Day 8 of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia is a quality microcosm of the Games itself.
Speed skating, skiing, curling and the ever-important hockey take center stage on Saturday in what is sure to be an epic slate of events.
As always, the schedule is a bit unkind for American viewers on Feb. 15, but fans can live-stream the action on NBC Olympics Live Extra. Beginning at 8 p.m. ET, they can then catch the highlights of the day on various networks.
Several events stick out as must-see action on what is an absolutely loaded schedule.
|Full Day 8 Event and Television Schedule|
|Time (ET)||Sport||Matchup||Live TV|
|12 a.m.||Women's Curling||CAN vs. JPN||MSNBC|
|12 a.m.||Women's Curling||CHN vs. SWE||--|
|12 a.m.||Women's Curling||GBR vs. KOR||NBCSN|
|2 a.m.||Alpine Skiing||Women's Super-G||--|
|3 a.m.||Men's Hockey||SVK vs. SLO||NBCSN|
|3 a.m.||Women's Hockey||FIN vs. SWE||MSNBC|
|5 a.m.||Men's Curling||SWE vs. GER||--|
|5 a.m.||Men's Curling||CAN vs. GBR||--|
|5 a.m.||Men's Curling||DEN vs. SUI||--|
|5 a.m.||Men's Curling||RUS vs. CHN||--|
|5 a.m.||Cross Country||Ladies' 4x5-kilometer Relay||NBCSN|
|5 a.m.||Short Track||Ladies' 1,500-meter Heats||--|
|5:45 a.m.||Short Track||Men's 1,000-meter Quarterfinals||--|
|6:15 a.m.||Short Track||Ladies' 1,500-meter Semifinals||--|
|6:45 a.m.||Short Track||Men's 1,000-meter Semifinals||--|
|7:15 a.m.||Short Track||Ladies' 1,500-meter Final||NBC|
|7:30 a.m.||Women's Hockey||SUI vs. RUS||MSNBC|
|7:30 a.m.||Men's Hockey||USA vs. RUS||NBCSN|
|7:45 a.m.||Short Track||Men's 1,000-meter Final||--|
|8:30 a.m.||Speedskating||Men's 1,500 Meters||--|
|9:45 a.m.||Skeleton||Men's Heat 3||NBCSN|
|10:00 a.m.||Women's Curling||CAN vs. RUS||NBCSN|
|10 a.m.||Women's Curling||USA vs. SWE||CNBC|
|10 a.m.||Women's Curling||GBR vs. SUI||--|
|10 a.m.||Women's Curling||DEN vs. CHN||--|
|11 a.m.||Skeleton||Men's Heat 4||NBCSN|
|12 p.m.||Men's Hockey||SWE vs. LAT||NBCSN|
|12 p.m.||Men's Hockey||SUI vs. CZE||USA|
|12:30 p.m.||Ski Jumping||Men's Large Hill Individual 1st Round||--|
|1:15 p.m.||Ski Jumping||Men's Large Hill Individual Final Round||--|
|Source: Sochi2014.com and NBCOlympics.com|
Men's 1,000-Meter Short-Track Final
Redemption is the biggest story in short track on Saturday, as America's J.R. Celski looks to hit the podium after a disappointing showing in the 1,500-meter short track.
The spotlight in the wake of Celski's fourth-place finish went to gold medalist Charles Hamelin of Canada, who is on his own path of redemption after a miserable showing in Vancouver, as he told reporters after his trip to the podium, via Robert Laflamme of The Canadian Press:
It's not the distance I'm most comfortable with, but I had a good start and, later, I was able to keep control of the course. I hope to be just as solid for the rest of the week. Vancouver was a disappointment and I wanted to bounce back. I worked hard to get to this point.
"The Locomotive of Sainte-Julie" and Celski will go at it once more on Saturday, with the host country's Victor An also figuring to play a large role in the outcome of the event after a bronze medal in the aforementioned race.
Ladies' 1,500-Meter Final
The story is much of the same on Saturday for American athletes in the ladies' 1,500-meter long-track race.
Both Heather Richardson and Brittany Bowe failed to live up to expectations in the 1,000-meter event. Bowe owns a world record at the distance, but came in eighth. Richardson is ranked No. 1 in the world at the distance, but finished just one spot ahead of Bowe.
Amy Donaldson of the Deseret News captured the aftermath of the event as they now turn their attention to Saturday's event:
The women said they will watch film with their coaches and try to see where they can improve. They said they feel great and expect they should be able to perform better in their remaining events — the 1,500 and the team relay.
“Physically, I feel fine,” said Richardson, whose time was 1:15.23. “I think it’s the most fit I’ve been this season. I think everyone’s getting faster in Sochi. … Obviously it’s disappointing, but it’s all we could do.”
While certainly not their best event, Richardson and Bowe still have a chance to make an impact and improve upon their times on Saturday. The rest of the field features stiff competition, which will make it one of the more entertaining finals of the Games.
Men's 1,500-meters Speed Skating Final
These suits—designed by apparel sponsor Under Armour and billed before the Games as a competitive advantage—have a design flaw that may be slowing down skaters, according to three people familiar with the U.S. team. Vents on back of the suit, designed to allow heat to escape, are also allowing air to enter and create drag that keeps skaters from staying in the low position they need to achieve maximum speed, these people said.
According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, American athletes will return to a former edition of their suit as a result.
One athlete who has been subjected to these alleged flawed suits is Olympic legend Shani Davis, who failed to score his third consecutive gold medal in the 1,000-meter race.
Now, Davis has to bounce back through the adversity against a field that includes heavyweights such as Stefan Groothuis of the Netherlands, who took home the top prize in the 1,000 meters.
The field is deep and the storylines are plentiful, so making time for what is sure to be the highlight of the day is a smart move.
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