Summer Britcher, Emily Sweeney eye Olympic debut of women’s doubles luge

Summer Britcher
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Americans Summer Britcher and Emily Sweeney, who own a combined five Olympic singles luge appearances, are joining forces for the debut of women’s doubles on the World Cup this season as the event’s Olympic debut nears.

“When the IOC announced womens doubles will be in the 2026 Olympics in pursuit of gender equality we decided to be all in,” Sweeney posted on social media. “Since Summer and I started training for doubles together in July we have been living in the learning curve. And I’m loving it. We’ll see how our experience in singles transfers over in the first World Cup.”

The first World Cup women’s doubles event is Dec. 3 in Igls, Austria.

In June, the IOC announced that Olympic doubles luge will be divided into separate events for men and women in 2026. Doubles was previously open to men and women, but no women ever competed at the Olympics.

“Back in May we decided to take on this challenge together, and then we waited with fingers crossed for the International Olympic Committee’s ruling on Women’s Doubles inclusion in the 2026 Olympics,” Britcher posted. “In June, they ruled in favor of gender equality and inclusion, and everything was set into motion.”

In December 2019, Canadians Caitlin Nash and Natalie Corless became the first female team to compete in a World Cup doubles race. Women’s doubles was added to the junior World Cup last year. A women’s doubles world championship was held last January. German teams went one-two. American teams finished third and fourth.

Britcher, who owns the U.S. luge record of five World Cup singles wins, and Sweeney, the 2019 World bronze medalist in singles, will not compete in singles and doubles every weekend. Singles will be the priority.

“I’ve heard for a really long time people compare [singles] to driving a Ferrari and then getting behind the wheel of a bus and trying to race [doubles],” Britcher said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a totally accurate description, but it’s definitely different.”

Britcher has the top Olympic finish between the two of 15th from the 2014 Sochi Games. Erin Hamlin is the lone U.S. woman to win an Olympic luge medal, bronze in 2014.

Chris Mazdzer, who added doubles to his plate after taking singles silver at the 2018 Olympics, plans to race a partial season and only in singles, according to USA Luge. Mazdzer, 34, wants to spend more time at home with wife Mara and 18-month-old son Nicolai.

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2022 Grand Prix Final figure skating TV, live stream schedule

Ilia Malinin
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The Grand Prix Final, the most exclusive figure skating competition of the season and a preview of March’s world championships, airs live on Peacock and E! this week.

The top six per discipline from the six-event fall Grand Prix Series gather in Turin, Italy, at the Palavela, the 2006 Olympic venue. It’s the first Grand Prix Final in three years after the 2020 and 2021 events were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. qualified skaters in all four disciplines for the first time since 2007, led by the world’s top-ranked man. Ilia Malinin, who turned 18 last Friday, has been the story of the season, becoming the first skater to land a quadruple Axel in competition.

Malinin, the reigning world junior champion, won both of his Grand Prix starts and posted the best total score among all fall events, edging world champion Shoma Uno of Japan. Malinin and Uno will go head-to-head for the first time this season at the Final.

Isabeau Levito, a 15-year-old world junior champion, is the youngest American at a Final since Caroline Zhang in 2007. She qualified in fifth place. The favorites are Japan’s Mai Mihara and Kaori Sakamoto and Belgian Loena Hendrickx.

The U.S. also qualified two pairs’ teams — world champions Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier and Emily Chan and Spencer Howe — and two ice dance couples — three-time world medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates and Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker.

For the first time, the Final has no Russian skaters. They are banned from international competition due to the war in Ukraine. For the first time in 25 years, there are no Chinese skaters. China’s top pairs’ teams did not compete in the fall Grand Prix Series.

Grand Prix Final Broadcast Schedule
All TV coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

Day Event Time (ET) Platform
Thursday Pairs’ Short Program 1:20-2:15 p.m. Peacock
Men’s Short Program 2:35-3:20 p.m. Peacock
Friday Pairs’ Free Skate 11:35 a.m.-12:40 p.m. Peacock
Rhythm Dance 1:50-2:45 p.m. Peacock
Women’s Short Program 3:05-3:50 p.m. Peacock
Saturday Men’s Short Program* 6:30-7:30 a.m. E!
Men’s Free Skate 7:30-8:30 a.m. E!, Peacock
Women’s Short Program* 8:30-9:30 a.m. E!
Free Dance 1:40-2:40 p.m. Peacock
Women’s Free Skate 3-3:55 p.m. Peacock
Sunday Highlights* 4-6 p.m. NBC

*Delayed broadcast.

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Aleksander Aamodt Kilde sweeps Beaver Creek World Cup races

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Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde held off Swiss Marco Odermatt for a second consecutive day to sweep World Cup races in Beaver Creek, Colorado, this weekend.

Kilde won Sunday’s super-G by two tenths of a second over Odermatt, one day after edging Odermatt by six hundredths. France’s Alexis Pinturault took third as the podium was made up of the last three men to win the World Cup overall title, the biggest annual prize in ski racing.

This season’s overall figures to be a two-man battle between Kilde, the 2019-20 champion, and Odermatt, the reigning champion, and could come down to March’s World Cup Finals. They’ve combined to win the first five of 38 scheduled races.

The top American Sunday was River Radamus, who finished an impressive 16th given his start number was 57. Radamus’ best event is the giant slalom.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle, the Olympic super-G silver medalist, and Travis Ganong, who was third in Beaver Creek last year, both skied out.

The men’s World Cup heads next weekend to Val d’Isere, France, for a giant slalom and slalom.

ALPINE SKIING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

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