Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Follow All The Winter Olympics Action Feb. 6-24 on NBC

San Diego Athletes to Watch in Sochi: Saturday, Feb. 8

Chula Vista Olympic Training Center athletes will compete in luge, skiing and hockey

By R. Stickney
|  Saturday, Feb 8, 2014  |  Updated 2:22 PM PDT
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San Diego to Sochi: U.S. Olympians

AP

Hilary Knight of the Untied States celebrates her goal as Goalkeeper Noora Raty of Finland looks on during the women's ice hockey game at the Shayba Arena during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

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Every day NBC 7 will provide a quick look at the key events of the day as well as the local athletes who will be competing. Here’s our “San Diego Athletes to Watch” for Saturday, Feb. 8:

Special Section: Sochi 2014

Night owls took advantage of the live streaming of the men’s snowboarding semi-finals in slopestyle boarding. The event begans at 9:30 p.m. Friday with the finals beginning just before 1 a.m. Saturday.

American Sage Kotsenburg shocked snowboarding fans by attempting a trick he had never even practiced in the event final. He decided to go for it all and bust out a backside 1620 with a Japan grab.

That earned him the gold medal - the first in the event and the first for the U.S. in Sochi.

Meanwhile, Chas Guldemond just missed a spot in the finals in the first qualifying round and didn't fare well in his attempt to make it to the semi-finals.

Guldemond is no stranger to San Diego having stayed at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista as part of his training and preparation for the Olympics.

Read: Ramona Teen Competes Among Snowboarding Elite

Also competing in the event was Seamus O’Connor, 16, of Ramona. O’Connor, who will be competing in both the slopestyle and halfpipe events, is representing Ireland.

Get results for Guldemond and O'Connor here

At 10 a.m., American Hannah Kearny -- widely considered a frontrunner -- competed for the medal in women's moguls freestyle skiing qualifying rounds. In an upset, Canadian sisters Justine Dufour-Lapointe and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe won the gold and silver, respectively, while Kearny won bronze.

Check for results for the 6 a.m. PT qualification rounds here

A couple of Olympic Training Center athletes, Christian Niccum and Chris Mazdzer competed in the luge event at 6:30 a.m. Mazdzer placed 10th in the first run and 13th in the second and third run.

At 8:30 a.m. the ski jumping competition for men’s individual normal hill qualifying rounds was streamed live. Nick Fairall, Peter Frenette and Anders Johnson all spent time training in San Diego County as part of their journey to Sochi.

Johnson placed 26th in the qualifying round, while Frenette placed 35th and Fairall placed 50th. However, there were some big comebacks in the first round, with Johnson placing 5th and Frenette placing 10th.

Things got rolling for the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team who beat Finland in their first game that was available online at midnight PT. 

The crowd hadn't even settled in before the first goal was scored at just 53 seconds into the game.

Hilary Knight scored the first goal in the U.S. 3-1 win over Finland.

Team USA has medaled in all four appearances since the sport was first introduced to female competitors at the 1998 Winter Olympics. However, 1998 was the only time they’ve reached the top of the podium.

The team took advantage of a trip to the beach in San Diego last year to help them prepare for the competition on the ice.

The U.S. has an outstanding 18-3 record in Olympic play and some analysts said the future of the sport at this level could be in jeopardy so you may want to enjoy it while you can.

In figure skating, the Americans tried to improve their standings in the Ice Dancing Short program beginning at 6:30 a.m. PT online. Team USA won a bronze in that event.

At 8:10 a.m. PT the live stream began for the ladies’ short program followed by the pairs free skate at 10:05 a.m. PT. Team USA won bronze in both the short program and pairs free skate.

Other Saturday events include cross-country women’s skiathlon, biathlon men’s 10km sprint , men’s speed skating and alpine skiing training runs for the men’s downhill and women’s super-combined.

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