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This weekend on Road to the Olympics: Winter sports schedule for Dec. 3-5

This weekend on Road to the Olympics: Winter sports schedule for Dec. 3-5
Posted at 8:59 AM, Dec 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-03 22:10:52-05

U.S. snowboarders and freeskiers compete in an Olympic selection event, Mikaela Shiffrin races the speed disciplines at Lake Louise, and Erin Jackson and Brittany Bowe look to continue their hot starts on the speed skating circuit. Here's what's happening this weekend (December 3-5) on the road to the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Alpine Skiing

The fifth stop on the FIS women’s Alpine skiing World Cup brings Mikaela Shiffrin and the world’s elite female ski racers to Alberta, Canada, for a full weekend of speed. Lake Louise is set to host the first two downhill races of the 2021-22 season on Friday and Saturday, followed by the super-G season opener on Sunday. Shiffrin enters the weekend as the early overall World Cup leader, fresh off her 46th career slalom victory Thanksgiving weekend in Killington. Shiffrin, a technical discipline specialist, will look to demonstrate that she can also contend for 2022 Olympic gold in the speed events. However, she faces steep competition in the form of defending discipline champions Sofia Goggia (downhill) and Lara Gut-Behrami (super-G).

Ester Ledecka, the ski/snowboard dual sport athlete and surprise super-G gold medalist at PyeongChang 2018, is also set to begin the Olympic season, as is 25-year-old American speedster Breezy Johnson.

All three days of competition can be streamed LIVE on Peacock.

Lake Louise World Cup (Women)
Day Event Time (ET), Platform
Fri 12/3 Women’s Downhill 1 2:30 p.m., Peacock
Sat 12/4 Women’s Downhill 2 2:30 p.m., Peacock
Sun 12/5 Women’s Super-G 12:30 p.m., Peacock

Meanwhile, the top male skiers are in the Rocky Mountains this weekend to attack the notorious “Birds of Prey” racecourse at Beaver Creek. As with the women north of the border, speed is the name of the game with super-G on Friday and downhill through the weekend.

The action actually got underway Thursday as Switzerland’s 24-year-old rising star Marco Odermatt claimed the super-G race of the season by more than three-quarters of a second over second place. Odermatt also won the giant slalom opener in October to take the overall season lead in the early stages. He’ll look to extend that lead throughout the weekend by holding off perennial podium threats Vincent Kriechmayr, Matthias Mayer and Alexis Pinturault, as well as Ryan Cochran-Siegle, the Americans’ best hope on home snow.

All three days of competition can be seen on NBCSN and Peacock.

Beaver Creek World Cup (Men)
Day Event Time (ET), Platform
Fri 12/3 Men’s Super-G 2 12:30 p.m., NBCSN
Sat 12/4 Men’s Downhill 1 1:00 p.m., NBCSN
Su 12/5 Men’s Downhill 2 2:00 p.m., Peacock

Snowboard Big Air

Colorado’s Steamboat Ski Resort features men’s and women’s FIS World Cup snowboard and freeski big air competitions on a 60-foot jump. It’s the second of four selection events for the U.S. Olympic slopestyle and big air team for snowboarding, but the only big air contest among those events. (The other three selection events are slopestyle competitions.) Up to two spots each on the men's and women's teams will be filled via the slopestyle world rankings, but for at least one of of the other spots (and possibly as many as three spots), priority will be given to athletes who earn at least one top-three finish at the selection events.

Thursday’s qualifying was topped by reigning X Games champion Marcus Kleveland of Norway in the men's event and 2020 X Games bronze medalist Reira Iwabuchi of Japan on the women's side. Joining them in Saturday’s finals are reigning women’s Olympic gold medalist Anna Gasser of Austria, and Canadian men’s duo Mark McMorris and Max Parrot, who traded gold and silver between the 2020 X Games and 2021 Worlds. Iwabuchi’s compatriot Miyabi Onitsuka, winner of the 2020 X title, placed 12th and didn’t advance. Nor did reigning men’s Olympic gold medalist Sebastien Toutant of Canada in 23rd.

