Team USA Thanksgiving Weekend Preview: Nov. 27, 2013

By Paul D. Bowker | Nov. 05, 2013, 1 p.m. (ET)
Luger Erin Hamlin poses during the NBC Olympics/United States Olympic Committee photo shoot on April 27, 2013 in West Hollywood, Calif.

The best American athletes don’t necessarily get to stop for turkey this weekend. As two-time luge Olympian Erin Hamlin put it: “This will be Thanksgiving No. 12 spent away so it’s kind of the norm now. I still Skype into dinner at home though, as long as they start eating early enough.” Hamlin is far from the only American away from home this holiday. The weekend is chock-full of big-time sporting events around the world, including an alpine skiing world cup event in Colorado and additional world cup events in bobsled/skeleton, speedskating, luge, biathlon, taekwondo and gymnastics. Check out the Team USA Weekend Preview for all the details.


Stacey Cook skis a training run on Raptor for the FIS Alpine Ski
World Cup on Nov. 27, 2013 in Beaver Creek, Colo.

FIS World Cup, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, Beaver Creek, Colo.

The world’s newest downhill course will be tested Friday by the Best in the World U.S. women’s speed team and some of the best skiers from around the world in the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup at Beaver Creek, Colo. Nature Valley Raptor race week includes the downhill event Friday, super-G Saturday and giant slalom Sunday.

The Raptor venue at Beaver Creek will be host to the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships and the skiers in this week’s world cup tested the new run for the first time Tuesday.

“It kind of has everything,” said three-time Olympic medalist Julia Mancuso. “It’s fast and quick, a lot of the switches are quick and there’s a lot of technical turns and intimidating sections, so it’s got a little bit of everything and it’s pretty awesome.”

Mancuso, a silver medalist in downhill at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, is a contender in the downhill. Mikaela Shiffrin, the 2013 world cup overall slalom champion, will chase after her first giant slalom medal Sunday.

Lindsey Vonn, four-time world cup overall champion, will not compete because she is recovering from a Nov. 19 training crash at Copper Mountain, Colo. Vonn injured her knee, sustained abrasions to her face and contusions to her shoulder blade.

TV: 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday, NBC Sports Network; 2:30-4 p.m. Sunday, NBC

FIS Alpine World Cup, Men’s downhill and super-G, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, Lake Louise, Canada

American Olympians Ted Ligety, Bode Miller and Marco Sullivan are among those in an elite field who will compete this weekend in Lake Louise. The men will race downhill, super-G and giant slalom next week in Beaver Creek, Colo.


FIS World Cup, Men’s and Women’s Cross-Country, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, Kuusamo, Finland

World cup sprint champion Kikkan Randall last week won a preseason 1.2-kilometer sprint race in Norway and is now ready to start the world cup season this weekend in Finland.

“This (past) weekend was mostly about waking up the body before the world cup opener,” Randall said Sunday. “It’s a good confidence boost to stack up well against a strong field. But the real tests begin next week.”

Andy Newell finished sixth in the men’s 1.4-kilometer freestyle sprint Sunday and will be one to watch on the men’s side in Finland this weekend.

FIS World Cup, Nordic Combined, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, Kuusamo, Finland

Four Americans — Billy Demong, Brett Camerota, Bryan Fletcher and Taylor Fletcher — will be on the starting line Friday for the FIS World Cup in Finland.

Also in Nordic skiing:

FIS World Cup, Men’s Ski Jumping, Nov. 28-30, Kuusamo, Finland


FIBT World Cup, Nov. 29-30, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Two-time Olympian Katie Uhlaender and 2010 Olympians Noelle Pikus-Pace and John Daly will look to begin the skeleton world cup season in an impressive way when the season-opening bobsled and skeleton event begins Friday in Calgary, Alberta. Competition will be held in men’s and women’s skeleton, and two-man bobsled.

Steven Holcomb, Nick Cunningham and Cory Butner will pilot U.S. sleds in the two-man bobsled.

The Night Train II crew of Olympic champion Holcomb, Curt Tomasevicz, Steve Langton and Chris Fogt will make its 2013-14 debut in the four-man bobsled Saturday. Cunningham will pilot the Century 21 sled with Dallas Robinson, Johnny Quinn and Abe Morlu on his crew. USA-3 consists of Butner, Chuck Berkeley, Andreas Drbal and Chris Langton.

The final event Saturday will be the women’s bobsled, which will feature three U.S. sleds. Elana Meyers and Aja Evans will chase after a podium finish in the BMW USA-1. Also racing will be the teams of Jamie Greubel and Katie Eberling, and Jazmine Fenlator and two-time track Olympian Lolo Jones.

