Team USA is sending the largest Winter Olympic team for any nation in history with 242 athletes set to compete in Pyeongchang. With 15 different sports to follow and multiple events within each sport, there’s a lot going on in South Korea for the United States. Sports like alpine skiing, figure skating, snowboarding, and hockey all have a big U.S. presence, and we’ve outlined a day-by-day event schedule with highlights that will feature some of the top athletes in the world representing Team USA. Key competitors include skiers Lindsey Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin and Ted Ligety in addition to snowboarders Shaun White, Kelly Clark and Jamie Anderson, who are all reigning Olympic champions and will have performances you don’t want to miss. Figure skater Nathan Chen and snowboarder Chloe Kim are newcomers to the Olympic stage and are sure to put up impressive results while leading the U.S. Here’s a viewers guide to what looks like an exciting 23rd Olympiad for Team USA. All times are ET based on NBC’s coverage and subject to change.The 2018 Winter Olympics is now underway in Pyeongchang, South Korea. With the events happening more than half a day in time ahead of us in the US — a 14-hour difference from the East Coast — we know your head is probably spinning faster than a figure skater aiming to be the first American woman to land a triple axel on Olympic ice trying to figure out the TV schedule.Winter sports fans, don’t worry! NBC is making sure you don’t miss any of the action while Team USA goes for the gold. The network will be streaming all of the events live online and on demand at NBCOlympics.com and through the NBC Sports App. If you would rather watch the games on TV, NBC, NBCSN, USA, and other NBC Universal channels will be playing many of the events. Read on for a day-by-day TV schedule, all in Eastern Time. Speed skaters race around a 400m oval track in pairs, one taking the outside lane and one the inside. They swap positions at the end of each lap because the inner lane of the speed skating oval covers a shorter distance than the outer lane (although there is no changing of lanes on the first straight of the 1000m and the 1500m). Ten of the 14 speed skating events in PyeongChang are a race against the clock, with competitors ranked on time alone.
The men line-up in the individual 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 5,000m and 10,000m, with the ladies contesting the 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 3,000m and 5,000m.There are two events in speed skating which differ from the norm: the team pursuit and the newly-introduced mass start. Two teams of three athletes compete in the team pursuit, with rankings decided on the time that the third skater in each team crosses the finish line.It’s a big change,” Mulder said of the new event which features a maximum of 24 skaters lining up together on an open track (no inside or outside lanes) and racing head-to-head for 16 laps. During the race there are three intermediate sprints, with the skaters placed first, second and third in each receiving 5-3-1 points respectively. There is also a final sprint, and the first three skaters to cross the finish line get 60-40-20 points.For me, speed skating is against the clock but the mass start is a fun event,” Mulder said. “The excitement is good for the crowd, it’s good to watch, everyone is fighting for their spots, getting in a good position before a sprint. It’s a different element. It’s not just the fastest guy wins.”First of all you have to master going from standing on the ice to full speed. According to Mulder, there is no real secret to it.You stand still, the starter shoots and you have to go as fast as possible, it’s not that hard, you just have to do it right,” he laughed.Once up and skating, it is the cornering that determines the medallists from the rest.If you are going 60km per hour into a corner you have to do it well,” he explained. “Everyone can corner, not everyone can corner well. It’s about being compact, holding your shape. Your body wants to go to the outside but you have to make it go left. It’s hard to explain without being really technical but you’ve just got to be low and keep your body in a good form.In Mulder’s main event, the 500m, it is simply all or nothing. There is no place you can relax or put a little less effort in. There is no centimetre in that race you can do anything but go as fast as possible,” he said. “It’s really important you get to your top speed as fast as possible and stay there. In the 10,000 you can race your opponent but there is no chance for that in the 500m.Naturally, as a sprinter Mulder has no desire to race the 25 laps required in the 10,000m – “I am not the person for that, I can’t do it. My muscles won’t let me.Interestingly, for a sport in which milliseconds are often critical, the skates the world’s best use vary very little from those available at any public ice rink. The suits, however, are a different matter. “They are not really comfortable but they help you get in position