A huge weekend looms ahead for Olympic hopefuls looking to make Team USA's roster for the 2022 Winter Games:
- The U.S. Figure Skating Championships are a major factor in deciding which skaters get selected to the U.S. figure skating team
- The U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Trials will directly determine the U.S. speed skating roster
- The U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain is the final chance for halfpipe and slopestyle snowboarders and freeskiers to meet objective criteria and automatically qualify for the U.S. team
And in other sports, the usual slate of World Cup action rolls on. Here's what's happening this weekend (January 7-9) on the Road to the 2022 Winter Olympics on how to watch it all.
The U.S. Championships present the final opportunity for American skaters to make their case to be selected to the Olympic selection committee. Although they aren't considered Olympic Trials, the U.S. Championships will still play a large role in determining the composition of the team, which will be named after the conclusion of the event.
Skaters competing this weekend include Nathan Chen, Alysa Liu, Ashley Cain-Gibble and Timothy LeDuc, and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue.
Click here for a preview of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
|Fri, Jan. 7||Rhythm Dance||4:00 p.m., USA Network*|
|4:00 p.m., NBCOlympics.com|
|Women’s Free||8:00 p.m., NBC*|
|8:00 p.m., NBCOlympics.com|
|Sat, Jan. 8||Men's Short||4:00 p.m., NBC*|
|4:00 p.m., NBCOlympics.com|
|Pairs Free, Free Dance||7:00 p.m., USA Network*|
|7:00 p.m., NBCOlympics.com|
|Sun, Jan. 9||Men's Free||2:00 p.m., NBC*|
|2:00 p.m., NBCOlympics.com|
*Coverage of the U.S. Championships will also stream live on Peacock.
The U.S. Olympic speed skating team will be filled out over the course of Olympic Trials in Milwaukee. The competition has already seen three skaters, including Brittany Bowe, officially qualify during the first two nights of competition. Erin Jackson (racing the 500m on Friday) and Joey Mantia (racing the 1500m on Saturday) will also look to punch their tickets to the Winter Games this weekend.
Click here for a preview of U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Trials.
|Fri, Jan. 7||M/W 500m||6:00 p.m., USA Network|
|6:00 p.m., NBCOlympics.com|
|Sat, Jan 8||M/W 1500m||4:00 p.m., USA Network|
|4:00 p.m., NBCOlympics.com|
|Sun, Jan. 9||Highlights||12:30 p.m., NBC|
|12:30 p.m., NBCOlympics.com|
|M/W Mass Start||5:30 p.m., USA Network|
|5:30 p.m., NBCOlympics.com|
The U.S. Grand Prix at California’s Mammoth Mountain serves as the final Olympic selection event for U.S. riders in halfpipe and slopestyle. Up to four U.S. athletes per gender can make both the halfpipe and slopestyle/big air teams. Some athletes have already met qualifying criteria via the world rankings, but for the rest of the Olympic hopefuls, spots will be allocated based on top-three finishes at tryout events like Mammoth. There will also be at least one discretionary selection, based on past results or future potential, for each discipline group.
Top U.S. snowboarders set to compete this weekend who’ve already met qualifying criteria include slopestyle specialists Jamie Anderson, Red Gerard and Dusty Henricksen. Halfpipe riders Chloe Kim and Maddie Mastro have all but locked up their Olympic team bids, too, but won’t be competing at Mammoth. Despite that, the pipe will be full of drama on the men’s side as Shaun White looks to grab his first podium finish of the season to perhaps secure a position on Olympic team No. 5. Several other Americans will compete for the remaining spots as well.
Amidst the U.S. selection climax, multiple international athletes will look to steal the show: Cai Xuetong of China can win her third Mammoth halfpipe World Cup in a row; Japan’s talented “big three” of Ruka Hirano, Yuto Totsuka and Ayumu Hirano could disrupt White’s aspirations; and New Zealander Zoi Sadowski-Synnott is set to duel it out with Anderson in slopestyle.
|Sat, Jan. 8||M/W Slopestyle Finals||4:00 p.m., Peacock*|
|Sat, Jan. 8||M/W Halfpipe Finals||11:00 p.m., Peacock*|
*CNBC broadcasts (ET): 9:30 a.m. / 1:00 p.m. Sunday
The U.S. Grand Prix at California’s Mammoth Mountain serves as the final Olympic qualifying selection event for U.S. skiers in halfpipe and slopestyle. Some athletes have already met qualifying criteria via the world rankings, but for the rest of the Olympic hopefuls, spots will be allocated based on top-three finishes at tryout events like Mammoth. There will also be at least one discretionary selection, based on past results or future potential, for each discipline group.
