Olympics Feb 15: Mikaela Shiffrin races for another gold, Nathan Chen returns

He remembers the 2002 Olympics held in Salt Lake City and the excitement surrounding the world event.

Wednesday was a rough day for Team USA with Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin bringing home one of the team's few medals.

Shiffrin is back on Thursday as she races for back-to-back Olympic gold in women's slalom. Nathan Chen also returns to the ice for men's short program figure skating.

Here are Thursday's can't-miss events:

Mikaela Shiffrin races to defend her Olympic gold medal in women's slalom

8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT | Watch on NBC

Alpine skiing athletes have been dealing with delays in their events because of strong winds in Pyeongchang. American Mikaela Shiffrin finally made her 2018 Olympic debut yesterday in the giant slalom and won the gold medal for Team USA. 

On Thursday, the reigning Olympic slalom champion will race for another gold medal in slalom (weather permitting, of course). 

What's the difference between the two Alpine skiing events? Giant slalom is longer than a slalom course, and the gates are not as close to each other. Compared to slalom, the distance between gates is 10 meters longer or more.

Figure skaters Nathan Chen & Adam Rippon return to the ice in men's short program

8:00 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT | Watch on NBC

The much-anticipated men's figure skating will begin on Thursday with the quad king himself, Nathan Chen, stepping onto the icy stage. Also skating with his shining personality (and wardrobe) is American star Adam Rippon. Vincent Zhou also competes for Team USA.

Many figure skaters in the men's short program have already medaled in PyeongChang, so everyone's expecting a competitive show. 

Two Americans compete for medals in men's skeleton

8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT | Watch on NBC

Skeleton may be one of the most bizarre sports in the Winter Olympics. Competitors race down an ice course at high speeds head-first

Competition kicked off on Wednesday night with two runs. It continues on Thursday night with two more runs. Whoever has the fastest cumulative time from all four runs wins. 

Team USA's Matt Antoine and John Daly did not finish in the top three after Day 1 runs.

Women's snowboard cross

8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT | Watch on NBC

If you like snowboarding and motocross, you'll love snowboard cross.

Six athletes launch out of start gates and race down the course, peppered with jumps, sharp turns and other obstacles, all at the same time. The top three finishers in the heat move on to the next round. The first one to cross the finish line during the final race wins the gold. 

Watch as five-time world champion Lindsey Jacobellis races for her first Olympic gold medal. She's one of the most decorated women in the sport of snowboarding, except at the Olympics. Despite PyeongChang being her fourth Winter Olympics, the 32-year-old has only earned one silver Olympic medal. 

Also keep an eye out for Faye Gulini, an experienced snowboarder who is competing in her third Winter Olympics.

USA goes for a medal in luge team relay

7:30 a.m. ET / 4:30 a.m. PT | Watch on NBCOlympics.com

Each team runs three sleds: a women's single, a men's single and a men's double. Watch for the riders to touch a target overhead to open the gates for the next sled. It is trickier than it sounds considering they are wearing spiked gloves and it is not part of a normal luge run. Everyone begins at the women's start and timing is continuous.

American favorite Chris Mazdzer and Summer Britcher will lead Team USA in the luge team relay, followed by Matt Mortensen and Jayson Terdiman. 

Mazdzer won the silver medal in men's singles luge on Feb. 11, becoming the first American in history to win a medal in the event. 

US men's hockey team looks for redemption after losing first game

10:10 p.m. ET / 7:10 p.m. PT | CNBC

U.S. men's hockey started their opening game against Slovenia with a two goal lead. By third period, Slovenia was able to tie the game and won against the U.S. in overtime. Team USA will be back on the ice competing against Slovakia this Thursday. 

© 2018 TEGNA MEDIA


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