and it’s more aerodynamic, obviously,” he smiled. “They keep changing the material and every country has slightly different suits. Right now they seem to be saying if you have a blue suit it’s faster, I don’t know why but it’s OK: our suits are mostly blue for the Games.”And the winner of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics’ first gold medal is … Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla.The 30-year-old Kalla raised her arms in triumph as she crossed the line in a time of 40 minutes, 44.9 seconds to win the 15-kilometer cross-country skiing.Norway’s Marit Bjørgen took silver, 7.8 seconds back, to become the most decorated female winter Olympian of all time while Finland’s Krista Parmakoski clinched bronze, 10.1 seconds behind the winner.Nicknamed “The Iron Lady,” the 37-year-old Bjørgen won her eleventh Olympic medal, overtaking fellow cross-country skier Raisa Smetanina, who won 10 medals competing for the Soviet Union and the Unified Team between 1976 and 1992.The 15km race, also known as the skiathlon, is split into two parts; it starts with 7.5km using the classical technique followed by freestyle on the second leg.In one of the most physically testing events in the Olympics, Kalla broke away from the pack after about 34 minutes. Sixty seconds later, she had grabbed a 5.5-second lead over Bjørgen and never looked in danger of being caught.The 30-year-old Kalla also won a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and the 2014 Sochi Games.The Netherlands claimed four medals in just five minutes, with three Dutch women sweeping the 3,000m podium in the speed skating and Sjinkie Knegt taking silver in the short-track men’s 1500m.The Dutch Olympic team had a record-breaking Olympics four years ago, when it won 24 medals in Sochi, including 23 in long-track speed skating. The Dutch team is aiming for 15 medals in Pyeongchang.Holland’s Carlijn Achtereekte won in a time of 3 minutes, 59.21 seconds, just 0.08 of a second ahead of pre-race favorite and defending champion Ireen Wust, to claim her first Olympic title. Antoinette de Jong took bronze, at 0.81 second behind the winner.A few minutes later, over in the short-track arena, South Korea’s Lim Hyo-jun won the first gold medal for the host nation, beating world record holder Knegt in a new Olympic record as he broke away from the field halfway through the race.
The Olympic athletes of Russia also took their first medal as Semen Elistratov finished in third place.Meanwhile, Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier, 24, won her first gold medal in biathlon, taking the women’s 7.5km sprint, ahead of Norway’s Marte Olsbu in second place and Veronika Vitkova from the Czech Republic in third.Russian speed skater Olga Graf said on Tuesday she had turned down an International Olympic Committee (IOC) invitation to compete at next month’s Pyeongchang Winter Games. Graf, one of three female speed skaters on the list of 169 Russians cleared to compete in Pyeongchang, is the first eligible Russian athlete to publicly announce she would not compete at the Games.Russia was banned last month from the Feb. 9-25 Winter Olympics in South Korea over what the IOC called the “systematic manipulation” of the anti-doping testing system at the Sochi Games four years ago.But the IOC left the door open for athletes without a history of doping to compete at its invitation without the Russian tricolour, national emblems or anthem.Graf said the exclusion of several team mates would prevent “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” the term used by the IOC to designate Russian competitors at the Games, from contending for a medal in the team pursuit event.I‘m glad that the IOC has recognised me as a clean athlete, which is what I am,” Graf said in a Facebook post.I regret that more than half the national speed skating team did not receive invitations to the Olympics, including my partners in the team pursuit, who I don’t doubt are clean.Having been deprived of the chance to compete for the Olympic podium in the team pursuit, I do not accept the IOC invitation for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang.Graf won bronze medals in the 3000 meters and team pursuit events at the 2014 Sochi Games.Alexei Kravtsov, president of Russia’s speed skating federation, told RIA Novosti news agency it respected Graf’s decision.Two of her partners in the team pursuit did not receive an invitation to the Olympics,” RIA quoted Kravtsov as saying on Tuesday. “This is the event she was preparing for and she won’t be able to take part in it.Russian authorities last month said they would support the athletes who chose to compete in Pyeongchang as neutrals following a ban of the Russian team, as well as those who decided to snub the Games.The Court of Arbitration for Sport is expected to issue its decision this week in the cases of 39 Russian athletes who have been banned from the Olympic Games after being found guilty of doping at Sochi. A setback for Townsville luge competitor Alex Ferlazzo in his second run of