With bobsled, luge and skeleton racers rocketing down a winding, ice-covered track, sled racing will be one of the most exciting events at the Winter Olympics next month in Sochi, Russia.
The first thing you have to know about sled racing is that it's a little like NASCAR: It's all about speed. And the tracks, built all over the world — including the new one in Sochi — are really different, according to Steve Holcomb, who won a gold medal in four-man bobsled four years ago.
The Super Bowl is set. The Seattle Seahawks will face the Denver Broncos. The Broncos handily dispatched the New England Patriots. Seattle, in an extremely close game, beat the San Francisco '49ers. NPR's Mike Pesca is here to give us some game day details. Good morning.
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.
MONTAGNE: Tell us about the Seahawks versus '49ers game. It came down to a rather amazing defensive play.
The U.S. Olympic team is taking shape in the run-up to next month's Winter Games in Russia. This week, the Olympic cross-country ski team names the athletes who'll be going to Sochi, and veteran Kris Freeman is vying for another spot.
The 33-year-old Freeman already has been to three Olympic Games, and he's considered the country's best long distance racer over the past decade.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. And it is time for sports.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MARTIN: And on a Sunday in January, you know what's on everyone's minds: NFL playoffs. San Francisco and Seattle face off today for the NFC title. My West Coast loyalties are divided. I am in a conundrum. NPR's Mike Pesca joins us now. Hey, Mike.
Time now for another episode of archrival series, Wingin' It. This week, we introduce you to an 87-something-year-old British sailor who has racked up approximately 300,000 nautical miles; sometimes with no crew, just him and his 42-foot yacht, Fiona.
If you're a football fan, Sunday is kind of like Christmas.
Two conference championship games will determine the teams that advance to the Super Bowl, and the matchups couldn't be more exciting: Denver vs. New England (Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady). And some would say the other game, pitting San Francisco against Seattle, might just feature the two best teams in the league.
America shows its love for the sport in many ways beyond breathless anticipation of big games. It also gives back to the National Football League with tax breaks and publicly funded stadiums.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary. Time now for sports.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
NEARY: And then there were four. Tomorrow is the Sunday before the Sunday before the Super Bowl. And that means New England takes on Denver and San Francisco goes up against Seattle to see who's headed to the big game. NPR's Tom Goldman, who's caught in the middle of that San Fran-Seattle crossfire, joins us on the line from Portland. Good morning, Tom.
TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: I'm ducking here. Hiya, Lynn.