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Daily Olympic Briefing: Shaun White, Mikaela Shiffrin drop in on Day 7

Daily Olympic Briefing: Shaun White, Mikaela Shiffrin drop in on Day 7
Posted at 11:33 AM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-10 20:13:55-05

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 7, Shaun White competes for the last time, Mikaela Shiffrin returns and a U.S. medal drought in short track speed skating could end.

All times listed below are Eastern Time on the night of Thursday, February 10 or the morning of Friday, February 11.

Snowboarding

Snowboard Halfpipe
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Men's Final 🏅 8:30 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, NBC

Shaun White bids farewell to snowboarding competition. He’s prepared to put his body on the line for the last time to reach for one more medal, possibly a fourth gold, in the Olympic final.

White is seeded fourth after being forced to hit his second and last qualifying run following a fall in his opener on Wednesday.

The elephant in the pipe is the triple cork, a three-flip trick that has never been attempted in an Olympic final and never landed in competition by anybody until two months ago. White tried to learn it nine years ago, crashed so hard he ended up in a hospital and shelved it.

White has done a triple cork into the safety of an air bag, but he has never landed one on snow, his coach, J.J. Thomas, said this week. Thomas also said that White could take the risk and attempt a triple cork if necessary in the final.

“That’s why he’s Shaun White,” said Thomas, who on Friday celebrates the 20th anniversary of his halfpipe bronze medal, part of a historic U.S. sweep in Salt Lake City, the last time White didn’t take part in an Olympic final. “He has that killer instinct. He wants to win, and it's the same game as always. We have to play our cards right. I don't want him to throw any Hail Marys.”

In the 2018 Olympic final, White may not have flung a Hail Mary, but it was close. He attempted back-to-back double cork 1440s for the first time in his life, falling in his second run and then hitting it in his third and last run. He overtook Japan’s Ayumu Hirano for a third gold medal.

“This is still a very intense time for him, and he wants to win, but last time, we both knew there was so much on the line. He wanted it so bad. I wanted it for him, and I think he kind of knew it was going to cement his legacy,” Thomas said. “Obviously that would be amazing to get four [golds], but I think this is really a curtain call, and it's a little more enjoyable for him.”

If White replicates that 2018 run on Friday, it might be enough to win. But he hasn’t tried the combination in competition since returning last year from a three-year break.

As for the triple cork, only Hirano has landed it in competition. But he fell on a trick later on that run in December, so nobody has won a contest with a triple cork. Thomas said on Tuesday that Hirano was the only rider he had seen land a triple cork in practice in China. Two, and they were perfect.

White can rely on his trademark stratospheric height out of the pipe, which Thomas said judges love at the Olympics. He can also bank on inspiration.

On Sunday, Thomas recorded Kelly Slater’s interview after the surfer won the biggest event in his sport, the Pipe Masters, six days before turning 50. He wanted to show it to White before training.

“I committed my life to this, to all of this, all the heartbreak and all the winning and all this crap,” Slater said in that interview. “I've hated lots of it, but I just savor this.”

White watched it.

“He really resonated with it,” Thomas said. “He's pulling on all kinds of sources.”

Alpine Skiing

Alpine Skiing: Women's Super-G
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Women's Super-G 🏅 10:00 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, NBC

Mikaela Shiffrin decided Thursday afternoon to enter the super-G after getting some rare practice in the event. The vast majority of her training is in her primary disciplines of slalom and giant slalom, where she failed to finish in her first two races of these Games. Given all of that, expectations should be tempered. However, don’t forget that Shiffrin won bronze at last season’s world championships after, in the week leading into the race, putting on super-G skis for the first time in a year.

The favorites are Switzlerland's Lara Gut-Behrami, the world champion eyeing her first Olympic gold, and Italians Federica Brignone and Elena Curtoni. Another Italian, 2018 Olympic downhill champion Sofia Goggia, is sitting out the super-G, recovering from Jan. 23 crash injuries to hopefully start Tuesday’s downhill. Don’t count out the defending super-G gold medalist, Czech Republic's Ester Ledecka, who already repeated as champion in the snowboard parallel giant slalom.

