Skaters, snowboarders, scary bears and pink eye at Sochi 2014
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Worst: Failed 3-peats for Shaun White and Shani Davis
NBC always knew there would be the usual lulls between segments of figure skating, but the network knew it had a pair of charismatic trump cards. Shaun White was going for a three-peat in the halfpipe and Shani Davis was going for a three-peat in the 1000 meters. These were popular athletes and worthy narratives. Then White flopped on his first finals run and ended up in fourth. NBC winced and buried the event in primetime, but at least could milk some drama. Things were far worse for Davis, who finished eighth in his big event the following day. Throw in a podium wash-outs for men's and women's individual figure skating and it's amazing NBC was able to get the primetime audiences it did. That's a lot of high-profile duds.
- Daniel Fienberg