If you were unable to watch any live Olympic coverage today, consider yourself lucky. NBCSN bounced from live coverage to day-old coverage and back again, which was confusing and a little boring. There were live events being contested at, for instance, 9:30 a.m., but instead NBCSN showed snowboarder Jamie Anderson going for the gold. Except Jamie Anderson had already gone for the gold Sunday, and got the gold, and took the gold to the “Today” show, and is now probably asleep with the gold.
But a light day means tonight’s menu (8-11:30 p.m.) is chock-a-block with the haute cuisine of the Olympics: freestyle moguls, speedskating — both long and short track — and skiing. The only dish missing is the creme brulee that is figure skating. That sport is taking a day off before resuming Tuesday with the pairs.
Let’s start with the women’s super-combined event. That coverage was aged in a seasoned oak cask for about 12 hours, then served to NBC’s largely unsuspecting masses in prime time.
The bigger the race, the better Julia Mancuso performs. That was the case again Monday when she won the bronze medal in the super combined (two runs, one downhill, one slalom, with the times combined). And she did it without completing a slalom run in nearly a year prior to Monday’s run. Monday’s medal was the fourth of her Olympic career, twice as many as any other American women’s Alpine skier.
Canadian Alex Bilodeau successfully defended his gold medal in freestyle moguls, edging countryman Mikael Kingsbury. Russian Alexandr Smyshlyaev won bronze. American Patrick Deneen made the finals but finished sixth.
You’ll see double in the men’s 500 speedskating, but don’t worry — it’s not Olympic eyestrain, it’s twins! The Dutch swept the podium, with Michel Mulder winning gold and Ronald Mulder the bronze. Teammate Jan Smeekens was the silver filling in the Mulder sandwich. Defending champion Mo Tae-bum of South Korea finished fourth.
Shani Davis was the top American finisher, in 24th, but the 500 is not the star’s best distance. That is the 1,000, on Wednesday.
Let’s move past the “Oh, no, no Ohno!” jokes and move on to the short-track speedskating, which got underway early Monday morning.
You’ll see 29-year-old Canadian Charles Hamelin win his third Olympic medal, a gold in the 1,500 meters. Han Tianyu of China won silver and Vikton Ahn took the bronze. Ahn won three gold medals for South Korea but after missing the 2010 Olympics, he changed his name and became a Russian citizen. His new countrymen cheered him enthusiastically and they should; his bronze was Russia’s first medal in short track. American J.R. Celski, who won the bronze in 2010, finished fourth.
You might see some of the preliminaries in the women’s 500. Although not on NBC’s schedule, American Emily Scott was a surprise qualifier for the semifinals.
And perhaps we’ll get see some film of NHL players arriving in Russia on their charter. Alex Ovechkin made it, because he tweeted photos of his skates, and the Capitals star practiced with Team Russia. The men’s tournament begins Wednesday, but neither the United States nor Russia play till Thursday.
P.S. Remember, this is what to watch, not when to watch. NBC doesn’t give us a minute-by-minute broadcast schedule; otherwise, viewers could cherry-pick the prime-time show for their favorite events and then turn away. And NBC definitely doesn’t want that.