U.S. Short Track Olympic Trials: Preview, how to watch

Maame Biney will race for her second Winter Olympics appearance at the 2021 U.S. Short Track Olympic Trials.

Maame Biney will race for her second Winter Olympics appearance at the 2021 U.S. Short Track Olympic Trials.

Seven spots on the 2022 United States Winter Olympic Team are up for grabs this weekend at the U.S. Olympic short track speed skating trials. All the action from the Utah Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City can be seen LIVE on the networks of NBC and Peacock.

The field is wide open for both genders and many of the Olympic places could be claimed by athletes in the early stages of their careers. Only PyeongChang 2018 quarterfinalist Maame Biney enters with prior Olympic experience, and even she is still just 21 years old.

SEE MORE: Meet the Athletes: Maame Biney

The veteran of the group, 27-year-old Kristen Santos, is also the biggest favorite of anyone to make the Olympic team. Santos missed out on PyeongChang by one spot at the 2018 Trials, where she was still recovering from surgery after another skater’s blade sliced her hand and wrist a month prior.

This season, though, Santos is on a historic run. In October, she became the first American woman since 2012 to make the podium in two events in the same World Cup stop. The very next week, she scored the first World Cup win of her career, placing first in the 1000m event in Nagoya, Japan. The Fairfield, Connecticut, native enters the weekend as the fourth-ranked female short track skater in the world.

SEE MORE: USA’s Kristen Santos wins first short track World Cup gold

Due to the performance of athletes like Biney and Santos, the United States earned five Olympic spots for female skaters, as opposed to just two for male skaters. The U.S. failed to qualify a men’s relay for the first time in 20 years.

That was due in part to the departure of Team USA’s top two male short track stars at the 2018 Winter Games. Three-time medalist J.R. Celski retired shortly after PyeonChang, and 1000m silver medalist, John-Henry Krueger, switched his affiliation to Hungary.

Among those who will compete for the two male spots is 20-year-old Brandon Kim, currently ranked 29th in the world and the only American man inside the top-50. Ryan Pivirotto and Andrew Heo are not far behind, however.

SEE MORE: Meet the Athletes: Andrew Heo

Olympic team places will be awarded based on athletes’ performance across multiple distances.

The competition gets underway Friday in primetime on NBCSN

U.S. Olympic Short Track Speed Skating Trials Broadcast Schedule

Day / Time (ET)

Event

Platform

Friday, 8:30 p.m.

1500m, 500m

NBCSN | Peacock | STREAM LINK

Saturday, 5:30 p.m.

1000m, 1500m

NBCSN | Peacock | STREAM LINK

Sunday, 4:30 p.m.

500m, 1000m

NBC | Peacock | STREAM LINK

All coverage also streams on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app.

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