SOURCE: Universal Sports Network

Universal Sports Network

October 29, 2013 19:15 ET

"Countdown to Sochi" Premieres October 30 at 8 PM ET on Universal Sports

New Show to Follow Olympic and Paralympic Hopefuls Leading up to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - October 29, 2013) - Universal Sports Network will debut Countdown to Sochi, a weekly show capturing the most compelling stories leading up to the 2014 Sochi Games on October 30, at 8 PM ET -- just 100 days from the opening ceremonies. The 15-week show will air every Wednesday at 8 PM ET until February 5, and showcase Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls through exclusive interviews and profiles like the new "Train Like a Champion" and "Countdown Conversation" segments. The show will also have extensive coverage of recent winter sports competitions and Olympic qualifying events and "Sochi Social," a weekly roundup of the hottest topics and trends on social media.

Wednesday's premiere episode features alpine skier and two-time Olympian and World Cup gold medalist, Steven Nyman (Park City, UT), in the Countdown to Sochi "Train Like a Champion" series. Every week, Universal Sports reporter Nick Gismondi literally steps into the shoes, boots or skates of a different athlete to experience what it really takes to perform at an elite level. This week, Nyman takes Gismondi along for a 60 mph ride during wind tunnel training to show him the efforts he takes to increase speed on the slopes.

Also featured in the premiere episode is U.S. Figure Skating men's champion Max Aaron (Scottsdale, AZ) for the show's exclusive "Countdown Conversation." Aaron sits down in-studio to talk about his love of ice hockey and how he overcame a devastating back injury, which put him in a body cast for four months, and left the sport to ultimately pursue his Olympic dream in figure skating. 

"Countdown to Sochi will bring viewers closer to Olympic hopefuls and familiarize them with their stories, and is an essential guide for those who want to know what to watch this February," said Dean Walker, SVP of production, Universal Sports Network. "Universal Sports airs the most Olympic sports programming of any network year in and year out, so no one is better positioned than we are to tell the stories of these athletes and to deliver all the news leading into Sochi over the next 100 days."

In addition to each week's half-hour show, will have bonus content and outtakes from interviews and features in addition to extensive highlights from upcoming Alpine Skiing, Figure Skating, Bobsled, Skeleton, Luge, Speed Skating, Snowboarding, Ski Jumping and Curling international events. 

The show's hosts include veteran sportscaster and the network's Countdown to London host, Craig Hummer, who has covered the past five Olympic Games, and sports reporter Jenny Cavnar. The show will also feature a mix of analysts, along with a number of other studio guests. A sneak peak featuring winter stars Ted Ligety, Shani Davis, Julia Mancuso and more describing the perseverance and dedication in their pursuits of Olympic glory, can be found on YouTube at

Universal Sports Network is now available on Time Warner Cable, Cox, Verizon FiOS, satellite providers DIRECTV and DISH and numerous regional cable and IPTV operators in markets across the country.


Universal Sports, a partnership between NBC Sports and InterMedia Partners, LP, is the premier multi-platform media destination for Olympic-related sports programming in the United States. Offering more than 1,200 hours of original programming each year, Universal Sports has exclusive rights to world and national championship events in a wide array of sports, including swimming, track and field, gymnastics, cycling, skiing, figure skating and rugby. Whether on television, online, or on the go with mobile and tablet applications, Universal Sports offers a four-screen experience to fans of global sports every day of the year. For more information, please visit

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