Top U.S. freeskiers set to compete this weekend who’ve already met qualifying criteria include Aaron Blunck, Alex Ferreira and Hanna Faulhaber in halfpipe, and slopestyle specialists Colby Stevenson and Mac Forehand. The remaining spots are wide open — two-time reigning Olympic gold medalist David Wise is still in search of locking up a third trip to the Games, while Brita Sigourney, Alex Hall, Nick Goepper and several others are also trying to earn berths.
Between all the U.S. selection drama, various international athletes have objectives of their own to accomplish. In particular, U.S.-born Eileen Gu of China, who’s coming off back-to-back World Cup victories in Calgary and is unbeaten in halfpipe this season. In slopestyle, she’s the reigning world and X Games champion, and of the three disciplines in which she competes – halfpipe, slopestyle and big air – it’s the only one she hasn’t recorded a victory in this season. She didn’t compete at the Stubai World Cup opener and was runner-up at Dew Tour.
|Sat, Jan. 8||M/W Halfpipe Finals||12:45 p.m., Peacock*|
|Sun, Jan. 9||M/W Slopestyle Finals||4:00 p.m., Peacock*|
*CNBC broadcasts (ET): noon Saturday / 11:00 a.m. Sunday
(note: due to schedule changes, Saturday's slot is likely to change)
The Alpine Ski World Cup continues with the women racing in Slovenia and the men racing in Switzerland. Both events will feature giant slalom on Saturday and slalom on Sunday.
Mikaela Shiffrin, who recently returned to the tour after testing positive for COVID, is on the start list for Kranjska Gora. She currently holds the overall World Cup points lead, and she ranks first in giant slalom and second in slalom.
|Sat, Jan 8||Women's Giant Slalom Run 1||3:30 a.m., Peacock|
|Men's Giant Slalom Run 1||4:30 a.m., Peacock|
|Women's Giant Slalom Run 2||6:25 a.m., Peacock|
|Men's Giant Slalom Run 2||7:30 a.m., Peacock|
|Sun, Jan. 9||Women's Slalom Run 1||3:30 a.m., Peacock|
|Men's Slalom Run 1||4:30 a.m., Peacock|
|Women's Slalom Run 2||6:25 a.m., Peacock|
|Men's Slalom Run 2||7:30 a.m., Peacock|
This weekend sees the penultimate races of this season’s World Cup for both bobsled and skeleton. Winterberg, Germany will host.
Saturday will see Germany’s Francesco Friedrich continue his quest for dominance in both men’s bobsled disciplines. Saturday is the two-man competition, while Sunday is the four-man. Canada’s Justin Kripps gives Friedrich a run for his money in both events as well, as he’s third overall in the two-man and second in the four-man.
But the highlight should be women’s monobob and two-woman races. Team USA’s Kaillie Humphries is expected to return after withdrawing last week due to a hamstring injury. The sport’s only mother, Humphries’ countrywoman Elena Meyers Taylor, will also compete Saturday and Sunday. Meyers Taylor is having an incredible season: The three-time Olympic medalist is fourth in monobob – a mere 23 points from the top spot -- and first overall in the two-woman.
|Sat, Jan 8||Women's Monobob||3:45 a.m., Olympics.com*|
|Two-Man Bobsled||7:30 a.m., Olympics.com*|
|Sun, Jan 9||Two-Woman Bobsled||3:05 a.m., Olympics.com*|
|Four-Man Bobsled||6:00 a.m., Olympics.com*|
*Olympic Channel will air broadcasts each day starting at 6 p.m. ET
The 2021-22 Luge World Cup hits Sigulda, Latvia for men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s singles, and team relay races this weekend.
Johannes Ludwig, who won gold in team relay and bronze in men’s singles at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, enjoys a comfortable lead in the World Cup singles leaderboard. He won in Winterberg, Germany, his home country, last week. Ludwig’s compatriot Julia Taubitz, the 2021 world champion in women’s singles, has to keep an eye on second-place Austrian Madeleine Egle, who’s a stone’s throw from first.
Latvian siblings Andris and Juris Sics each look towards their fourth Olympic medal as they continue to dominate the doubles rankings.
