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Daily Olympic Briefing: All eyes on Chloe Kim, Nathan Chen for Day 6 schedule

Daily Olympic Briefing: All eyes on Chloe Kim, Nathan Chen for Day 6 schedule
Posted at 8:59 AM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 19:51:52-05

Each day of the 2022 Winter Games, NBC Olympics will run down every sport in action, highlighting the biggest athletes and marquee events. Every single event streams live on NBCOlympics.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock, and many are also on the TV networks of NBC. Visit the Olympic schedule page for listings sorted by sport and TV network.

On Day 6, Chloe Kim and Nathan Chen are likely to deliver the U.S. its second and third gold medals of the Games. Jessie Diggins returns after her historic medal, the U.S. men’s hockey team debuts and the U.S. men’s curling team has a rematch of the 2018 Olympic final.

All times listed below are Eastern Time on the night of Wednesday, February 9 or the morning of Thursday, February 10.

Snowboarding

Halfpipe & Snowboard Cross
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Women's Halfpipe Final 🏅 8:30 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, NBC
Men's Snowboard Cross Qualifying 10:15 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA
Men's Snowboard Cross Finals 🏅 1:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA

Chloe Kim has been thinking about this day for a very long time.

She spent this fall and winter crafting a run unlike anything ever seen: a follow-up to the 2018 Olympics, where she dominated and became a household name – in Frances McDormand’s household, at least.

Kim is the overwhelming favorite in the snowboarding halfpipe final, looking to become the first repeat Olympic women’s champion.

Her coach said this one is more difficult than the first, when a 17-year-old just wanted some churros and ice cream, and then won in front of her 75-year-old grandmother.

“She has a tremendous amount of pressure on her,” her coach, Rick Bower, said before Kim casually posted the best score in qualifying in her first run to lead the 12-woman final field. “That expectation to win is daunting, but she has been handling it very well. She has a good plan.”

Kim is keeping that plan a secret, but there are clues. She wants to do tricks spinning in all four directions – to her frontside and backside – riding in her regular stance and her backward (or switch) stance.

Over the last nine months, she learned two new tricks that no woman has ever landed in a halfpipe competition, Bower said.

In October, Kim landed a cab (backward) 1260. Bower said no woman has performed that in a contest, though he did not say whether that’s one of the two tricks in her current bag.

After winning the 2018 Olympics at 17, Kim landed a frontside 1260 in practice in May 2018 and a frontside double cork 1080 in October 2018. No woman has landed either of those in a contest either, Bower said.

Kim returned last year from a 22-month break from competing after spending a year at Princeton. She won all six of her starts without throwing any new tricks. She didn’t even need to perform back-to-back 1080s, which she landed during her 2018 Olympic victory-lap run.

She likes the halfpipe in China. Kim practiced the first two days and “pretty easily” landed the setup run that she plans to use in the first of three runs in the final.

That may be enough to win gold. Regardless, Kim later in Monday’s practice put down an advanced finals run, the one with those two new tricks, Bower said.

She took the third practice day off to prepare for consecutive days of competition, qualifying and then the final. Nobody in the final has beaten Kim in more than four years.

“If things go smoothly, she’ll do them,” Bower said of the new tricks. “That’s all depending on her landing her first run of three in finals and then having two runs to push the boundaries a little more.”

Men’s snowboard cross is also Thursday. It will produce a new gold medalist after 2014 and 2018 champ Pierre Vaultier of France retired in December 2020.

Nick Baumgartner, the oldest U.S. Olympic team member across all sports at 40, was fourth at the 2018 Olympics and made two podiums in four World Cups this season.

SEE MORE: Chloe Kim, Ono, Cai go top 3 in women's halfpipe qualifying

Figure Skating

Figure Skating: Men's Singles
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Men's Free Skate 🏅 8:30 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA

Nathan Chen, after a world record short program, has a 5.85-point lead over Japanese 18-year-old Yuma Kagiyama, the world silver medalist. Japan’s Shoma Uno, the 2018 Olympic silver medalist, is also within striking distance, 8.07 points back.

His path to gold would be similar to the last three U.S. Olympic men’s champions. Like Chen, Scott Hamilton and Brian Boitano were fifth in their first Olympics. Each won gold four years later. Like Chen, Evan Lysacek had a disastrous short program in his first Olympics. Lysacek won gold four years later.

Two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu made one major mistake in his short program – singling a quadruple Salchow attempt – and placed eighth. He may attempt a quadruple Axel, which has never been landed in competition, in what could be his last career Olympic skate. If Hanyu lands it in a clean program, he can certainly make the podium. But he’ll need Chen to err for any shot at gold.

Alpine Skiing

Alpine Skiing: Men's Combined
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Downhill 9:30 p.m. NBCOlympics.com
Slalom 🏅 1:15 a.m. NBCOlympics.com

Only one men’s combined (one run of downhill or super-G, then one run of slalom) has been contested at the top level in the last 23 months. That was the 2021 World Championships, where Austrian slalom ace Marco Schwarz won in a super-G/slalom format. At the Olympics, it’s downhill/slalom.

