3 to see: Summit County shredders drop-in for debut Olympic big air event
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 Tuesday:
What: Men’s snowboard big air, qualifying round
When: Heat 1 — Tuesday, 5:30 p.m. MST Heat 2 – Tuesday, 7:45 p.m. MST
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Where to watch: Heats 1 and 2 — http://stream.nbcolympics.com/snowboarding-mens-big-air-qualifying
Why: Because Red Gerard will make his first appearance in competition since he became a household Olympic name with his slopestyle gold medal victory earlier in the games. And because, after they both failed to qualify for the men’s snowboard slopestyle final, Gerard’s fellow Silverthorne snowboarders Chris Corning and Kyle Mack are hungry to prove they belong in the debut Olympic big air final with the world’s best. The Summit County trio of Gerard, Corning and Mack will be joined by Alaska’s Ryan Stassel during the two-heat qualifier. All four have the talent to make it to the final, but, just like slopestyle, it won’t be easy.
After they took silver and bronze respectively in Olympic slopestyle last week, Canada’s Max Parrot and Mark McMorris will have their eyes on gold. And after his gold medal in slopestyle at last month’s X Games, it wouldn’t be wise to discount Norwegian Marcus Kleveland as a favorite to medal in Pyeongchang.
What: Women’s downhill, qualifying round
When: Tuesday, 7 p.m. MST
Where to watch: http://stream.nbcolympics.com/alpine-skiing-womens-downhill
Why: Because even though Mikaela Shiffrin pulled herself out of the downhill race at the 11th hour in order to not compete on back-to-back days, Team USA still has a favorite for a medal in veteran Lindsey Vonn. And for Vonn — the gold medalist in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics downhill event — this week’s downhill and alpine combined events may be the final Olympic competitions of her decorated career.
“I’ve tried not to think about it as being my last Olympic downhill,” the 33-year-old Vail resident said while in South Korea. “Just focus on the moment — the right here and the right now. And I think later on I’ll reflect on how much I enjoyed it and how much my teammates and my coaches made it special for me.”
Vonn finished with the best time in the downhill training Sunday and was the third-fastest racer in the training on Monday.
The U.S. Ski Team will officially anounce its four entries in the women’s downhill event following the final training run on Monday night at 7 p.m. MST. Vonn and Alice McKennis, who placed ninth in training, are expected to be two of the entrants. Other Americans include Breezy Johnson, Laurenne Ross, Alice Merryweather and Stacey Cook.
What: Men’s ski cross, elimination rounds
When: Tuesday, 9:15 p.m. MST
Why: Because even though there isn’t a single American slated to compete in men’s ski cross, there’s a Colorado flavor to the Canadian team. Canada’s Chris Del Bosco, a five-time X Games ski cross medalist, is a medal contender who was raised in Vail and is a former member of the U.S. Ski Team. Skiing for Canada in South Korea, Del Bosco is aiming for Canada’s first men’s Olympic medal in ski cross after the event made its debut at the 2010 Olympics.
The totality of the Olympic men’s ski cross competition will take place on Wednesday in South Korea — Tuesday here in Colorado — from the seeding round in the morming to the medal round in the afternoon. The race consists of six skiers zigging and zagging down a steep and narrow track of jumps and berms.
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