the men’s luge, with a 48.587 second effort dropping him from 16th to 22nd position.With a goal of a top 18 finish firmly in his mind, Ferlazzo now has work to do after his patchy second run, which was almost half a second outside his first.Of the 40 entrants in the men’s luge, only the top 20 sliders advance past the third heat, meaning Ferlazzo must produce a similar time to the 48.073 he set in his first run to remain in the competition.Two-time Olympic gold medallist Felix Loch, of Germany, leads after the first two runs of the competition.hort-track speed skater Lim Hyo-jun claimed a first gold medal for South Korea as the hosts made a triumphant start to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.Lim got Korea off the mark on the first full day of action in the men’s 1500m in front of an ecstatic, near-capacity 12,000 crowd at the Gangneung Ice Arena.In a frenetic final the 21-year-old saw off Dutch world record-holder Sjinkie Knegt with Semen Elistratov, one of the Russians competing as an independent, in third.With South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in watching, together with American Vice-President Mike Pence, Lim delivered the goods to further embellish Korea’s dazzling record in the sport with their 22nd short track title.Korea had two shots at the target but Hwang Dae-heon crashed out of the final, causing a collective groan from the home supporters.Canada’s Sochi 2014 champion Charles Hamelin scraped into the nine-skater climax in a four-way photo-finish in his semi-final, but there was to be no repeat for the bearded 33-year-old as he picked up a penalty.The Dutch resumed where they left off four years ago, dominating the Olympic speedskating Oval and getting a clean sweep of medals in the women’s 3000 metres, with outsider Carlijn Achtereekte leading the way.Achtereekte raced in the first half of the program with the also-rans, but her time of 3 minutes, 59.21 seconds was good as gold as double 3000-metre Olympic champion Ireen Wust finished .08 seconds behind.Bronze went to Antoinette de Jong for the amazing Dutch sweep. In Sochi four years ago, the Netherlands won 23 of 36 medals. They’ve started 3 for 3 at the Pyeongchang Games.The Koreans have made Olympic history with the puck dropping in their first Olympic game with their women’s hockey lineup featuring three North Koreans under an unprecedented agreement.
And a North Korean forward nearly gave the historic combined team a lead. Jong Su Hyon shot the puck from the left circle on a power play in the first period only to catch the crossbar, glancing off harmlessly.Then Switzerland responded by jumping out to a 2-0 lead, scoring 61 seconds apart midway through the period Trailing didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of home fans, who kept chanting in support with the North Korean cheerleaders rinkside leading the cheers. During a timeout, the cheerleaders tried to start fans doing the wave only to see that trickle out as play resumed.Australia’s Andy Jung has failed to qualify for the final of the men’s 1500m short track speed skating, finishing a close-up fifth in his semi-final.Jung was promoted to the semis after being interfered with by another competitor in his heat, and he took a conservative position in his semi, content to bide his time at the back of the pack.American JR Celeski was disqualified for causing interference, with Canada’s Samuel Girard promoted to the final as a result along with Semen Elistratov (Olympic Athlete from Russia) and another Canadian, Charles Hamelin. South Korea’s Seo Yira (third) and Latvia’s Roberto Pukitis (fourth) advanced to the B-final, with Jung in fifth — less than a metre from the winner, but now forced to watch the rest of the competition from the stands.The Winter Olympics don’t end here for Jung, however. He’ll now focus on his preferred event, the 500m.US vice president Mike Pence will be an interested observer for Aussie Andy Jung’s short track speed skating semi-final at the Winter Olympics before departing South Korea for Washington.Pence and his wife are viewing the short-track competition with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife. Eight Americans are participating in the event.It’s the final stop on a six-day trip that Pence hoped would increase pressure on North Korea as it seeks to use the games to pursue an opening with the South. Pence’s efforts to keep the spotlight on North Korea’s nuclear program and human rights abuses have taken a back seat to the widely viewed images of the two Koreas marching under one flag during Friday night’s opening ceremony — and to the invitation by dictator Kim Jong-un for South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit the North.A terrific first run from North Queensland luge competitor Alex Ferlazzo, who burned down the course in 48.073 seconds to be placed 16th overall.The Aussie was the 28th of the 40 competitors to take their first runs.Ranked 32 in the world, Ferlazzo was less than half a second off the leading time set by Austria’s David Gleirscher.