Winter Olympics 2014 TV Schedule: Sochi Russia Games Begin February As Opening Ceremonies One Month Away

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Jan 07, 2014 12:01 PM EST
A view of Olympic rings near the resort of Krasnaya Polyana, near Sochi
A view of Olympic rings near the resort of Krasnaya Polyana, near Sochi January 4, 2014. (Photo : Reuters) "

The Winter Olympics in 2014 will be on TV from NBC and their family of channels and the Sochi Russia games will begin on February 6 and 7 with preliminaries and opening ceremonies and the games are now just one month away as news has come out that worldwide star and skier Lindsey Vonn will miss the games.

The full schedule of events starts on Saturday February 8 after the opening ceremonies and some of the sports that will be in action over the first weekend includes alpine skiing, the biathlon, freestyle skiing, cross country skiing as well as figure skating. The first week has many more events and some of the top one's going on includes ice hockey, bobsledding, short track skating, more figure skating as well as curling and snowboarding.

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The schedule will be missing a big star like Vonn and that puts pressure on other American athletes to perform, including Shaun White, who has previously won Olympic medals. NBC will be bringing events live with a number of different shows and ways to watch, including streaming and online and the network has over 200 hours of programming and Olympic events heading into the games. The games will finish up Sunday, Feb. 23 and the NBC Sports Network's Olympic coverage begins Saturday, Feb. 8 and that will bring a ton of live shows and other events as well and more will be streaming on the Live Extra website.

Check here for the full Olympics schedule from Sochi 2014.

Here is more on the Olympic games from Sochi from Reuters.com, including on the loss of Vonn on the winter schedule and how security is being implemented for the games. Vonn's withdrawal from next month's Winter Olympics has deprived the Sochi Games of arguably the most famous face in the blue riband event of Alpine skiing.

The sport's celebrities do not come much bigger than Vonn, the Olympic downhill champion and shining star of commercials across the United States who just happens to be dating world number one golfer Tiger Woods.

Her decision to pull out due to a knee injury has left a gaping hole in the Olympic schedule and the four-times overall World Cup winner said she was "devastated" to miss out on the chance of winning a medal in her fourth Winter Games.

One of the most marketable and photogenic of winter athletes, with her clean-cut blonde looks smiling out of multiple glossy magazines, Vonn was desperate to compete in Sochi but recently denied being under pressure from sponsors to take her place in the starting hut.

Vonn, 29, is the only active skier with more than 50 World Cup wins - she is three off Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell's record 62 - but has endured a nightmare year on the slopes.

After sealing her sixth successive World Cup downhill title, a record for either sex, the Minnesota-born skier crashed at the world championships last February and tore both her ACL in her right knee and medial collateral ligament (MCL).

She then aggravated the injury in training at Copper Mountain, Colorado, in November.

An initial return to World Cup competition in Lake Louise in December looked promising, with a fifth place in a Super-G, but the knee let her down in Val d'Isere just before Christmas.

"On downhill training runs in Val d'Isere and Lake Louise it held up fine but then on race day in Val d'Isere it didn't," she told Reuters.

"I think it's really a roll of the dice whether I can do it or not but to be honest I'm mentally tough enough to overcome it."

Sochi was likely to be her last appearance on the Olympic slopes and there is no question about her mental toughness.

In a sport where there is a fine line between glory and disaster, Vonn has had plenty of crashes, been inside lots of hospitals and frequently raced through the pain barrier. Injury was again a major concern at the Vancouver Olympics when her involvement was in doubt due to the pain of a bruised shin. In the end, she became the first U.S. woman to win downhill gold and also took a Super-G bronze.

The success has had a darker side to it as well. Vonn has been through depression and divorce, parental and personal, and years of estrangement from her father Alan which has now ended.

Vonn, who competed in the 2002 and 2006 Olympics under her maiden name of Kildow before marrying fellow Olympian Thomas Vonn in 2007, had her divorce finalized last year. Her parents separated before the 2002 Games.

Mother Lindy had a stroke when Vonn was born and still has problems with balance which means she cannot ski herself. Instead, she gives constant support.

Russian forces went on combat alert in Sochi and tightened restrictions on access to the Black Sea resort on Tuesday as part of measures by President Vladimir Putin to ensure security at next month's Winter Olympics.

Aware that the success or failure of the Sochi Games will help shape his legacy, Putin has increased security in Russia following two suicide bomb attacks in the southern city of Volgograd which killed at least 34 people.

Moscow's most wanted man, the Chechen insurgent leader Doku Umarov, has urged militants who want to carve an Islamic state in Russia's south to use "maximum force" to prevent the Games going ahead. From Tuesday, which was Russian Orthodox Christmas, access was being further curtailed into Sochi, where a new traffic scheme has come into operation to give priority to Olympic transport, officials said.

(Reuters)

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