The 2014 Winter Olympics have already provided plenty of captivating storylines and heated battles for medals, and Day 4 is right around the corner with more action.
Day 3 was highlighted by American Julia Mancuso adding to her legendary status with a bronze medal in the super-combined, a Netherlands sweep in the men’s 500-meter long-track speedskating event and Canadian history on the moguls hill.
Michel Mulder won speedskating gold for the Dutch, with his teammate Jan Smeekens taking home silver and his brother, Ronald Mulder, capturing the bronze. For men’s moguls, Canada’s Alex Bilodeau became the first two-time Olympic gold medalist in freestyle skiing, with teammate Mikael Kingsbury winning the silver.
Now that Day 4 is on tap, let’s take a look at the television schedule, which provides the easiest way to keep up with the medal tally via the broadcasts.
|Day 4 Schedule|
|Women's Curling (USA vs. Russia)||3 a.m. ET||NBCSN|
|Men's Curling (USA vs. China)||5 a.m. ET||USA|
|Cross-Country (Individual Sprint)||5 a.m. ET||NBCSN|
|Speedskating (Women's 500-meter)||6 a.m. ET||NBCSN|
|Figure Skating (Pairs Short Program)||10 a.m. ET||NBCSN|
|Women's Hockey (Russia vs. Japan)||10 a.m. ET||MSNBC|
|Ski Jumping (Women's Normal Hill)||1:30 p.m. ET||NBCSN|
|Speedskating (Women's 500-meter)||1:30 p.m. ET||NBCSN|
|NBC Daytime (Women's Single Luge, Women's Slopestyle Freestyle Skiing, Cross-Country Individual Sprint)||3 p.m. ET||NBC|
|Women's Curling (USA vs. Germany)||5 p.m. ET||CNBC|
|NBC Primetime (Men's Halfpipe, Women's Slopestyle Freestyle Skiing, Figure Skating Pairs Short, Ski Jumping Women's Normal Hill)||8 p.m. ET||NBC|
While there will be a number of events to capture the attention of the public during Day 4, two jump out as golden opportunities for Americans to medal.
Shaun White is a legitimate rock star in these Olympics, with a number of X Games titles and two Olympic golds already under his belt.
The superstar has been counting down the days until the Sochi Olympics for quite some time:
Unfortunately for the artist sometimes known as the “Flying Tomato,” he has dealt with a wrist injury, a shiner under his eye, an ankle sprain and a shoulder jam in recent weeks and had to pull out of the slopestyle event to focus on the halfpipe.
If White is to win another gold, he will have to fight through the bumps and bruises and hold off 15-year-old challenger Ayumu Hirano of Japan.
Hirano won the silver medal at the 2013 X Games Superpipe behind back-to-back double-cork 1080s and is the biggest threat to White’s snowboarding throne.
Women’s 500-meter long-track speedskating
Heather Richardson represents the United States’ best opportunity to reach the podium in the women’s 500-meter long-track speedskating competition.
The former inliner made the switch to long-track speedskating before her career took off, but, as she told John Powers of The Boston Globe, it wasn’t always a thing of beauty:
It wasn’t very pretty. Derek Parra, my coach at the time, called me “Bambi on ice,” so you can only imagine that.
A lot of us have followed the footsteps of KC Boutiette, Jen Rodriguez, Derek — all of them did it. We were waiting for inline to make its Olympic debut but we just didn’t see it coming. So we took our opportunity on ice.
Richardson will look to become the first American to win gold in this discipline since Bonnie Blair did it in 1994.
While Richardson has an excellent chance to end up on the podium, the best skater in the world in this event is Lee Sang-hwa from South Korea.
Lee won the gold in Vancouver in the 2010 Games and has dominated the discipline since. She finished first or second in the overall World Cup standings every year in the 500-meters since 2011.
Keeping Lee from the gold-medal position may be too tall an order for Richardson, but the American would likely be thrilled with an Olympic medal of any color.
Follow me on Twitter: