2022 Winter Olympics preview: How to watch Summit County’s competing athletes
Watch for freestyle skier Dylan Walczyk; snowboarders Chris Corning, Red Gerard and Taylor Gold; and skeleton racer Katie Uhlaender
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to add an additional Summit County athlete.
The biggest event in winter sports is almost here as the 2022 Winter Olympics is now within a week of kicking off, with the opening ceremonies scheduled to take place Friday, Feb. 4.
A couple of events will take place before the official opening ceremonies, but the vast majority of Olympic events will be after all the participating countries march inside National Stadium in Beijing.
Beijing is 15 hours ahead of the mountain time zone, meaning most events will be broadcast live early in the morning and rebroadcast in a prime-time slot in the evening. The opening ceremonies will be broadcast at two times in the U.S.: live at 4:30 a.m. on NBC’s streaming platform Peacock and rebroadcast beginning at 6 p.m. on NBC.
After the opening ceremonies — where U.S. athletes are expected to be decked out in red, white and blue Ralph Lauren parkas — the real action of the 24th Winter Olympiad will get underway.
Dylan Walczyk, who is a freestyle mogul skier and a resident of Breckenridge, is one of the few athletes who will start competing before the opening ceremonies. Walczyk is a Ski and Snowboard Club Vail athlete and is coached by John Dowling out of Vail.
Walczyk will compete at 3:45 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 3, with coverage on USA Network and Peacock.
This will be Walczyk’s first Olympics, but he has made two World Championship teams, once in 2013 and again in 2017.
If Walczyk makes the finals, he will compete Feb. 5 with coverage starting at 4:30 a.m. on USA Network and Peacock.
For Summit County, the remaining action will take place in the snowboard discipline with coverage mainly taking place in the late evening.
Chris Corning and Red Gerard will compete in men’s big air and slopestyle while Taylor Gold will compete in the men’s halfpipe.
Corning and Gerard will compete early on in the Games, with the slopestyle competition getting underway with a two-run qualifier, which will be broadcast live on Peacock from 9:30 to 11:32 p.m. Feb. 5.
The two Summit County locals are expected to make the finals, with Gerard expected to defend his 2018 Pyeongchang gold medal, which he won in grand fashion when he was only 17 years old.
Corning has competed well this season, notching a second-place finish at the Winter Dew Tour, and he will look to continue his success at the Olympics to hopefully improve upon his ninth-place slopestyle finish at the 2018 Games.
The slopestyle finals will take place a little less than 24 hours later on Feb. 6. The event will be broadcast from 9 to 10:19 p.m. on Peacock.
While Gerard and Corning rest up for the big air competition, Gold will compete in the men’s snowboard halfpipe qualifications from 9:30 to 11:10 p.m. Feb. 8 on Peacock.
Gold is expected to dramatically improve upon his 14th place finish at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and might even make the finals. Gold will compete against fellow Americans Lucas Foster, Chase Joesy and five-time Olympian Shaun White.
If Gold does make the finals, he will compete two days later Feb. 10 with the broadcast starting at 6 p.m. on NBC. Finals will consist of three runs and will comprise about half the 25-man qualification field with 12 riders.
The snowboard big air competition will not take place until the last week of the Olympics, with qualifications starting Feb. 13. The event will be broadcast on Peacock starting at 10:30 p.m.
The qualification round will consist of three runs, with each competitor’s best run counting toward their final score. The top 12 riders from the qualification round will advance to a three-run final.
In 2018, Corning barely missed the podium, finishing in fourth, but he is expected to make a run at the podium this year. Gerard will also look to improve on his fifth-place 2018 finish and might even challenge Corning for a podium position.
Big air finals will take place Feb. 14 with coverage on Peacock starting at 10 p.m.
Closing ceremonies for the 2022 Winter Olympics will take place Feb. 20 and will be broadcast live at 5 a.m. on Peacock and again at 6 p.m. on NBC.
In terms of total medals, the U.S. is expected to put up a similar medal count to 2018 in Pyeongchang, when the U.S. garnered 23 medals with nine gold, eight silver and six bronze. The U.S. is projected to finish around fourth place in the medal count with Norway being the early favorite.
The full Olympic schedule alongside a detailed broadcast schedule can be found at NBCOlympics.com. All Peacock live events will require a premium membership, which costs $5 per month but is free to Comcast Xfinity cable subscribers.
Breckenridge resident Katie Uhlaender will round out the Summit County talent in the skeleton competition. Uhlaender is set to start competition at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 10 and will complete her final of four runs starting at 4:20 a.m. Feb. 12. All of Uhlaender’s runs can be watched on Peacock TV.
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