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2022 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES – FEB. 15 PRIMETIME HIGHLIGHTS ON NBC & PEACOCK

“This edition of the event clouded by controversy and uncertainty, and at least in the short term, will not be able to deliver what a competition is supposed to deliver: a clear, definitive result.” – Mike Tirico on the women’s short program and Kamila Valiyeva

“If you can’t play fair, then you can’t play. And it is a shame because she is a tremendous athlete.” – Johnny Weir on Russian figure skater Kamila Valiyeva

“That’s an Olympic moment that she will never forget. I had so much fun watching her, I felt like I couldn’t stop smiling.” – Tara Lipinski on Team USA’s Alysa Liu in the women’s short program

“He’s ‘The Great Hall in China!’ American Alex Hall claims gold.” – Todd Harris on Team USA’s Alex Hall winning gold in men’s slopestyle

USA-Canada Women’s Hockey Gold Medal Game to Air Live Tomorrow (Feb. 16) at 11:05 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock

STAMFORD, Conn. – Feb. 15, 2022 – NBC Olympics continued its primetime coverage of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, China, tonight on NBC and Peacock. Mike Tirico serves as NBC Olympics primetime host and opened coverage from NBC Sports’ International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn.

Highlights of upcoming coverage include:




    • Adding yet another chapter to one of the fiercest rivalries in sports, Team USA and Team Canada will face off in the Olympic women’s hockey gold medal game at the Wukesong Sports Center in Beijing, China, on tomorrow night, Wed., Feb. 16 at 11:05 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock
    • Two-time Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin is expected to be a medal contender in the women’s combined, which gets underway with the downhill run tomorrow live in primetime on NBC and Peacock and the slalom run presented live at 10 p.m. PT/1 a.m. ET on USA Network and Peacock
    • Qualifying in the women’s halfpipe freestyle skiing event will be presented tomorrow live in primetime on USA Network and Peacock, with a portion also airing live on NBC. 2018 Olympic bronze medalist Brita Sigourney and Hanna Faulhaber are expected to lead the American group of contenders. Eileen Gu (China) is also a medal contender in the event
    • The U.S. men’s curling team, skipped by 2018 Olympic gold medalist John Shuster, plays Denmark in its final matchup of pool play tomorrow live at 8 pm ET on CNBC and Peacock

Following are highlights from tonight’s primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics on the platforms of NBCUniversal:

FIGURE SKATING – NBC & PEACOCK

Mike Tirico on today’s short program, Kamila Valiyeva and the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s ruling: “This edition of the event clouded by controversy and uncertainty, and at least in the short term, will not be able to deliver what a competition is supposed to deliver: a clear, definitive result, because over the objections of the International Skating Union, the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Court of Arbitration of Sport has ruled that Kamila Valiyeva can compete as her positive drug test is adjudicated. And when you add in the larger saga that surrounds the specific issue of Valiyeva’s positive drug test – Russia’s recent history with doping – it casts a large shadow over the biggest night of a four-year cycle in this sport.”

Terry Gannon on the women’s short program and Valiyeva: “So, this is different. Let’s look at it honestly here – bizarre, frankly, and if you’re feeling that sentiment at home, we’re right there with you. We’ve got an athlete who has tested positive for a banned substance being allowed to compete at the Olympics and if she finishes in the top-three, the results may not be the results. There are more questions than answers right now.”

Tara Lipinski: “In my opinion, she should not be skating in this competition. We have to remind ourselves that she is just 15 years old, a minor, and I know more than any what it’s like to compete in an Olympic Games at 15 years old, but a positive test is a positive test. She cannot skate.”

Johnny Weir: “I completely agree. If you can’t play fair, then you can’t play. And it is a shame because she is a tremendous athlete.”

Weir: “I think so many people, myself included, saw her as the favorite for the Olympic gold medal, and now it’s such a letdown. It’s heartbreaking to have to reassess the way you feel really about everything in this competition…With all of this news, I feel so uncomfortable as a skater and as a skating fan in even having to commentate (on) her performance simply because she should not be able to compete in this competition.”

Lipinski: “Right, Johnny. I feel like I have that same feeling. I don’t even know what to feel, I just have this mix of emotions where I feel disoriented…I know at 15 (years old) the pressures of dealing with an Olympic Games – overwhelming feelings. So, for someone as young as Kamila dealing with this, it’s heartbreaking. You just really hope there’s adults around her that will finally step in and guide her and help her.”

Gannon on Valiyeva: “Many feeling sympathy for a 15-year-old who’s been in a searing spotlight with the world watching, but also feeling strongly she should not be allowed to compete.”

