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Nagano 1998: Highlights Of The Show

4 minute read

CBS will air 128 hours of sport and spectacle from Nagano, a record for the Winter Games. In addition, TNT will broadcast more than 50 hours on cable. Nagano is 14 hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast, so schedules will require some math. Opening ceremonies, for example, will start at 11 a.m. Saturday in Japan, but Americans will see them live Friday night.


7 SATURDAY The opening ceremonies will have 2,450 athletes from 72 nations and much tradition. Sumo grand champion Akebono will perform an ancient purification ritual.

8 SUNDAY Women’s hockey will make its debut. And the man to watch will be Austrian Alpine skier Hermann (“Monster”) Maier, who has had eight monstrous wins this season.

9 MONDAY Wendel (“Bullet Man”) Suckow will try to win the U.S.’s first ever luge medal. Though he hasn’t had a great season, he did win the World Cup event on Nagano’s Spiral in 1997.

10 TUESDAY Picabo Street will begin her comeback in the super-G. Pairs figure skating will conclude. Hiroyasu Shimizu of Japan is a favorite to win the 500-m speed skate.

11 WEDNESDAY It’s home advantage for the ski-jump team: the event takes place on a holiday, so all Japan will be watching and cheering. Also, the mogulists will hit the bumps.

12 THURSDAY Snowboarders will be grabbing big air while Elvis hopes the judges won’t be cruel. Norway’s freestyle star Bjorn Daehlie will try for an Olympic-record sixth gold.

13 FRIDAY Hockey’s “Dream Teams” will take to the ice as the U.S. and Sweden face off. America’s world-class luge pairs (Grimmette and Martin, Sheer and Thorpe) will see action.

14 SATURDAY Picabo will have to beat out defending champ Katja Seizinger for downhill gold. In women’s hockey, it will be U.S. vs. Canada (a preview of the finals?). Men’s free skate.

15 SUNDAY Two-man teams will bob for gold, while ski jumpers move to the big hill. Russia’s Grishuk and Platov will try to become the first ice dancers to repeat as Olympic champs.

16 MONDAY Hot stuff on ice: U.S. vs. Canada in men’s hockey, a rematch of the 1996 World Cup finals (won by the U.S.); speed-skating (women’s 1,500) and ice-dancing finals.

17 TUESDAY The Japanese ski jumpers lost the team gold in 1994 on the last jump, but Harada & Co. have renewed confidence. The gold-medal game in women’s ice hockey.

18 WEDNESDAY Can the “Canadian Air Force,” led by Nicolas Fontaine, fly away with aerials skiing? The ladies’ figure-skating short program: 2 min. 40 sec. of technical terror.

19 THURSDAY Speed skaters Chris Witty of the U.S. and Catriona LeMay Doan of Canada will duel in the 1,000 m. Kristina Koznick, a young slalom skier, could be a surprise medalist.

20 FRIDAY The Games will crown a new queen of the ice. Michelle Kwan was perfection at the U.S. nationals. Tara Lipinski is the world champion. No one else can beat them.

21 SATURDAY The great Alberto Tomba has won three Olympic golds. No Alpine skier has ever won four, and this is La Bomba’s last chance at glory in his best discipline, slalom.

22 SUNDAY Men’s gold-medal hockey game: Will the U.S. make it as expected, or will it be Czeched out of the way? Nagano will bid sayonara to the Games. Next: Salt Lake City, Utah.


Recently, Yahoo! Internet Life magazine sorted out the burgeoning Olympics Websites. Some of the best:

–NAOC www.nagano.olympic.org The Games’ official site –USOC www.usoc.org News and info from the U.S. team –USA TODAY www.usatoday.com/olympics/w98front.htm –U.S. SKI TEAM www.sportsline.com/u/usskiteam –SKATEWEB frog.simplenet.com/skateweb –SNOWBOARDING online www.solsnowboarding.com

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