The opening ceremony begins at a chilly night, meaning it's the official start of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. The ceremony includes fireworks, huge sparklers, and acrobats as each country's athletes march in. Italy, the host country, received the loudest ovation from the home crowd. Alberto Tomba had the honor of bringing in the Olympic flame and Stefania Belmondo lit the flame. The games have begun.
Primetime highlights include the figure skating pairs short program, the freestyle skiing women's moguls final, the speedskating men's 5000 meter final, luge men's singles, and the alpine skiing men's downhill training. Aired from 8PM to 11:30 PM.
Earlier coverage from the USA Network and CNBC include live biathlon and live women hockey.
Apollo Anton Ono makes his Winter Olympics debut after his controversial gold medal win during the Salt Lake games 4 years ago. In another shocking news, Michelle Kwan announced she will back out of this year's game due to her groin injury. NBC will make a tribute to her career right after the end of tonight's program. All that and much more in skiing, snowboarding, and luge.
The Russians and the Chinese pairs battle for gold on the ice. Also, the US women's halfpipe competitors look to repeat the success the US men had yesterday. Other events include the women's 15 meter Biathlon and the men's 500 meter speedskating.
Tonight's primetime highlights on NBC include the men's short program in figure skating, alpine skiing finals, the women's 500 meter speed skating final, and the women's singles luge final. The Russians will try to continue their domination with Evgeni Plushenko skating in the men's singles figure skating.
Men's hockey begins as Canada is set to defend its title against a pool of nations, with the Wayne Gretzky's gambling controversy looming in the background. Men's hockey will be aired on MSNBC and USA network. In prime-time, the women's downhill alpine skiing, the men's morguls freestyle skiing, men and women's short-track speed skating, and the luge doubles final will be shown.
Popular favorite Evgeni Plushenko looks to secure another gold medal for Russia in figure skating. Look for the men's figure skating final in primetime, as well as the new snowboard cross final, the men's and women's team pursuit speed skating final, and the women's skeleton final, all on NBC starting at 8 pm ET.
Russia already claimed two gold medals in figure skating and looks to continue their domination of the sport tonight in ice dancing. Russia's Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov are the favorites to win. Also in today's event, two of the four women's hockey team will advance to the gold medal round. Will it be another Canada and US final, or will Sweden and/or Finland surprise? Women's hockey will be aired in the afternoon in cable. Ice skating will be featured in primetime, as well as alpine skiing, snowboarding, ski jumping, and skeleton.
Four years ago, Apollo Anton Ono lost the gold medal in Men's 1000 meter Short Track due to a collision with other skaters in the final turn to the finish line. Today in Turin, he gets to redeem himself for the gold that eluded him in the Salt Lake City games. You can follow the men's and women's short track finals, men's K120 ski jumping finals, the two-man bobsled finals, and the men's and women's alpine skiing in today's NBC coverage.
Six pairs are within striking distance to take the gold medal in ice dancing as the original dance begins today. Fusar-Poli and Margaglio of the host country Italy are the surprising leaders. Also in primetime, the women's Super-G final in alpine skiing, the men's 4x10 km cross-country relay finals, the women's 1000 meter speedskating final, the two-man bobsled final, and women's freestyle skiing aerials competition final.
No American pairs have ever won a medal in ice dancing in 30 years. In fact, no American pairs have ever won a silver or gold in Olympic ice dancing. They have their best shot now with Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto in second place entering today's competition. Russia's Tatyana Navka and Roman Kostomarov are in first by a little over one point and are favored to win. Also, the women's hockey gold medal game between Canada and Sweden will be played during the afternoon. NBC's primetime coverage will cover the ice dancing free dance, the men's giant slalom alpine skiing final, the men's aerials freestyle skiing, and the large hill team ski jumping finals.
No country has ever swept all four gold medals in figure skating, but this year, Russia has already claimed three gold medals in the pairs figure skating, men's single figure skating, and yesterday's ice dancing. Today they will send Irina Sluskaya in an attempt to take the last ice skating gold medal. The women's short program is tonight on primetime, along with the women's bobsled final, and the men's 1500 meter speed skating final with the new intense rivalry of American skater Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick.
It's do or die for eight hockey teams today as the quarterfinals begin today. Can undefeated Finland and Slovakia challenge Canada for gold? The Men's hockey quarterfinals will be aired live on the USA Network in the afternoon. In primetime, the women's slalom alpine skiing final, the women's 1500 speedskating final, the men's parallel giant slalom snowboarding final, the women 3000 relay short track speedskating final, the 1000 prelims, and the men's 500 prelims.
The Ladies Long Program takes center stage tonight. Long considered the marquee event of the Olympics Sasha Cohen tries to become the third straight American to win the gold but the competition will be heated as less than a point separates the top three with Russian Irina Slutskaya in second and Japan's Shizuka Arakawa. American's Kimmie Meissner and Emily Hughes also try to medal at their first Olympics. The women's figure skating will be the main event on primetime, as well as men's aerials freestyle skiing final and the women's parallel giant slalom snowboarding final. Also in the evening on CNBC, the women's curling final between Sweden and Switzerland.
The final weekend of the 20th Olympic Winter Games is upon us. You can find several do or die match-ups in curling and hockey in cable. Canada will play Finland in the Gold Medal curling game on the USA Network. Men's hockey is down to the final four as the semifinals begin today on the MSNBC and the USA Network. As for primetime, this is your last chance to get a glimpse of this year's figure skaters in the Champion Gala. Also, the women's giant slalom alpine skiing final, the four man bobsled, and the men's 10,000 meter speed skating final as Chad Hedrick tries to get to the podium one last time in this year's Winter Games.
Texan Todd Hays said he will retire after this Winter Games as he will take the helm for Team USA in the four-men bobsled. The US haven't won gold in this even since 1948. The four-men bobsled is only one of the events in tonight's primetime, there is also the men's sladom alpine skiing final, the men's 15 km biathion final, the men's 5000 meter relay short track speed skating final, the women's 1000 meter final, and the last chance for Apollo Ono to grab another medal before the games end in the men's 500 meter short track speed skating final.
Also earlier today, the men's bronze medal hockey game between Russia and Czech Republic, the women's 5000 meter speed skating final, and the women's 12.5 km biathlon final.
Before the closing ceremony begins, there is still several piece of hardwares to be given out. The two final events in the Turin Winter Games is the Men's 50 km cross country final and the Men's gold medal hockey game between Sweden and undefeated Finland. Both events will be aired from 4 pm to 6 pm eastern time.
Then in primetime from 7 pm to 11pm, the closing ceremony to the Turin Games. The official theme for this year is "Carnevale". Vancouver's Mayor, Sam Sullivan, accepts the Olympic flag since his city will host the next Winter Games in 2006. The relinquish of the Olympic Flame marks the closing of this year's Winter Games.