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Winter Olympics: Thursday's NBC highlights

By Ken Schott
Thursday, February 13, 2014

As I like to do during the NFL season with the pregame shows highlights, I will try to do the same with NBC's press releases from its Winter Olympics coverage.

Here are the highlights from Thursday. They are provided by the NBC Sports PR department.

Olympic correspondent and Russian-American journalist Vladimir Pozner on importance of seeing Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Games: “Let’s make it clear that the main television networks in the country are controlled by the government. If they show President Putin, it’s because he wants to be seen. And it is important for the Russian viewer to see that he’s with the athletes, part of what’s going on, cares about it – it’s a picture that he wants.”

Pozner on the pressure on Russia's men's hockey team: "Pressure's going to come on Saturday when they play Team USA...[The Russian team] knows that the entire country wants it to win. [The country is] waiting for a final between Russia and Canada."

Pozner on Putin's assessment of the Sochi Games and security: "I think he is very happy, cautiously, you never know what's going to happen, but happy. I have to tell you, I thought the security blanket would be much more obvious. I thought it would be everywhere, you'd feel it. I've been around now, it's there, but it somehow doesn't bother you."

Scott Hamilton on Yevgeny Plushenko’s injury during warmups of men’s short program in figure skating prior to withdrawl: “You can see it in his eyes. We haven’t seen that look of fear and defeat, I don’t think, ever…he’s given us so many great memories. To see him leave the ice this way is so tough.”

Plushenko on his injury: “I feel sorry for my fans, and I feel sorry for everybody. But I tried – I tried until the end…I almost cried there, because it’s hard, believe me. This is the end of my career.”

Hamilton on Jeremy Abbott completing program following fall: “Just amazed at the way he was able to get up. It was almost like a shot of adrenaline just woke him up…I’ve never seen anything like that…that was extraordinary.”

Hamilton on Japanese skater Yuzuru Hanyu: “I’ve never seen a better quad performed by anybody than Yuzuru.”

Matt Vasgersian on Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper winning gold, silver and bronze in Olympic debut of men’s ski slopestyle: “For just the third time in U.S. Winter Olympic history, Americans have swept the podium!”

Luke Van Valin on U.S. sweep in men’s ski slopestyle: “It’s unbelievable that the United States has swept the podium here with such a strong international field.”

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