February 6 is the one-year mark to the start of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. In recognition of this milestone, NBC’s Today show is hosting a countdown to the Winter Games, featuring extended Olympic segments and appearances by more than a dozen Winter Olympic hopefuls. The countdown culminates with the construction of a mock slopestyle course in Rockefeller Center, outside Studio 1A, complete with rails. Truckloads of snow from Killington Resort in Vermont are being utilized to bring the course to life. And who’s going to shred the rails, live, before a national television audience? US Freeskiing team members Tom Wallisch, Bobby Brown and Keri Herman.
The action kicks off on the Today show tomorrow morning, Wednesday, February 6, at 7:00 a.m. ET. Wallisch, Brown and Herman will be featured riding the slopestyle course between 7:45-8:10 a.m. and will also appear intermittently throughout the entire broadcast.
NBC Sports | The Sochi Winter Games, An Olympic Overview
“I’m both excited and nervous,” said Keri Herman about appearing on the Today show. “I’m trying not to think too much about it, but everyone around us is making a huge deal of it. I sort of feel like the less I know, the less nervous I get. My mom flew out, which is awesome.”
Is Keri scared to crash before a massive audience? “Well, I am now that you brought it up!” she exclaimed over the phone. “Maybe they’ll think that’s just part of the trick, because people don’t really know what we’re doing anyways… I will just play it off like that’s what I meant to do.” As part of their experience in New York this week, Wallisch and Herman will also be closing the New York Stock Exchange bell Wednesday afternoon.
“The Road to Sochi is about sharing the inspirational stories of our athletes with the American public ahead of the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games,” said Lisa Baird, USOC chief marketing officer, in a press release. “Thanks to the tremendous Olympic efforts of NBCUniversal and other partners in the Road to Sochi program, like Hilton HHonors, Americans will get to know the 2014 U.S. Olympians and Paralympians better than ever before in the 12 months leading up to the Sochi Games.”
The 2014 Winter Games run from February 6-23, 2014, featuring 15 disciplines in seven sports, as recognized by the IOC. Twelve new events have been added to the Olympic roster for 2014: biathlon mixed relay, figure skating team event, freestyle skiing halfpipe and slopestyle, luge team relay, women’s ski jumping and snowboard slopestyle and parallel slalom events, for a total of 98 medal events.