TV: 4:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ET Friday, 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Universal Sports


Essent ISU Long Track World Cup, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, Astana, Kazakhstan

Brittany Bowe and Heather Richardson will look for more quick finishes when the third ISU Long Track World Cup event of the season is held Friday through Sunday in Kazakhstan.

Bowe broke a world record in the women’s 1,000-meter race at the Salt Lake City World Cup two weeks ago at the Utah Olympic Oval. Richardson, whose second-place finish in the event also broke the previous world record, won a medal in all five races she entered. Jilleanne Rookard, a 2010 Olympian, joins Bowe and Richardson on the women’s pursuit team.


World Cup, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, Winterberg, Germany

Two-time Olympian Erin Hamlin is close to clinching her third Olympic berth, and she will look to do so this weekend in the season’s third world cup. Chris Mazdzer clinched his Olympic nomination with a fourth-place finish in men’s singles last week in Austria. Hamlin finished sixth in women’s singles.

The U.S. relay team was knocked out of a bronze medal finish in Austria on the last run by Germany, which captured all eight gold medals last week.

Nations Cup qualifying is set for Friday, followed by the beginning of the main runs Saturday.

Also in luge:

Junior World Cup, Nov. 29-30, Altenberg, Germany


E.ON IBU World Cup, Nov. 24-Dec. 1, Oestersund, Sweden

The women’s sprint will be held Friday and the men’s sprint Saturday in the season-opening IBU World Cup in Oestersund, Sweden. The event will end with the women‘s pursuit Sunday and the men’s pursuit Monday.

The world cup opened this past Sunday with a 12th-place finish in the mixed relay by Annelies Cook, Susan Dunklee, Tim Burke and Lowell Bailey. Dunklee, Burke and Bailey already have secured nominations to the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team.

Also in biathlon:

IBU Cup, Nov. 26-30, Beitostolen, Norway

North American Cup, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, Canmore, Alberta, Canada


WTF World Cup Team Championships, Nov. 28-30, Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire

Steven, Mark and Diana Lopez are among 19 U.S. athletes competing in the WTF World Cup Team Championships in the Ivory Coast. Up to 40 world ranking points are at stake for each of the competitors.

In addition to three-time Olympic medalist Steven Lopez and Mark Lopez, an Olympic silver medalist, members of the U.S. men’s team are: T.J. Curry, Logan Gerick, James Howe, Jaysen Ishida, Olympic bronze medalist Terrence Jennings, Steven Lin, Bernard Posey and Thomas Rahimi. Joining Diana Lopez, a two-time Olympian, on the women’s team are Stephanie Beckel, Charlotte Craig, Simone DeVito, Lauren Harmon, Talina Le, Samantha Leidel, Tasha Pruter and Sanaz Shahbazi.


Henri Deglane Challenge, Nov. 29-30, Nice, France

Three-time world medalist and 2012 Olympian Elena Pirozhkova, who won a gold medal last week at the FILA Golden Grand Prix Finals in Azerbaijan, will be among three senior-level wrestlers expected to compete Friday and Saturday in the Henri Deglane Challenge in France. Pirozhkova is entered at 63 kg., although she wrestled up at 67 kg. at the Grand Prix Finals.

Others entered include Amy Fearnside, 51 kg., women‘s freestyle; Jack Jensen, 96 kg. men’s freestyle; and six junior men’s freestyle wrestlers. Among the juniors are two-time age-group world champions Kyle Snyder, 96 kg., and Aaron Pico, 66 kg.

Grapple at the Garden, Dec. 1, New York City

Three-time world medalist Adeline Gray and 2012 world silver medalist Helen Maroulis will face a pair of Canadian wrestlers in women’s freestyle matches at Grapple at the Garden on Sunday. Gray will battle Canada world team member Erica Wiebe at 72 kg. Maroulis will face two-time Canada world team member Jillian Gallays at 55 kg.

The wrestling card at Madison Square Garden will also feature a seven-match dual between the New York Athletic Club and Titan Mercury Wrestling Club. Angel Escobedo, a fifth-place finisher at the 2013 worlds, leads New York AC in men’s freestyle at 55 kg. Kyle Dake, runner-up at the 2013 World Team Trials, will face former NCAA champion Bubba Jenkins in men’s freestyle.


FINA World Trophy, Nov. 29, Mexico City

Claire Barton, a member of the gold medal-winning team at the UANA Pan American Championships, and Sarah Rodriguez will represent USA Synchro Friday at the FINA Synchronized Swimming World Trophy in Mexico City. They will compete in the thematic duet. Both are members of the Santa Clara Aquamaids.


