Olympic TV schedule: What to watch Feb. 20

Thursday’s Olympic schedule was light, to put it nicely. Thank goodness for figure skating, the gift that keeps on giving … at least for one more night.

NBC will spend a lot of its prime-time schedule on the women’s free skate — and it will be well worth it. There were some brilliant performances, but none better than Adelina Sotnikova, who gave Russia its first gold medal in women’s skating.

Sotnikova entered the competition in second place by just .32 points, behind defending world and Olympic champion Kim Yu-na of Korea. Sotnikova skated before Kim, and she was nearly flawless, earning a score of 149.95. Kim’s program was error-free but a little flat compared to the 17-year-old Russian, who reveled in the cheers of the home crowd.

When it was over, Sotnikova had won by more than five points, a decisive margin.

Carolina Kostner was in third place coming in, and she stayed there for the bronze after a beautiful performance to “Bolero.”

American Gracie Gold was fourth, and Ashley Wagner of Virginia was seventh. Julia Lipnitskaia, the darling of Russia after the team competition, finished fifth, but at 15, she has a few Olympics yet to come.

Four Americans made the final in the freestyle halfpipe, but Maddie Bowman is the only one who made it to the podium. She led after the first run and bettered her score in the second (winners are determined by the best of the two runs). Marie Martinod of France won silver and Ayana Onozuka took the bronze.

Again, one assumes NBC will show a bit of the women’s hockey medal games. Switzerland shocked Sweden for the bronze, giving the country its first hockey medal since 1948. And in the gold medal game, Canada defeated the United States in overtime.

Certainly, you’ll get a soupcon of the men’s ski cross, where France got the first podium sweep in its history Thursday. Jean Frederic Chapuis, Arnaud Bovolenta and Jonathan Midol won gold, silver and bronze, respectively. “Two good friends. I can’t explain how it feels,” Midol said. “We had a dream to make the podium with friends. The Olympic Games, three French on the podium is incredible.”

Incroyable indeed.

More Olympics news

Russian Sotnikova wins figure skating gold; Americans finish 4th, 7th, 9th

Alex Ovechkin’s father stable after heart surgery

20-year old American Maddie Bowman wins gold in ski halfpipe

D.C. barista scores go-ahead goal, helps Switzerland to bronze medal

Some Ukrainian athletes leave Sochi because of deadly protests at home

Switzerland wins first ice-hockey medal since 1948

If you love curling, shout it from the rooftops!

Jenkins: A burden too large to bear for 15-year-old Lipnitskaia

Wise: For the hosts, it’s over and out in men’s hockey

Photos from Day 13 | Daily TV schedule | U.S. medal winners

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