France’s Alexis Pinturault was just .04 behind Schwarz at 2021 Worlds, and won the 2019 World title before that. Pinturault also took silver at the 2018 Olympics behind the now-retired Marcel Hirscher. The Frenchman has 10 World Cup combined wins. No other active skier has more than two. Pinturault has three Olympic medals, but no gold. He has the second-most World Cup wins in history (34) among skiers without an Olympic gold medal, trailing only Marc Girardelli. Sounds like he’s due.

Cross Country Skiing

Cross-Country Skiing: Women's 10km
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Women's 10km 🏅 2:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA*

Jessie Diggins races again, two days after winning the U.S.’ first individual women’s cross-country skiing medal (bronze in the freestyle sprint). She is not as strong in the classic technique and not a medal favorite here. Norway’s Therese Johaug, the world’s best skier who won the opening 15km skiathlon on Saturday, is the woman to beat. Sweden's Frida Karlsson did just that in Johaug’s last World Cup 10km start in November, distancing the Norwegian by 13 seconds.

Freestyle Skiing

Freestyle Skiing: Mixed Team Aerials
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Mixed Team Aerials 🏅 6:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA

It's the Olympic debut of mixed team aerials. A nation enters three aerialists (two men and one woman or two women and one man) who take one run each over two rounds, with the field cut from eight to four going into the last round. Each nation can have one substitute. This is an ideal event for China, which won at least one medal each in men’s aerials and women’s aerials at the last four Olympics. The U.S. is also in the medal mix along with the Russian Olympic Committee, Switzerland and Ukraine.

Skeleton & Luge

Skeleton & Luge
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Skeleton: Men's Run 1 8:30 p.m. NBCOlympics.com
Skeleton: Men's Run 2 10:00 p.m. NBCOlympics.com
Luge: Team Relay 🏅 8:30 a.m. NBCOlympics.com

Is this the year Martins Dukurs finally wins Olympic gold? The 37-year-old Latvian owns 11 World Cup season titles and two Olympic silver medals. At the last three Games, a host-nation slider won men’s skeleton, benefiting from substantially more experience on the Olympic track. China’s men have little international standing, seemingly opening the door for Dukurs.

However, those largely unknown Chinese sliders impressed in the last four training runs this week. Yan Wengang and Yin Zheng each had first-, second- and third-place finishes. Dukurs had a best finish of sixth in his four training runs. Medals will be decided after the third and fourth competition runs Friday.

With Germany sweeping the men’s, women’s and doubles golds, you may think that the team relay in luge is the most predictable gold medal of the 109 Olympic events. While Germany won the first two Olympic relays in 2014 and 2018, it was beaten at the world championships in 2019 and 2021 and was seventh in a World Cup race on the Olympic track in November. Still, the German contingent -- likely Natalie Geisenberger, Johannes Ludwig and Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt -- is a clear favorite. Geisenberger and the Tobis already share the record of five Olympic luge gold medals. Austria, Russia and Latvia are also podium contenders.

Speed Skating

Speed Skating
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Women's 5000m 🏅 7:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com

Dutchwoman Irene Schouten already has 3000m gold and is a bigger favorite in the 5000m. Schouten, 29, won all three distance races she entered this World Cup season, plus last season’s world title by a comfy 2.46 seconds. Schouten may be on her way to more gold with the team pursuit and mass start to come. The last speed skater to win three golds at a single Olympics? Norwegian Johann Olav Koss inside the Viking Ship in 1994 (all in world record time). The last to win four? Eric Heiden, who won five outdoors in Lake Placid in 1980.

This is expected to be the last Olympic race for Czech Martina Sablikova, a six-time Olympic medalist and arguably the best distance skater in history. Sablikova, 34, took 5000m gold in 2010 and 2014 and silver in 2018. She was fourth in the 3000m last week.

Hockey

Men's Hockey: Preliminary Games
All events also stream live on Peacock
Matchup Time (ET) How to Watch
Sweden vs Latvia 11:00 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, CNBC
Finland vs Slovakia 3:30 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA
USA vs China 8:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA
Canada vs Germany 8:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com

The U.S. men’s hockey team, eyeing its first medal since 2010, is heavily favored in its first game against host China. After the NHL withdrew from Olympic participation in December, the U.S. roster includes 14 active NCAA players. A 15th, 19-year-old world junior championship captain Jake Sanderson, is expected to join the team later this week after clearing COVID-19 protocol in Los Angeles. China was expected to get throttled had the NHL participated. It is still unlikely to win any games with a roster wholly of players from a last-place, China-based KHL team, including one of Chris Chelios’ sons.

Curling

Men's & Women's Curling: Round Robin
All events also stream live on Peacock
Matchup Time (ET) How to Watch
USA vs ROC (W) 8:00 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, CNBC
USA vs Sweden (M) 1:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com
USA vs Denmark (W) 7:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com

The U.S. men’s curling team, after winning its opener, gets Sweden in the most anticipated round-robin game. It’s a rematch of the 2018 Olympic final, which John Shuster’s team won in an upset to complete a storybook run to the first U.S. curling gold. The women’s tournament also starts, with the U.S. facing Russia and Denmark and Canadian legend Jennifer Jones taking on the 'Garlic Girls' of South Korea.