Idaho Athletes Hit the Slopes at Sochi Winter Olympics


This has been the day that a select group of Idaho athletes and winter sports fanatics have been waiting for: the much-anticipated Opening Ceremonies of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

And some of Idaho's elite have already seen some action in the mountains outside of Sochi.

A nationally televised audience watched Feb. 7 as Rigby's Jessika Jenson took to the snow in the first and second qualifying runs in the inaugural snowboard slopestyle competition. Jenson didn't score high enough to bypass to the gold medal round, but she can still fight her way to the podium when she competes in Sunday, Feb. 12's semifinals.

Middleton's Erik Fisher took to the slopes for his first timed training run in the lead-up to the men's downhill ski competition. Fisher placed 29th overall and locked in the third best time for an American. American Bode Miller leads the entire international pack after the first timed training run, giving him a prime slot in the gold medal run.

A lot of U.S. television viewers will be catching up with the Olympic action in prime time broadcasts, anchored by NBC's Bob Costas. But real Olympic enthusiasts already know that hundreds of hours of live competition will be pushed out on no less than five of NBC's networks, in addition to live online streaming.

The opening ceremonies begin at 6:30 p.m. Mountain Time Friday and here's a look at some of this weekend's other televised action:

Saturday, Feb 8: The U.S. women's hockey team begins competition at 1 a.m. Mountain Time on the NBC Sports Network; they go up against Finland. At 3:30 a.m., the NBC Sports Network airs women's cross-country skiing and men's speed skating. At 6 a.m., MSNBC airs women's hockey (Canada vs. Switzerland). At 7:30 a.m., NBC Sports airs team figure skating. At 1:30 p.m., NBC airs men's ski jumping, the men's biathlon, men's speed skating, and women's cross country. The prime time show begins at 7 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 9: The NBC Sports Network airs women's hockey at 1 a.m. (Sweden vs. Japan). At 3:30 a.m., men's cross country and women's speed skating airs on NBC Sports. The men's luge competition begins at 6:30 a.m. on NBC Sports. Team figure skating continues at 8 a.m. on NBC Sports. Men's ski jumping continues at 11 a.m. on NBC Sports. At 1 p.m., NBC features team figure skating, the women's biathlon (featuring Boise's own Sara Studebaker), women's speed skating and men's cross country. The prime time show begins at 6 p.m.