American Hailey Langland, the 2017 X Games champion, was the sole U.S. snowboard team member to make either men’s or women’s finals, scoring an 89.00 on her second run with a frontside 900 Weddle for fifth. Slopestyle specialists Red Gerard and Julia Marino just missed the cuts, each by one spot.

Steamboat World Cup (Snowboarding)
Day Event Time (ET), Platform
Sat 12/4 Big Air Finals 11:30 a.m., Peacock
    9:00 p.m., NBCSN*

*Delayed broadcast

Freeski Big Air

For U.S. freeskiers, this weekend's World Cup event will be the third of five selection events for the Olympic slopestyle and big air team. Up to two spots each on the men's and women's teams will be filled via the slopestyle world rankings, but for at least one of of the other spots (and possibly as many as three spots), priority will be given to athletes who earn at least one top-three finish at the selection events.

In Friday's qualifying, 2019 world and two-time X Games big air champion Tess Ledeux of France claimed the top women's spot with a left double cork 1260 mute grab, while Swede Henrik Harlaut's left nosebutter triple cork 1620 safety grab received the best overall score of two men's heats. Ledeux won the October big air World Cup event in Chur, Switzerland.

Alex Hall and Colby Stevenson were the only two Americans to reach either final, placing a respective fourth and 10th overall. Hall, the 2019 X Games big air champion, threw down his signature switch left double cork 1800 buick, while 2021 world slopestyle runner-up Stevenson landed a switch double cork 1800 stale grab for the first time in competition. Their compatriot Hunter Henderson missed advancing by one spot, and so did Estonian Kelly Sildaru on the women's side.

Among those also headed to Saturday's finals: reigning Olympic slopestyle gold medalist Sarah Hoefflin of Switzerland, the second-place finisher in Chur; three-time X Games big air silver medalist Johanne Killi of Norway, third two weeks ago at the slopestyle World Cup event on Switzerland's Stubai Glacier; American-born Eileen Gu of China, the 2020 Youth Olympic big air gold medalist; reigning world champion Oliwer Magnusson of Sweden; Norwegian Birk Ruud, a four-time X Games big air medalist and the men's winner at Stubai slopestyle; and men's Big Air Chur winner Matej Svancer of Austria.

Steamboat World Cup (Freeskiing)
Day Event Time (ET), Platform
Sat 12/4 Big Air Finals 3:00 p.m. ET, Peacock
    11:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN*

*Delayed broadcast;

Speed Skating

The lone long track speed skating World Cup stop in the U.S. gets underway Friday with a full weekend of racing at the Utah Olympic Oval. Americans Erin Jackson and Brittany Bowe will have home ice advantage as they both look to continue blistering starts to the World Cup season. They have combined for five of the first 11 individual event titles on offer this winter.

The men’s mass start event, featuring three-time World Champion Joey Mantia of Ocala, Florida, looms as a must-see contest on Saturday.

All three days of competition can be seen on NBCSN and Peacock.

Salt Lake City World Cup
Day Event Time (ET), Platform
Fri 12/3 Day 1 2:30 p.m., Peacock
Sat 12/4 Day 2 2:30 p.m., Peacock
Sun 12/5 Day 3 2:30 p.m., Peacock
    8:30 p.m., NBCSN*

*Delayed broadcast

Bobsled/Skeleton

The 2021-22 IBSF World Cup is headed to Altenberg, Germant for its third stop of the season. After hosting two World Championships, the town is set to host its first World Cup event since 2019.

On the skeleton side, European Champion Elena Nikitina enters the event atop the women’s rankings, while world champion Christopher Grotheer leads the men. European champion Laura Nolte (two-woman) and Olympic champion Francesco Friedrich (two-man and four-man) are the overall bobsled leaders, while American three-time Olympian Elana Meyers Taylor won the first two World Cup races in the women’s monobob ahead of her appearance in Altenberg.

