Here's a look at the main events Thursday and early Friday morning.
WHILE WE SLEPT
There were two noteworthy overnight events: The women's 500-meter short-track finals and the men's ski slopestyle. Alyson Dudek was considered the top American contender on the ice, while Nick Goepper was projected to medal on the snow. For full results, check www.mercurynews.com/olympics.
FOR EARLY RISERS
The U.S. men's hockey team opens Group A play Thursday against Slovakia (live on NBCSN). The puck dropped at 4:30 a.m., so the game could still be in progress depending on when you climbed out of bed. ... The men's 20km biathlon began at 6 a.m., with Tim Burke as the top American hope. Biathlon is the only Winter Games sport in which the United States has failed to medal. ... Also at 6 a.m.: The women's 1,000 meter long-track speedskating finals. The favorites are Americans Heather Richardson and Brittany Bowe, who happen to be training partners and roommates. ... Both the biathlon and long track finals will be shown on tape later in the day.
GENTLEMEN, YOU'RE UP
The figure skating competition continues with the men's short program (7 a.m., live on NBCSN). The field includes Canada's Patrick Chan, the three-time defending world champion. But the man to beat might be Russian legend Evgeni Plushenko, who won the men's portion of the team skate. The U.S. has two participants: Jeremy Abbott and Jason Brown (shown), who looks an awful lot like Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum.
TEAM CANADA TAKES ICE
The 2010 Olympic champs begin their title defense at 9 a.m. (live on USA) with a Group B opener against Norway. The tournament favorites won't face the same gold-or-bust pressure they experienced on home soil in Vancouver. (The heat is on the Russians this time around.) The Canadians are led by the incomparable Sidney Crosby and have two Sharks on the roster: Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
The luge mixed relay competition (8:15 a.m.) is a new Olympic event, and one with potential for thrills: Three sleds from the same country -- one men's single, one women's single and one doubles -- will zoom down the track, one after the other. The U.S. team, which features bronze medalist Erin Hamlin, is a contender (no live TV).
If NBC's prime-time broadcast (8—11:30 p.m.) is your primary Olympic viewing opportunity, here's the lineup for Thursday night: Men's figure skating will be at the center of the broadcast, buttressed by the men's ski slopestyle finals and the women's 1,000-meter long track finals. Viewers should also expect a dose of women's skeleton. The biggest question is whether host Bob Costas will be back after missing two nights with an eye infection.
FOR NIGHT OWLS
The men's super combined begins with the downhill at 11 p.m., followed by the slalom portion at 3 a.m. (Friday). Bode Miller is expected to participate, but the top American finisher could be 2006 gold medalist Ted Ligety. Like all other Alpine events, the super will be shown on a much-delayed basis on NBC's prime-time broadcast
WANT IT LIVE? GET THE APP
NBC and its family of networks will provide 1,539 hours of coverage, but the only place you can watch everything live is online. The choice events will be shown on TV only on a delayed basis as part of NBC's prepackaged prime-time broadcast. The only way to have access to everything live is on your digital devices through the NBC Sports Live Extra app. It's free to download, but you'll need to be a cable or satellite subscriber in order to log in. For more information, go to: http://www.nbcolympics.com/liveextra/help.