wasn’t the silver medal Levito won there, in her debut on figure skating’s senior Grand Prix circuit.

It was meeting the reigning world champion – and 2022 Skate America winner – Kaori Sakamoto of Japan.

“She is one of my idols,” Levito said of Sakamoto, who is also the 2022 Olympic bronze medalist.  “Right before her long program at worlds, you could see she was determined and strong and fierce.  Her eyes would obliterate you.

“That look and that fierceness and determination. . .I admire it so much, and I hope to have it someday.”

At only 15, Levito already belies her delicacy of movement on the ice with such powerful determination to reach her aspirations that she gets to meet Sakamoto again this week at the Grand Prix Final in Torino, Italy, where the senior women’s event begins Friday.

“One of my goals for this season was to make the Final, and I’m very glad I reached it,” she said.

She became the youngest U.S. skater to make the final since 14-year-old Caroline Zhang in 2007. (The minimum age has since been raised for all senior international events.) Levito is three years younger than any of the other five qualifiers this year, four of whom are in their 20s.

And her goal there?

“To make the podium,” Levito said.

If she does that, Levito would be the first U.S. woman to make the podium at the Grand Prix Final since Ashley Wagner won bronze in 2014.

Levito had a similar aim for her senior debut at the U.S. Championships last season, when her stated goal was to make the podium.  In the absence of two-time U.S. champion Alysa Liu, who withdrew with Covid after edging Levito for third in the short program, Levito took second in the free skate and won the bronze medal.

Levito earned one of the six women’s places in the Final by also winning silver at her second Grand Prix event, the MK John Wilson Trophy in England last month.  Her performances there were her best of the year internationally, with personal-best scores for the total and free skate and a season’s best in the short program.

“I think she is progressing very well,” said her coach, Yulia Kuznetsova.

While comparing scores is tricky because of different judging panels, the best scores this season for each of the six women in the Final are separated by fewer than five points, led by Sakamoto at 217.61, with Levito fourth at 215.74.  The closeness of the field is reflected by having five different winners in the six “regular season” Grand Prix events, with Mai Mihara of Japan as the only double winner.

The last time the Grand Prix Final was held, in 2019, three skaters were double winners, accounting for all six regular-season wins. The Covid pandemic forced cancellation in 2020 and 2021.

It’s easy to forget that last spring, after winning the World Junior Championships, Levito was unsure about whether she would move up to the senior level internationally.

“I really wasn’t the person making that decision,” she said. “Yulia and people from U.S. Figure Skating came to that decision, and I was like, `Okay, seniors, sure.’’’

Kuznetsova, who has coached Levito for 11 years, said it was time for the skater to try new challenges.

“Of course, in the beginning we were a little (curious) about how we were going to be judged in moving from juniors to seniors, but after her first international (event), we understood we were in a pretty good position.  We feel confident and comfortable, and we just learn from competition to competition.”

Figure skating has a tradition of young skaters needing to pay their dues with judges, most often reflected in the more subjective program component scores (PCS), sometimes referred to as the “artistic” mark.  Levito’s mean PCS marks this season have been respectably in the mid-8s (out of perfect 10s), with Sakamoto the only skater to have her mean PCS in the low 9s.

The need to raise her PCS and the ban of the Russian female jump phenoms from international competition because of their country’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine mean Levito has sensibly put quadruple jumps and triple Axels on the back burner.  Russian women had won gold at five of the last six Grand Prix Finals and 13 of the 18 medals.

RELATED: 2022 Grand Prix Final figure skating TV, live stream schedule

Only one woman, Rion Sumiyashi of Japan, has tried a quad in a senior event this season, and her three attempts were all badly flawed.

“Developing my skating and maturing are higher on my priorities,” Levito said.  “A triple Axel and/or quads will come in time.  We’re not trying to rush the process.”

At Kuznetsova’s behest, one of the world’s most acclaimed artists on ice, 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Carolina Kostner of Italy, spent time last spring at the New Jersey rink where Levito trains. Kuznetsova said Kostner was there for a week.

Levito posted a photo with Kostner on Instagram in June with a caption that read,  “It was a wonderful experience skating with you!”  Yet she and Kuznetsova are reluctant to discuss Kostner’s visit, with the coach saying only, “We really didn’t take any lessons (from Carolina).”

“I (made contact with) Isabeau through a mutual friend in 2018, and I’ve been in contact with her and her family ever since,” Kostner said in a text message.

“This spring I was in the area and I popped by for a visit. After many phone calls, we finally met in person.  I love sharing my experience with her and am thrilled to see her grow as a skater and as a young woman.”

Maybe Team Levito simply wanted even more of a karmic connection with Italy, home to not only this Grand Prix Final but the 2026 Winter Olympics, with figure skating to be held in Milan.  The skater, a home schooler who will finish the tenth grade this month, has been brushing up on Italian with help from both Duolingo and her mother, Chiara Garberi, a native of Milan who moved from Italy to the United States in 1997.

“Growing up, my mother always spoke to me in Italian, and I would reply in English,” Levito said.  “Now I think, `Why did I do that?’  I still understand everything in Italian, but when I open my mouth to speak, a lot of the vocabulary escapes me.  I’m kind of relearning Italian.  I’m getting there.”

Levito is likely to get to the 2026 Olympics, even if such predictions are risky with more than three years before those next Winter Games.  At this point, with all three U.S. women’s singles skaters from the 2022 Olympic team having stopped competing, either permanently or temporarily, Levito is clearly the leading U.S. woman.

That means she will go to the 2023 U.S. Championships as the title favorite.  It is a far different position from last season, when Levito was not old enough for Olympic consideration and could skate without the pressure of trying to make the team.

“I’m not concerned about the attention from being a favorite,” she said.  “I’m just really excited to hopefully do better than last year.”

If that is Levito’s goal, figure on her being determined enough to make it.

Philip Hersh, who has covered figure skating at the last 12 Winter Olympics, is a special contributor to