Weir after Valiyeva’s performance: “All I can feel like I can say is that was the short program of Kamila Valiyeva at the Olympics.”

Lipinski after Valiyeva’s performance: “I don’t know how many times over the past year I’ve said that she is the best figure skater I’ve ever seen, and just saying that now not only makes me confused, but it makes me angry and again, I’m disoriented by everything that I thought I knew.”

Gannon on Team USA’s Alysa Liu’s short program: “Does she ever look nervous?”

Lipinski on Liu: “Not at all, Terry. She couldn’t have asked for a better short program. There was so much energy and presence throughout that skate…That’s an Olympic moment that she will never forget. I had so much fun watching her, I felt like I couldn’t stop smiling. It’s like listening to a Bruno Mars song – you have to sing along and dance along to it.”

Weir on Liu: “Her skating is so approachable. It’s something that everybody can enjoy, like ice cream…She did exactly what she needed to do. This was strategic, it was strong, and it will hold her up high in this competition.”

Weir on Team USA’s Mariah Bell: “(She) weaves and ebbs and flows through the program in the choreography, it’s what makes Mariah Bell so wonderful.”

Lipinski on Bell: “She always go for it in competition, and that’s one thing I love about her skating. Beyond that mistake, she was flawless. She just lights up on the ice. She genuinely loves skating and competing, and it translates so well. It’s like she’s this shining light out there -- almost like a Care Bear, like a Sunshine Care Bear with beams coming out of her.”

Lipinski on Team USA Karen Chen’s fall: “This is what hurts to watch as a skater knowing this feeling…She’s tried so hard to change her mindset to attack everything she’s got in these programs and she had the attack here, but once again it’s not the short program she wanted to leave on this Olympic stage.”

***

FREESTYLE SKIING – NBC & PEACOCK

Todd Harris on Team USA’s Alex Hall winning gold and the men’s slopestyle podium: “He’s ‘The Great Hall in China! American Alex Hall claims gold…I love it when it comes together and it works out properly, and for me today, those were the three best.”

Tom Wallisch on Team USA’s Hall and Nick Goepper winning gold and silver: “Just incredible skiing. The creativity from Alex Hall is what led to the top of the podium, and talk about Nick Goepper, coming back for a third Olympics and another medal.”

Wallisch on Hall’s gold medal-winning score of 90.01 on his first run: “When you have three runs and you lay down a beauty on the first run, the pressure is off…The creativity of this run is off the charts. There’s so much interesting jumping going on…Creativity, that’s the name of the game in freestyle skiing. He does the creative elements better than anybody else.”

Wallisch on Hall waiting for other athletes to complete their final runs while sitting in first place: “I can see why he got a little bit excited, and it’s because you’re sitting in first place in the final run of the Olympics. Just a little bit of a big deal.”

Wallisch on Team USA’s Colby Stevenson, who finished seventh: “With the run and the technicality he’s trying to put into it, it’s a gold medal run if he gets it. He’s not trying to settle for that third-place position, so he really is giving it everything he has with the most difficult run he could possibly do, and it’s admirable to see.”

***

BOBSLED – NBC & PEACOCK

Leigh Diffey: “They call the Yanqing National Sliding Center the snow dragon or the cool dragon, but sometimes, as we’ve seen, it can be an aggressive dragon…They race for gold right here at the house of speed.”

Diffey on Germany pilot Francesco Friedrich: “When you come to an Olympic Winter Games as the defending co-gold medalists, because there was a tie in PyeongChang, the pressure is on. And the pressure is really on Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis.”

John Morgan on gold medalists Friedrich and Margis: “This is quite a pair. What Brady and Gronk are in the current relationship in sports, these two -- they’ve been paired up for four world championships together in two-man...It is unbelievable what (Friedrich) brought to the sport.”

Morgan on Team Jamaica in the two-man bobsled: “Just love it. They’re not going to win any medals but if (I)go any place on the planet and I tell people I’m involved in bobsled, the first thing they say to me is, ‘Jamaica.’ These guys are the most famous team on the planet. Bottom line, that is it.”

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ABOUT NBC OLYMPICS

NBCUniversal will provide coverage of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games from Feb. 2-20. The Opening Ceremony will be presented on Friday, Feb. 4, live in the morning and again in primetime on NBC and Peacock. Similar to recent Winter Games, NBC’s primetime Olympic coverage begins the night before the Opening Ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 3. Coverage begins on Wednesday, Feb. 2, on USA Network and Peacock. NBCUniversal is presenting its 18th Olympic Games, 12th consecutive overall, and sixth straight Winter Games, all the most by any U.S. media company.

— NBC OLYMPICS —