Additional world champions from Altenberg 2021 expected to race this weekend include Germans Tina Hermann (women’s skeleton) and Christopher Grotheer (men’s skeleton) and American bobsledder Kaillie Humphries.

Altenberg World Cup
Day Event Time (ET), Platform
Fri 12/3 Women's Skeleton 3:55 a.m., Olympics.com
    4:00 p.m., Olympic Channel*
  Men's Skeleton 8:25 a.m., Olympics.com
    5:00 p.m., Olympic Channel*
Sat 12/4 Women's Monobob 3:55 a.m., Olympics.com
    4:00 p.m., Olympic Channel*
  Two-Man Bobsled 8:25 a.m., Olympics.com
    5:00 p.m., Olympic Channel*
Sun 12/5 Two-Woman Bobsled 4:20 a.m., Olympics.com
    6:00 p.m., Olympic Channel*
  Four-Man Bobsled 8:25 a.m., Olympics.com
    7:00 p.m., Olympic Channel*
  Highlights 10:00 p.m., NBCSN

*Delayed broadcast

Luge

The third stop of the 2021-22 Luge World Cup brings the series to Sochi for the second straight week — the city picked up the event after Lake Placid was canceled due to visa issues — marking the first time two World Cups will be held in a row on the 2014 Olympic track. The entrants this weekend include 169 athletes from 27 nations, with 56 women, 53 men and 30 doubles. While the first Sochi World Cup event concluded with the team relay, this one will feature the first sprint competition of the season.

Last weekend, Latvian brothers Andris and Juris Sics won the doubles contest, while Germans Anna Berreiter and Johannes Ludwig won the women’s and men’s races, respectively. American Olympic medalist Chris Mazdzer finished 11th in doubles and 20th in singles at the second stop as he continues his recovery from breaking his foot on a training run in September.

Sochi World Cup
Day Event Time (ET), Platform
Sat 12/4 Doubles 2:30 a.m. ET, Olympics.com
  Men 5:45 a.m. ET, Olympics.com
  Highlights 6:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN
Sun 12/5 Women 2:30 a.m. ET, Olympics.com
  Sprint Men 5:30 a.m. ET, Olympics.com
  Sprint Doubles 6:15 a.m. ET, Olympics.com
  Sprint Women 6:50 a.m. ET, Olympics.com

Moguls & Aerials

The FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup opener at Finland’s Ruka Ski Resort features men’s and women’s aerials and moguls competitions, as well as mixed team aerials. A popular spot for skiers to train, the Finnish venue is slated to host more World Cup competition next weekend. Last season’s discipline circuit concluded in February at Utah’s Deer Valley and saw wins from Noe Roth and Danielle Scott in aerials and Mikael Kingsbury and Perrine Laffont in moguls.

The first of two World Cup individual aerials competitions took place Thursday (watch replay) with a standard qualification-finals format. Two-time reigning world champion Russian Maxim Burov topped the men’s qualifying and finals podium, while 2018 Olympic bronze medalist Kong Fanyu of China was the women’s victor. Quinn Dehlinger and Kaila Kuhn were the best American male and female finishers, respectively, placing eighth and 10th overall.

Separate, single-round aerials finals were held Friday. Burov again won the men’s competition (watch replay), bettering Thursday’s score by stomping a perfectly executed double Full-Full-Full to establish an 80-point lead in World Cup discipline standings. On the women’s side (watch replay), Kong’s compatriot Xu Mengtao, a six-time world individual medalist and winner of 2014 Olympic silver, bested her in a one-two finish. Americans Justin Schoenefeld and Winter Vinecki both posted fifth-place finishes for the U.S. freestyle ski team. Kuhn was eighth. Friday’s mixed team aerials (watch replay), an event making its Games debut in 2022, was won by China.

