Having the Winter Olympics in Russia is not a convenient thing for the American sports fan. After all, when the majority of Americans are ready to sit down and catch the action, the athletes in Sochi have already finished their day.
NBC elects to work around this by showing the biggest events of the day on tape delay and in prime time.
Personally, I have no problem with this approach. It creates three hours of riveting Olympic competition. Of course, it isn't all that riveting if one already knows the results. I still find immense value in watching the drama unfold, but in the spirit of keeping suspense for those who want it, there will not be any spoilers from today's action. Well, save for this medal tracker:
Certainly, the rest of the information is readily available in other places.
Now, check out the viewing vitals, and then I'll provide the backdrop for some of the action.
Day 4 Winter Olympics Info
Where: Sochi, Russia
When: Tuesday, Feb. 11
Live Stream: NBCOlympics.com
Start Time: 8 p.m. ET; 8 p.m. CT; 7 p.m. MT; 8 p.m. PT
Scheduled Events: Snowboarding (Men's Halfpipe), Freestyle (Women's Slopestyle), Figure Skating (Pairs Short) and Ski Jumping (Women's Normal Hill)
Snowboarding, Men's Halfpipe
In its short Olympic life, this event has quickly turned into a fan favorite. That shouldn't surprise anyone.
The halfpipe is all about the fan-pleasing aspects of big air and bigger tricks, and they stacked one on top of another.
American Shaun White is the two-time defending gold medalist in this event, and the Flying Tomato is primed to make it three in a row. He figures to be challenged by, among others, fellow countryman Danny Davis.
Of course, White, Davis and every other rider will be trying to showcase their skills on a halfpipe that has been criticized. Davis, via Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, certainly wasn't shy about his thoughts on the halfpipe: "It's the Olympics. It should be flawless. What a lame showcase of snowboarding, and what a lame way to treat the athletes."
The complaints aren't just limited to the riders, either:
Although the concerns about the halfpipe dampen some of the excitement around this event, there is little doubt that it will be entertaining.
Ski Jumping, Women's Normal Hill
The 2014 Sochi Games marks the first-ever ladies' ski jumping competition; This alone adds excitement to this event. It's not very often athletes have a chance to win the first-ever Olympic gold in their sport.
Of those hoping to achieve that honor is American Sarah Hendrickson. The 19-year-old is the reigning world champion in this event. Of course, she is also five months removed from surgery to repair a torn ACL and MCL and may not be physically ready to take the gold.
She will be joined in representing Team USA in this event by Lindsey Van and Jessica Jerome.
All of those women will face stiff competition. Japanese prodigy Sara Takanashi stands an excellent shot at capturing the top spot.
Figure Skating, Pairs Short
The atmosphere for this event should be electric. That is because the host nation has the reigning world champion team in this event.
Given their excellence and the support of the crowd, it is going to be tough to beat Russia's Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov.
If a team is going to do so, it will likely be former four-time world champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany.
Of course, even if Volosozhar and Trankov miss out on gold, Russia could still take the honor, as the Russian team includes Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov, who are also strong competitors in this event.
All of this sets up for what should be a wonderful display of ice skating.
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