3 to see: First-ever Olympic speedskating mass start events highlight weekend action
Although Summit County is 16 hours behind the time in Pyeongchang, South Korea, NBCOlympics.com is providing those who want to gorge on Olympics content the opportunity to watch every event live via NBCOlympics.com/video.
That said, here are three events for Summit County sports fans to see on Saturday and Sunday:
What: Men’s and women’s speedskating mass start
When: Saturday, 4 a.m (MST)
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Why: Because this is one of the first times in (modern) Olympic history a mass start speedskating event will take place at an Olympics. The event’s format will consist of the same start type used for years in the biathlon, cross-country skiing and short track speedskating mass start events. Technically, Pyeongchang 2018 will be the second time a mass start-type speedskating event will occur at an Olympics. Way back in 1932, a similar speedskating event was held at the third Winter Olympiad, in Lake Placid, New York. But at the 1932 Lake Placid Olympics, competitors took part in heats of six skaters in a format that was common in North America at the time. In recent years, contemporary mass start events were added to the ISU World Cup circuit beginning with the 2011-12 season. The International Olympic Committee then announced in 2015 that the event would join the next Olympic program, hence, its inclusion this year.
What: Four-man bobsled, Rounds 3 and 4
When: Saturday, 5:30 p.m. (MST)
Where to watch: http://stream.nbcolympics.com/bobsled-four-man-3-4
Why: Because there is one last question within the bobsleigh world as the Olympics round to a close: Can the Germans pull off a sweep? The German two-man team of Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis tied for the two-man gold with Canadians Justin Kripps and Alexander Kopacz earlier this week. But with a gold in that event and with the German women’s duo of Mariama Jamanka and Lisa Buckwitz also winning gold in the two-woman event, if the Germans pull off gold in four-man, they will have won three out of three possible golds in bobsleigh at this year’s games. It’s the German quartet led by driver Johannes Lochner that may have the best shot at gold, but the prideful bobsleigh nation may take gold through bronze in this event after all, as the two other German teams led by drivers Nico Walther and Friedrich are also contenders for gold.
What: Closing Ceremony
When: Sunday, 4 a.m (MST)
Where to watch: http://stream.nbcolympics.com/pyeongchang-closing-ceremony
Why: Because, though it will be bittersweet for many, it’s one last time during these Pyeongchang Games to honor American stars — like Summit County’s own gold medalist Red Gerard — who rocketed to international superstardom during their time in South Korea. Another one of those sudden stars, American cross-country gold medalist Jessie Diggins, will be the flag bearer for the red, white and blue as they process through the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium one final time.
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