Full entry lists for Saturday’s moguls events were not immediately available early Friday. Among those U.S. Ski and Snowboard listed as its starters: two-time world dual moguls medalist and 2018 Olympic moguls seventh-place finisher Jaelin Kauf, two-time world dual moguls silver medalist Brad Wilson and 2019 world dual moguls bronze medalist Tess Johnson.

Ruka World Cup
Day Event Time (ET), Platform
Sat 12/4 Moguls Finals 9:00 a.m., Peacock

Cross-Country Skiing

The FIS Cross-Country Ski World Cup’s second stop of the 2021-22 season is at Birkebeineren Ski Stadium in Lillehammer, Norway, and features men’s and women’s individual sprint freestyles, men’s 15km free, women’s 10km free and both men’s (4x7.5km) and women’s (4x5km) relays. Last month’s Ruka opener in Finland saw Russians Alexander Terentyev and Alexander Bolshunov respectively win the individual sprint classical and 15km freestyle pursuit men’s events, and on the women’s side, Swede Frida Karlsson and Norwegian Therese Johaug trading the top two spots in the 10km classical and 10km pursuit freestyle.

In Friday’s individual sprint freestyle competitions, Swede Maja Dahlqvist, the women’s sprint classical winner at Ruka, was victorious to stay perfect at the distance this World Cup season; American Jessie Diggins earned her first podium of 2021-22 in second, and compatriot Rosie Brennan was fifth. On the men’s side, Norwegian Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, the distance’s reigning Olympic and two-time world champion, took the win after a runner-up at Ruka.

The men’s 15km and 10km frees on Saturday feature both reigning world champion Norwegians Hans Christer Holund and Johaug. Diggins is also entered. Start lists for Sunday’s relays weren’t immediately available Friday afternoon.

Lillehammer World Cup
Day Event Time (ET), Platform
Sat 12/4 Men's 15km 4:00 a.m., Peacock
  Women's 10km 6:00 a.m., Peacock
Sun 12/5 Men's Relay 3:20 a.m., Peacock
  Women's Relay 5:45 a.m., Peacock

Ski Jumping

The 2021-22 FIS Nordic Combined World Cup is in Lillehammer, Norway, for two full days of ski jumping competition.

Both days of competition can be streamed LIVE on Peacock.

Lillehammer World Cup
Day Event Time (ET), Platform
Sat 12/4 Day 1 3:00 a.m., Peacock
Sun 12/5 Day 2 10:00 a.m., Peacock

Nordic Combined

Olympic hopefuls will be in action this weekend as they look to earn a spot for the Nordic combined competition at the Winter Games. The men’s HS 98 will begin Saturday at 3 a.m. ET, followed by the men's Team 4x5km at 7:40 a.m. ET. On Sunday, the men's HS 140 commences at 4:50 a.m. ET with the men’s Individual 10km starting at 8 a.m. ET. All of the action can be streamed on Peacock.

Lillehammer World Cup
Day Event Time (ET), Platform
Sat 12/4 Men's Team Ski Jump 3:00 a.m., Peacock
  Women's Ski Jump 5:25 a.m., Peacock
  Men's Team Relay 7:40 a.m., Peacock
  Women's 5km 8:50 a.m., Peacock
Sun 12/5 Men's Ski Jump 4:50 a.m., Peacock
  Men's 10km 8:00 a.m., Peacock

 

Curling

The 2021 Olympic Qualification Event for curling kicks off Sunday in Leeuwarden, where countries will be squaring off for the final qualification spots for the 2022 Winter Olympics. The United States has already qualified for men's and women's team curling, but still needs to lock down a spot for the mixed doubles competition. The duo of Chris Plys and Vicky Persinger were victorious at the U.S. Olympic Curling Mixed Doubles Trials, but they'll need a strong showing in the Netherlands in order to qualify for the Games.

The mixed doubles tournament features 14 teams, and the first games get underway on Sunday with the U.S. playing both Japan and Estonia on that day. The tournament runs through Thursday, December 9, and NBCSports.com will stream live coverage of the U.S. games starting on Monday (full streaming schedule here).