IJF Grand Prix, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, Tokyo

London 2012 Olympians Marti Malloy and Travis Stevens will be among eight U.S. athletes who’ll compete Friday through Sunday at the Tokyo Grand Prix. Malloy, who competes at 57 kilograms, is a 2013 world silver medalist. Stevens competes at 81 kg. and won a gold medal at the Tashkent Grand Prix in October.

Other U.S. athletes in the competition are Colton Brown, men’s 90 kg.; Jonathan Fernandez, men’s 81 kg.; Alex Jacobson, men’s 73 kg.; Aaron Kunihiro, men’s 60 kg.; Hana Carmichael, women’s 57 kg.; and Angelica Delgado, women’s 52 kg.


DTB World Cup, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, Stuttgart, Germany

Olympic replacement athlete Elizabeth Price and Olympian John Orozco will compete Saturday and Sunday  in Stuttgart, Germany in the DTB World Cup, which is part of the International Gymnastics Federation’s all-around world cup series. It is the first of two world cup assignments for Price. She also will compete next week in Glasgow, Scotland. Akash Modi, Eddie Penev, Paul Ruggeri and Donnell Whittenburg will compete Friday in the qualification round of the DTB Cup-Team Challenge. The top four teams advance to Saturday’s finals.

Mexico Open, Nov. 26-30, Acapulco, Mexico

Peyton Ernst, Maggie Nichols and Josh Dixon will compete Friday and Saturday in the senior all-around portion of the Mexico Open. Emily Gaskins, Lauren Hernandez, Veronica Hults, Bailie Key, John Jacobson, Yul Moldauer, Kiwan Watts and Alec Yoder are competing as juniors.


Water Ski World Championships, Nov. 25-Dec. 1, San Bernardo, Chile

The finals in women’s slalom and tricks, and men’s slalom will be held Saturday at the Water Ski World Championships in San Bernardo, Chile. The finals in women’s jumping, and men’s tricks and jumping will be held Sunday.

Freddy Krueger of the United States is the defending champion in men’s jumping. Members of the U.S. Elite Water Ski Team in the competition include Scot Ellis, Regina Jaquess, Erika Lang, Alex Lauretano, Adam Pickos and Nate Smith.


Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens, Nov. 29-30, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The USA Rugby Men’s Eagles Sevens will play Fiji Friday in the Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens. The tournament is the second stop of the IRB HSBC Sevens World Series.

The Eagles shut out Portugal in the shield final of the Gold Coast Sevens in October. Folau Niua, who started for the U.S. Eagles against Russia last week in London, is among the 12 on the Eagles Sevens roster.

Also in rugby:

IRB Women’s Sevens World Series, Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens, Nov. 28, Dubai, UAE


NORCECA Beach Circuit, Nov. 27-Dec. 2, Trinidad & Tobago

The final leg of the NORCECA Beach Circuit is this week in Trinidad & Tobago. U.S. teams won the silver medal in both the men’s and women’s tournaments last week in Costa Rica. Tri Bourne and John Hyden were runner-up in the men’s final and Lane Carico and Heather Hughes won a silver medal in the women’s tournament.


Junior World Cup, Men’s and Women’s Sabre, Nov. 30, Dormagen, Germany

U.S. men’s and women’s junior fencers will compete Saturday in the junior world cup for sabre in Dormagen, Germany. Sage Palmedo and Gracie Stone gave the United States a one-two finish in the season-opening junior world cup for women’s sabre two weeks ago in Sosnowiec, Poland. Eli Dershwitz and Andrew Mackiewicz did the same thing for the junior men at the same world cup.

Also in fencing:

Junior World Cup, Men’s Epée, Nov. 30, Espoo, Finland

Junior World Cup, Men’s Foil, Nov. 30, Londres, Great Britain

Junior World Cup, Women’s Foil, Nov. 30, Bochum, Germany


Baystate Cyclocross, USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar (Pro CX), Nov. 30-Dec. 1, Sterling, Mass.

Jeremy Powers and Elle Anderson lead the men’s and women’s standings, respectively, in the USA Cycling Pro CX standings entering this weekend’s races in Sterling, Mass. The Baystate Cyclocross will be held Saturday and Sunday.


World Cup Vaulting, Nov. 29-30, Paris-Villepinte, France

The third world cup of the vaulting season will take place Friday and Saturday in France. Cassidy and Kimberly Palmer scored a pas de deux victory two weeks ago in Stuttgart, Germany. It was the first world cup vaulting win in American history.

Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc. Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor for