Beijing Olympic Highlights for 2/7/2022

NBC Olympics continued its primetime coverage of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, China, tonight on NBC, USA Network and Peacock. Mike Tirico serves as NBC Olympics primetime host and opened coverage.

Tonight’s show marked Tirico’s final night hosting Olympic primetime coverage from Beijing. Maria Taylor and NBC News’ Craig Melvin will co-host coverage tomorrow night’s (Feb. 8), with Taylor at NBC Sports’ International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn., and Melvin in Beijing. Tirico will host primetime coverage from Stamford on Wednesday and Thursday before traveling to Los Angeles for Super Bowl LVI. He will anchor Friday and Saturday night primetime Olympic coverage from a set outside SoFi Stadium. Tirico will host Super Bowl LVI pre-game coverage and primetime coverage on NBC’s “Super Gold Sunday,” before returning to Stamford on Monday where he will anchor the remainder of the Games.

Highlights of upcoming coverage include:

    • Two-time Olympic gold medalist and the winningest slalom skier in World Cup history Mikaela Shiffrin is expected to continue her quest for multiple medals at the 2022 Winter Olympics in the women’s slalom tomorrow live in primetime at 8 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock;
    • 2018 Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim makes her 2022 Winter Olympics debut in women’s snowboarding halfpipe qualifying tomorrow live at 8 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock (also presented live at 8:30 p.m. ET on USA Network);
    • Three-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White, who is competing in his fifth Olympic Games, headlines the men’s snowboarding halfpipe qualifying field tomorrow live at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.
    • In the Olympic debut of big air in freestyle skiing, 2018 Olympian Alex Hall is expected to be a medal contender in the event, with the final airing tomorrow live at 8 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.

 

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

FIGURE SKATING – NBC & PEACOCK

Terry Gannon on Nathan Chen’s world record short program: “It’s not 2018 anymore. This era has belonged to Nathan Chen.”

Tara Lipinski on Chen: “You know what Nathan Chen just said with that performance? ‘You can stop asking me about PyeongChang.’ A distant memory. A perfectly clean short program…It was like a French daydream. It suits his style so well. The Nathan I know is optimistic and artistic and easy going, and this taps into all of those personalities in skating. It was spectacular…He did not skate to lose, he skated to win.”

Johnny Weir on Chen: “It’s like he just has ice running through his veins. He approaches every competition with this chill, this swagger, but his reaction at the end of this short program I think was the most telling reaction we’ve ever seen from him in competition. The pressure on those shoulders – those capable shoulders – but incredible, incredible pressure that he’s dealt with, that performance was a stunner. He did everything he needed to do.”

Gannon on Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu’s short program: “After all the build-up, Yuzuru Hanyu had to play catch-up from the start.”

Lipinski on Hanyu: “His short program is his forte, it’s where he makes his most important chess move putting Nathan Chen in check and setting the tone. That was shocking.”

Weir: “That first jump of his Olympic performance could be the one that costs him the gold medal.”

Lipinski on Jason Brown: “Very simply, this short program is a work of art. Forget about his technical, forget about if he’s doing a quad or not, his choreography to this music is iconic. It cannot be replicated…What he does in his in-between skating is the best in the world and I don’t think that there are many skaters out there that can match it.”

Weir on Brown: “It is so stunning that you almost forget you are watching a competition.”

Lipinski on Japan’s Shoma Uno’s short program: “There is so much attention on Nathan Chen and Yuzuru Hanyu, but do not forget Shoma. He is the reigning Olympic silver medalist and he’s coming here for a gold medal.”

Lipinski on Japan’s Yuma Kagiyama’s short program: “I could not stop smiling…I haven’t seen a talent like this in a long time. He rose to the top so quickly. He was just a junior two years ago, and I’ll say it out there, bold statement – he is my dark horse for Olympic gold.”

ALPINE SKIING – NBC & PEACOCK

Dan Hicks on Ryan Cochran-Siegle’s silver medal-winning Super-G run: “Ryan Cochran-Siegle has been waiting a long time for a run like this!”

Ted Ligety on Cochran-Siegle’s run: “That was amazing to see what he’s been able to do. He’s been really frustrated trying to find his skiing and the position and right track on this snow, and today, that was a ripper…Today he figured it out. Honestly, I’m emotional too. I’ve spent so much time with this kid most of my career and just seeing him pull it out on a huge day is awesome.”

Lindsey Vonn on Cochran-Siegle: “That was such an amazing run. It literally looked effortless. He was smooth the whole way down, you didn’t see a lot of excess motion, he wasn’t throwing snow anywhere. He was absolutely clean, carried speed well top-to-bottom…RCS must be so, so proud of himself right now. That was spectacular.”

Cochran-Siegle to Todd Lewis on if his recovery from injuries made this run mean more: “I think 365 days ago I was walking out of a bed from neck surgery, so it’s special. As an athlete, you’re always charging and always trying to get better, so I think sometimes you can use it as fuels but just never giving up ion yourself.”

Steve Porino: “Let’s be honest – we were talking to the coaches, talking to each other, and we didn’t see this coming. And it felt like Ryan Cochran-Siegle, he felt as though it wasn’t his time, and yet delivered the way he did there. I do not have the words for the performance that he just put together under that kind of pressure when the skiing hadn’t been there for him, and he pulled it out like that. My jaw is on the table.”

Porino on the number of falls during Super-G runs: “This is the Olympics. Super-G is one of those disciplines – or the discipline – where you need to take almost the highest risk because you don’t know what the speeds are going to be, and you have to be on the bitter edge.”

***

FREESTYLE SKIING – NBC & PEACOCK

Shane Bacon on Eileen Gu: “We’ve talked about a star in the making, this is simply a superstar…The 18-year-old, here to represent China, wanted to introduce snow sports and free skiing to people in this country, to young people. She said, ‘If I can change one young girl’s life and show her one new passion or help break one boundary, then the decision was worth it.’ … Eileen Gu is gold.”

Tom Wallisch on Gu’s gold medal-winning final run: “That is a trick, I don’t know if she’s ever attempted that on snow, and that’s what free skiing is all about. That’s not qualified, she didn’t know what she was going to try. She knew the competition was so high, so she just went out there and had to do something bigger and better to reach for the gold.”

***

TIRICO ON EILEEN GU, THOMAS BACH & PENG SHUAI

Tirico: “Eileen Gu, winning the Big Air final. If you were watching, you may have noticed the blue jacket over her right shoulder – IOC President Thomas Bach in the finish area. The IOC has confirmed that earlier at the venue, Bach was watching with Peng Shuai, and you can’t help but notice the intersection here. Here’s Gu performing, the San Francisco-born daughter to a Chinese mother, competing for China in part because she says she wants to inspire future generations of female Chinese athletes, as there remains international concern for Peng, the established Chinese sports star, three-time Olympian, and questions about her ability to speak freely continue to persist. As that continues to play out, one other note: Bach said that Peng told him she’ll be leaving the Olympic bubble today and entering quarantine. If you come into the Olympic bubble, you have to go back into quarantine before you resume life outside the Olympic bubble in China.”

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