After four of six events, Germany remains in the No. 1 position for team relay. Austria has climbed to second place – just one point from the top spot – while the United States reached third with 257 points. Team relay provides the best opportunity for the U.S. to win an Olympic medal in luge — with speedsters like Summer Britcher, Tucker West, Jayson Terdiman and Chris Mazdzer (the 2018 Games singles silver medalist who’s now competing in singles and doubles, even as he recovers from a broken foot) potentially racing for a spot on the 2022 podium.
|Sat, Jan 8||Men||3:10 a.m., Olympics.com|
|Doubles||6:30 a.m., Olympics.com|
|Sun, Jan 9||Women||3:05 a.m., Olympics.com|
|Men's Sprint||6:00 a.m., Olympics.com|
|Double Sprint||6:45 a.m., Olympics.com|
|Women's Sprint||7:20 a.m., Olympics.com|
Canada’s Mont-Tremblant ski resort, just north of Montreal and Ottawa, hosts the fourth of six World Cup moguls stops with a double podium weekend – the penultimate competitions before the 2022 Winter Olympics, as Utah’s Deer Valley hosts another pair of contests next weekend. Japan’s Ikuma Horishima, the 2017 men’s world champion, has finished on the podium at all three of this season’s World Cups thus far, winning the last two at Idre and Alpe d'Huez. Meanwhile, on the women’s side, both the U.S. and Australia each have a trio of podium finishes this year — Jakara Anthony has provided all three for the Aussies, while Olivia Giaccio, Kai Owens and Tess Johnson have combined for the American finishes.
Russia’s Krasnoyarsk ski resort in southern Siberia hosts its first-ever snowboard cross World Cup competitions with a double podium opportunity. Officially, Krasnoyarsk serves as the fourth of eight stops on the season’s SBX circuit; however, these two contests offer the final two chances to earn points in the discipline before its Olympic qualification period ends January 16.
Austria’s Jakob Dusek and Italy’s Michela Moioli won the most recent SBX World Cup titles at Cervinia in Italy. Dusek’s win ended a 2-0 start by compatriot Alessandro Haemmerle who crashed and missed the big final, while Moioli’s home-slopes victory rounded out a victory each this season for the 2021 World Championships podium, on which she stood runner-up — bronze medalist Eva Samkova of the Czech Republic won the Secret Garden opener Nov. 28, and champion Charlotte Bankes of Great Britain took the following World Cup at Montafon.
Haemmerle and Bankes enter Krasnoyarsk with the leader bibs. Five-time world champion Lindsey Jacobellis of the U.S., the Olympic silver medalist in 2006, was slated to compete. At Cervinia, she qualified second and took fourth in her first competition of the season. Fellow American Nick Baumgartner, currently third in the World Cup rankings, did not appear on the start list; however, several other U.S. men did, including Mick Dierdorff and Hagen Kearney.
Switzerland’s Scuol ski resort in the Swiss Alps hosts the fourth of six 2021-22 individual parallel giant slalom World Cups and the penultimate before the 2022 Winter Olympics. Last season’s victors were Russians Igor Sluev and Sofiya Nadyrshina. Winner of two medals including PGS silver at the 2021 World Championships, Nadyrshina enters as the current women’s World Cup leader. She claimed the season opener on home slopes at Lake Bannoye and took second at the most recent competition at Italy’s Cortina d'Ampezzo. Lee Sang-Ho of South Korea is the men’s leader. He also won the Lake Bannoye opener and placed second at Cortina d'Ampezzo.
|Sat, Jan. 8||M/W Parallel Giant Slalom||8:30 a.m., Peacock|
Oberhof, Germany’s Lotto Rennsteig Arena – a venue known for its tight turns, steep hills and long flat entry into the range – hosts the fifth of 10 Biathlon World Cup stages this season and third from last before the 2022 Winter Olympics. Six events are scheduled to take place Friday through Sunday: men’s and women’s 10km/7.5km sprints, 12.5km/10km pursuits and two relays – a traditional mixed and a single mixed. Norway’s Marte Olsbu Roeiseland enters as the women’s World Cup standings overall leader with three wins on the season, while Frenchmen Emilien Jacquelin and Quentin Fillon Maillet are one-two on the respective men’s side with four podiums each. Americans were entered to compete in the sprints, relays and pursuits.
|Fri, Jan. 7||Men’s 10km Sprint||5:30 a.m., Peacock|
|Women’s 7.5km Sprint||8:15 a.m., Peacock|
|Sat, Jan. 8||Mixed Relay||6:15 a.m., Peacock|
|Single Mixed Relay||8:45 a.m., Peacock|
|Sun, Jan. 9||Men’s 12.5km Pursuit||6:30 a.m., Peacock|
|Women’s 10km Pursuit||8:45 a.m., Peacock|
|Sat, Jan 8||Men's Jump||3:30 a.m., Peacock|
|Men's 10km||6:30 a.m., Peacock|
|Women's Jump||7:30 a.m., Peacock|
|Women's 5km||12:00 p.m., Peacock|
|Sun, Jan. 9||Men's Jump||3:30 a.m., Peacock|
|Men's 10km||5:45 a.m., Peacock|
|Sun, Jan 9||Men's Team||10:00 a.m., Peacock|