SEE MORE: Mikaela Shiffrin shares raw emotions after slalom DNF

Speed skating and short track

Speed Skating & Short Track
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Speed Skating: Men's 10,000m 🏅 3:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com
Short Track: Women's 1000m & More 🏅 6:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA

Swede Nils van der Poel is the heavy favorite in the 10,000m, but injected spice into this event at a press conference. Van der Poel took issue with a Dutch skating federation website article about a Dutch team sports scientist who has been conversing with the Olympic oval ice master over ice conditions and temperature. Van der Poel believed, based on the article, the sports scientist was showing the ice master data “to get in his head making decisions benefiting the Dutch skaters.” Dutch officials denied wrongdoing, saying all countries have contact with the ice master. Dutchmen Jorrit Bergsma and Patrick Roest are medal contenders in the 25-lap race. Van der Poel said he has “the biggest respect” for Dutch skaters.

All three U.S. women made the 500m quarterfinals, led by Kristen Santos, who ranks second in the world in the distance. Santos can win the first U.S. women’s short track medal since 2010, but the gold-medal favorite is reigning Olympic and world champion Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands. In 2018, Schulting won the Netherlands’ first Olympic short track gold. The Netherlands has 46 gold medals in long-track speed skating.

Cross Country Skiing & Biathlon

Cross-Country Skiing / Biathlon
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Cross-Country: Men's 15km 🏅 2:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA
Biathlon: Women's 7.5km 🏅 4:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com

Switzerland's Dario Cologna won the 15km at the last three Olympics, but at 35 and headed to retirement, he hasn’t made a top-level podium in 13 months. Instead, this race is billed as a meeting ground between the world’s two best cross-country skiers – Norwegian Johannes Hosflot Klaebo, who won sprint gold, and Russian Alexandr Bolshunov, who won the 30km skiathlon.

The women’s sprint is shaping up to be the latest Winter Olympic duel between rivals Norway and Sweden. Norway boasts the last two world champions: Marte Olsbu Roeiseland and Tiril Eckhoff. Eckhoff, last season’s top biathlete, has struggled shooting in China with three penalty loops in the mixed relay and five misses in the 15km individual en route to a 22nd-place finish. Sweden has sisters Hanna Oeberg and Elvira Oeberg, who have each won a World Cup sprint this season.

Skeleton

Skeleton
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Women's Run 1 8:30 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA
Women's Run 2 10:00 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA
Men's Run 3 7:15 a.m. NBCOlympics.com
Men's Final Run 🏅 8:45 a.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA

German Christopher Grotheer was fastest in each of the first two men’s skeleton runs. His lead going into the final two runs, seven tenths of a second, is formidable. Germany is the world power in bobsled and luge, but the two-time world champion Grotheer will try to win the nation’s first Olympic skeleton gold medal. Latvian Martins Dukurs, an 11-time World Cup season champion and one of the greatest Winter Olympians without a gold medal, was done in by a slow first run and is in sixth place.

In the women’s event, China’s 19-year-old Zhao Dan has a best World Cup finish of 15th in four starts, yet was the only slider to have the fastest time in multiple training runs this week. Dan’s considerable advantage in experience on this track may be enough to overcome the world’s top sliders, including Dutchwoman Kimberley Bos, Austrian Janine Flock and Germans Jacqueline Loelling and Tina Hermann.

Hockey

Women's Hockey: Quarterfinals
All events also stream live on Peacock
Matchup Time (ET) How to Watch
USA vs Czech Republic 11:00 p.m. NBCOlympics.com, USA
Canada vs Sweden 8:00 a.m. NBCOlympics.com

In women’s quarterfinals, the U.S. and Canada play on opposite sides of the bracket, each two wins from another gold-medal matchup. The U.S. plays the Czech Republic for the first time in Olympic or world championship history. Canada gets Sweden, once one of the world’s top three nations but no longer one of the top five.

An intriguing game in men’s group play is ROC-Denmark. The Russian Olympic Committee, the tournament favorite, and Denmark, in its first Olympic appearance, each won its opening game by one goal.

Curling

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

It’s the third of nine round-robin games for the U.S. men (1-1) and women (2-0). Another men’s marquee matchup pits Canada, the world’s top curling nation, against Switzerland, bronze medalist at the last Olympics and world championship. For the women, Switzerland faces Russia in a rematch of the 2021 World Championship final.

Ski jumping

Ski Jumping: Men's Large Hill
All events also stream live on Peacock
Event Time (ET) How to Watch
Men's Large Hill Qualifying 4:45 a.m. NBCOlympics.com

Japan’s Ryoyu Kobayashi begins his bid to sweep the individual men’s ski jumping golds after taking the normal hill on Sunday. He shouldn’t have any problem in qualifying, where the top 50 advance to Saturday’s final. All four Americans made the normal hill final, with Casey Larson the top finisher in 39th.