At this point, after multiple weather-related postponements, any promise of fabulous Olympic skiing seems like a false one. But we’re here to do it again, folks: Athletes like Shaun White and Chloe Kim have already provided some big moments at these Olympics, but Wednesday’s programming brings some major star power, including on the slopes.
After multiple postponements, US skiier Mikaela Shiffrin is expected to make her debut in the women’s giant slalom. Medals will also be on the line in men’s downhill and pairs figure skating.
Starting at 8:30 p.m. EST, the gold medal final in pairs figure skating will be shown on NBC. China’s Weinjing Sui and Con Hang were in the lead after posting an 82.39 in the short program, but Olympic Athletes from Russia’s Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, Canada’s Eric Radford and Meagan Duhamal and Germany’s Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot are all strong contenders. The only Americans who advanced to the finals are Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim, who sit in 14th place out of 16.
At 9:30, men’s downhill is scheduled to take place after high winds pushed it back by four days. The field is relatively wide open for the speed-based event, which is decided based on a single run. Austria’s Matthias Mayer is the defending champion, but faces competition in his quest to become the first back-to-back gold medalist in the men’s event. His biggest threats come in the form of 2017 world champion Beat Feuz of Switzerland and Norwegian skiers Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud, who clocked the fastest time at the 2018 Olympic test event. American Steven Nyman could have been a contender, but he tore his ACL just after making his first Olympic team. Bryce Bennett, No. 18 in the World Cup standings, got solid results in his training runs.
Finally, at 11:45 p.m., Shiffrin will (fingers crossed) ski. After postponements in both the slalom and giant slalom, she’s facing the possibility of skiing on back-to-back-to-back days should she decide to enter the Super G on Saturday. The weather is expected to finally accomodate, so Shiffrin should get her shot against France’s Tessa Worley, the reigning world champion, and 2010 Olympic champion Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany among others.
Viewers looking for more Olympics coverage can also see the US women’s hockey team take on Canada in a preliminary match at 10:10 p.m and the men’s snowboard cross final at 11:30 p.m. Keep in mind that start times are approximate and that programming can flip to NBCSN or CNBC at times, but there should be no shortage of high-profile events to watch on Wednesday night.Nora Princiotti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @NoraPrinciotti.