Winter Olympics 2014: Best Events to Watch Live on Opening Weekend

Sean HojnackiFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2014

Meryl Davis and Charlie White are ice dancing world champions, and they are competing in the team event as well.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White are ice dancing world champions, and they are competing in the team event as well.Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 Winter Olympics actually opened before the opening ceremony took place, so don't worry if you're a little confused. Sochi is also nine hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, making the television times quite quirky, but this guide will get you set for what to watch on Days 1 and 2, Feb. 8 and 9. There is more than enough figure skating and ice hockey to keep you busy, plus much more. 

NBC will be airing a lot of coverage on its networks, including MSNBC and especially NBCSN, but the main network won't actually be showing any live events. Instead, NBC will offer what amounts to an Olympic SportsCenter, only with more human interest stories. 

Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

You can find plenty of coverage on and you can stream just about every minute of action (except Friday's tape-delayed opening ceremony) on a variety of devices with NBC's Live Extra, though you'll need to use the login for your television provider.

You can also enjoy streaming coverage from CBC and BBC if you live in Canada or the United Kingdom. There's nothing like live action, and there is plenty to find on the opening weekend in Sochi, but this is the best of it. 


Figure Skating

Figure skating now has a team event, which means more ice dancing than ever! Essentially, each competition in figure skating is now part of the team event as well, serving as a shrewd ploy to double the amount of figure skating in 2014. It's a lot to keep track of, so here's a handy chart. 

Figure Skating Team Event Live TV Times on NBCSN
Feb. 89:30 a.m.Ice Dance Short Dance
Feb. 811 a.m.Ladies' Short Program
Feb. 81 p.m.Pairs Free Program
Feb. 910 a.m.Men's Free Program
Feb. 911 a.m.Ladies' Free Program
Feb. 912 p.m.Ice Dance Free Dance

With ice dancing on both Feb. 8 and 9, keep an eye on Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White who took silver at the 2010 Games. Sunday will decide the first medals in figure skating, and it will also serve as a great introduction to the separate events that will follow for each competitor. 

Figure skating is always a ratings draw at the Olympics for it's grace and athleticism, though some people wince at the audacious outfits and cheesy music. Now that there's more of it to show than ever, it's no surprise that NBC has put all of it live on NBCSN.

NBC will also be replaying it in prime time on both days and on Sunday afternoon. 


Ice Hockey

Saturday, Feb. 8, starts the women's preliminaries in Group A. First up is the United States and Finland at 3 a.m. (all times ET) on NBCSN, so if you happen to be coming home from a social evening out then check out the first puck drop at Sochi.

Then Canada against Switzerland starts at 8 a.m. on MSNBC—and so the Canadians begin their campaign to repeat with gold in men's and women's hockey. Unless you're a diehard fan, you probably can't catch both games live, but NBCSN will show the best game that day again at 6 p.m. on NBCSN. 

Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Feb. 9 starts the Group B prelims with the same awkward time slots. Sweden versus Japan is at 3 a.m. on NBCSN, then Russia takes on Germany at 8 a.m. on MSNBC. Look for the replay of one of the games at 5 p.m. on NBCSN.



Formerly known as "military patrol," this event combines skiing with shooting thus making it the "running with scissors" of the Olympic Games. It is also not being shown live on TV, only on tape delay, but the live stream will be worth it. Men's 10-kilometer sprint starts at 9:30 a.m on Feb. 8, and the women's 7.5-kilometer sprint is the same time the next day. 

Brooklyn Nets Mikhail Prokhorov is the sitting president of the Russian Biathlon Union. He demands success, and his biathletes can't afford the slow start that the Nets suffered through. 

Felipe Dana/Associated Press

American Tim Burke from Lake Placid represents the country's best shot at its first-ever medal in the event. 



They'll hand out medals in men's singles on Sunday with the competition starting at 8:30 a.m. on NBCSN. Who needs coffee in the morning when you can watch people on sleds careen down a track at high speed?

Tobias Hase/Associated Press

Italian Armin Zoggeler has medaled in men's singles at five consecutive Olympics going back to 1994, winning two golds, a silver and two bronzes. No Olympian has ever won a medal in the same event at six straight games.