Team USA got off to a grand start on Day 2, capturing the first gold medal of the games and winning the first hockey game of the Olympic tournament. That would be the end of the truly great news, however, although the final athletic activity of the day would give the USA more hardware. Norway and the Netherlands jumped out to the medal lead, Norway on the strength of cross-country skiing events and the Dutch on the speed skating track. The full medal count, since it's still manageable:
Alpine Skiing: Starts today.
Biathlon: Ole Einar Bjoerndalen did it again, winning his eighth Olympic gold medal (and 13th medal overall) in the Men's 10km Sprint. Austria's Dominik Landertinger won the silver, the bronze going to Jaroslav Soukup of the Czech Republic. The USA's Tim Burke finished 19th, Lowell Bailey 35th, Leif Nordgren 45th, and Russell Currier 61st.
Bobsled: Begins next Sunday.
Cross-Country: Norway went gold-bronze in the Women's Skiathlon with Marit Bjoergen winning her eighth Olympic medal in capturing the gold, while Heidi Weng took home bronze. Bjoergen outlasted the silver medalist, Sweden's Charlotte Kalla, at the finish. Jessica Diggins turned in an 8th-place finish for the USA; Elizabeth Stephen finished 12th, Sadie Bjornsen 31st, and Holly Brooks 47th.
Curling: Begins Monday.
Figure Skating: The USA ice dance team of Meryl Davis and Charlie White got the Americans back into the thick of things by winning the short dance segment of the event, scoring a significant victory over rivals Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada. The Canadians and Russians finished 2-3, though, limiting the American gain in the team standings. In the women's short program, Russia's 15-year-old Yulia Lipnitskaya just murdered it, blowing away the field. Carolina Kostner leapt into second and Japan's Mao Asada was third, lifting their teams into the final five. In the pairs free skate, the Russian pair of Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov blew away the field, guaranteeing Russia either gold or silver tomorrow. Canada's Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch kept pace, finishing second. Americans Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir were fourth, leaving the USA 13 points back of Russia and unable to win the gold medal.
Freestyle Skiing: American Heidi Kloser did not start due to a knee injury suffered during training Thursday. Heather McPhee finished sixth in the second qualification round, joining Hannah Kearney and Eliza Outtrim in the final. In the first round of the final, McPhee missed advancing by a mere 0.07 points. After the second final round, Kearney captured the final start position by finishing in first ahead of Chloe and Justine Dufour-LaPointe; their sister Maxime finished 12th and out of the medal round, dashing Canadian hopes for an all-Dufour-LaPointe podium. Outtrim also advanced to the medal run. The surviving Canadians won gold (Justine) and silver (Chloe); Kearney failed to defend her 2010 gold and settled for the bronze. Outtrim finished sixth.
Ice Hockey: The women's prelims got underway as Team USA defeated Finland 3-1. Hilary Knight scored for Team USA 53 seconds into the game, and Kelli Stack and Alex Carpenter added the cushion. Susanna Tapani scored for Finland on a late power play, but the damage was long since done. In the second game, Canada thrashed Switzerland 5-0 behind a goal and two assists from Rebecca Johnston.
Luge: After two of four heats, Germany's Felix Loch has the lead, .296 seconds ahead of Russian Albert Demchenko. Italy's Armin Zoeggeler is third. American Christopher Mazdzer is 13th, 1.238 seconds off the lead and a half-second off the podium; Tucker West is 23rd and Aidan Kelly is 26th.
Nordic Combined: Begins Wednesday.
Short Track: Begins Monday.
Skeleton: Begins Thursday.
Ski Jumping: Team USA's Nicholas Fairall failed to qualify for "Round 1", which is really the "semifinal", but the remaining three USA jumpers -- Anders Johnson, Peter Frenette, and Nicholas Alexander -- did.
Snowboard: The first gold medal of the games went to American Sage Kotsenburg, who captured the Men's Slopestyle. Norway's Stalle Sandbech claimed the silver, while Mark McMorris of Canada won bronze.
Speed Skating: The Dutch swept the podium behind Sven Kramer's Olympic record time of 6:10.76. Jan Blokhuijsen and Jorrit Bergsman took silver and bronze. As for the Americans, Emery Lehman placed 16th, Jonathan Kuck 19th, and Patrick Meek 20th.
Here's today's schedule. ALL events are available live via streaming at NBCOlympics.com, so long as you're a customer of a participating cable, satellite or FIOS provider. All times Central.
DELAYED BROADCAST INFO: On your local NBC station, NBC Daytime airs from 1:00-5:00pm; NBC Primetime from 6:00-10:00pm, and replayed from 11:30pm-3:30am; NBC Latenight from 10:30-11:30pm. Be aware that NBC proper IS NOT SHOWING ANY LIVE COVERAGE OF THESE OLYMPICS.
Alpine Skiing: The first event of the Alpine discipline hits at 1am with the Men's Downhill. Steven Nyman, Travis Ganong, Marco Sullivan, and of course Bode Miller will represent the USA. MEDAL EVENT. Partial delayed coverage on NBC Primetime.
Biathlon: The Women's 7.5k sprint event begins at 8:30am. Team USA will feature Susan Dunklee, Annelies Cook, Hannah Dreissigacker, and Sara Studebaker. MEDAL EVENT. Partial delayed coverage on NBC Daytime.
Cross-Country: The Men's Skiathlon starts at 4am. Noah Hoffman, Kris Freeman, Brian Gregg, and Erik Bjornsen ski for the Americans. MEDAL EVENT. Partial coverage LIVE on NBC Sports Network at 4:30am; partial delayed coverage on NBC Daytime.
Figure Skating: The team events conclude with the Team Men's Free Skate at 9am, the Team Ladies' Free Skate at 10:05, and the Team Free Dance at 11:10. MEDAL EVENT. All three events begin airing LIVE on NBCSN at 9:00am; partial delayed coverage on NBC Daytime, NBC Primetime and NBC Latenight.
Freestyle Skiing: No action today.
Ice Hockey: Women's preliminary round action continues with Sweden vs Japan at 2am LIVE on NBC Sports Network and Russia vs Germany at 7am LIVE on MSNBC. Replay action on NBC Sports Network from 3:00-6:00.
Luge: The final two men's singles heats take place today. The third run starts at 8:30am, the final run at 10:40am. Christopher Mazdzer, Tucker West, and Adam Kelly will slide down the chute for the Americans. MEDAL EVENT. Partial LIVE coverage on NBC Sports Network; delayed coverage on NBC Latenight.
Ski Jumping: At 11:30am, the first round for the Men's Normal Hill starts off; the final takes place at 12:45pm. Team USA includes Nicholas Alexander, Anders Johnson, Peter Frenette, and Nicholas Fairall. MEDAL EVENT. Partial LIVE coverage at noon on NBC Sports Network; partial delayed coverage on NBC Daytime and NBC Primetime.
Snowboard: The Ladies' Slopestyle concludes with the semifinal at 12:30am and the final at 3:15am. Ty Walker and Jessica Jenson represent the USA. MEDAL EVENT. Partial delayed coverage on NBC Primetime.
Speed Skating: At 5:30am, the Ladies' 3k event commences. Americans in the field: Anna Ringsred and Jilleanne Rookard. MEDAL EVENT. Partial coverage LIVE on NBC Sports Network at 4:30am; partial delayed coverage on NBC Daytime.
IF YOU INTEND TO WATCH TAPE-DELAYED COVERAGE, DON'T LOOK AT THE COMMENTS AFTER 11pm. YOU HAVE BEEN DULY WARNED.
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