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WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES

Portland goes for the gold with local links to Vancouver, B.C., winter events
by: Jonathan Ferrey, U.S. athletes Apolo Ohno (above), Shaun White and Lindsey Vonn are ready for the Vancouver Olympics, which have been hurt by lack of snow on Cypress Mountain.

Athletes are gearing up, organizers are planning to use artificial snow and the 21st Winter Olympics are set to kick off with the opening ceremonies Friday, Feb. 12, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

It's the closest the Olympics have been to Portland, but if you don't have a ticket to any events, a couple hundred hours of television coverage will be provided by NBC and other networks (see day-by-day list on page 4). NBC's 17-day coverage, aired locally on KGW (8), begins with opening ceremonies at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12.

Rain and warm temperatures have led to organizers scrambling for solutions to the lack of enough snow being on the ground, mostly on Cypress Mountain, site of freestyle skiing and snowboard events. Gobs of fake snow from higher elevations has been hauled in, as well as bales of hay, just in case weather doesn't change before the Olympics begin. Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort, site of alpine skiing, has plenty of the real white stuff.

• The Olympics will feature U.S. stars such as Shaun White in halfpipe snowboarding, Lindsey Vonn in women's alpine events, Apolo Ohno in speed skating and the U.S. hockey team. The state of Oregon produced only one Olympian, alpine skier Tommy Ford of Bend.

Chris Klug, 37 and formerly of Bend, made the alpine snowboard team. He competed in the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics (in '02 after a liver transplant), before missing out in 2006. He faced an uphill battle for 2010 after being denied funding and having to compete as an independent.

Portland's Danny Kass, a two-time silver medalist in halfpipe, failed to make the U.S. Olympic team. White, the reigning gold medalist, and Louie Vito and Scotty Lago will represent the U.S. men, and Heather Clark, Gretchen Bleiler and Hannah Teter the U.S. women.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

DOUG PENSINGER/GETTY IMAGES • The Olympics will feature U.S. stars such as Shaun White in halfpipe snowboarding.

• Opening ceremonies will be shown on two large screens at Pioneer Courthouse Square, courtesy of the Oregon Sports Authority. KGW programming will begin at 5 p.m. Feb. 12.

• An interesting Olympic tie-in takes place at Krakow Cafe and Pub: 'Rocky and Bullwinkle Film Festival,' celebrating all things Olympic and Canadian. The cafe, located at 3990 N. Interstate Ave., will show continuous movies of the flying squirrel and moose between regular Olympic television programming.

The central Europe-themed cafe will also play host to a Katarina Witt look-a-like contest; Witt, a East German, won the 1984 and 1988 Olympic golds in women's figure skating. Krakow chef Bobby Smith has created a special 'Canadian Gold Medal' pierogi for the Olympics; it's a dish of boiled or baked dumplings of unleavened dough with varying ingredients. The cafe's festivities wrap up Feb. 27 and 28 with showings of 'Canadian Bacon,' a Michael Moore film starring John Candy and Alan Alda.

• Hours of Olympics coverage will be aired on KGW, USA Network, MSNBC, CNBC and Universal Sports and Universal Sports HD. Almost all of the USA, MSNBC and CNBC coverage will be hockey and curling.

Coverage will be subject to change and may vary according to cable systems (Comcast, Verizon) or satellite providers (Dish, DirectTV) in your area. Check the NBC Web site, www.nbcolympics.com, for complete information and results.

DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/GETTY IMAGES • The Olympics will feature U.S. stars such as Lindsey Vonn in women's alpine events.

Here are television listings for each day for Comcast subscribers in the Portland area (Universal abbreviated):

Feb. 12 - KGW, 7:30 p.m.-midnight; U-S, 7-11 a.m.

Feb. 13 - KGW, 2:30-5:30 a.m., 2-6 p.m., 8-11:30 p.m.; CNBC, noon-2:30 p.m., 5-7:30 p.m.; U-S, 7 a.m.-noon

Feb. 14 - KGW, midnight-4:30 a.m., 1-6 p.m., 7-11 p.m., 11:30 p.m.-midnight; USA, noon-2:30 p.m.; MSNBC, midnight-2:30 a.m.; CNBC, 3:30-6 p.m.; U-S, 7 a.m.-noon

Feb. 15 - KGW, midnight-4 a.m., 1-5 p.m., 8 p.m.-midnight; MSNBC, midnight-2:30 a.m., 2:30-5 p.m.; U-SHD, 6:30-9 a.m.; U-S, 2-3 a.m., 7-11 a.m.

Feb. 16 - KGW, midnight-4 a.m., 3-5 p.m., 8 p.m.-midnight; USA, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; MSNBC, midnight-2:30 a.m., 2:30-5 p.m.; CNBC, 2 p.m.-midnight; U-S, 7-11 a.m.

Feb. 17 - KGW, 12:30-5 a.m., 3-5 p.m., 8-11:30 p.m.; USA, 9 a.m.-noon; MSNBC, midnight-2:30 a.m., noon-5 p.m.; CNBC, midnight-2 a.m., 2 p.m.-midnight; U-SHD, 3-9 a.m.; U-S, 7 a.m.-noon

Feb. 18 - KGW, midnight-5 a.m., 3-5 p.m., 8 p.m.-midnight; USA, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; MSNBC, midnight-3 a.m., 2:30-5 p.m.; CNBC, midnight-2 a.m., 2 p.m.-midnight; U-SHD, 6-9 a.m.; U-S, 7 a.m.-noon.

Feb. 19 - KGW, 12:30-5 a.m., 3-5 p.m., 8-11:30 p.m.; USA, 9 a.m.-noon; MSNBC, midnight-2:30 a.m., noon-2:30 p.m.; CNBC, midnight-2 a.m., 2-10 p.m.; U-SHD, 3:30-9 a.m.; U-S, 2-3 a.m., 7-11 a.m.

Feb. 20 - KGW, midnight-5 a.m., 1-6 p.m., 8-11:30 p.m.; MSNBC, midnight-3 a.m., 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 4:30-7 p.m., 8:30-11:30 p.m.; CNBC, 2-5 p.m., 7-10 p.m.; U-SHD, 6-9 a.m.; U-S, 2-3 a.m., 7-11 a.m.

Feb. 21 - KGW, midnight-5:30 a.m., noon-6 p.m., 7-11 p.m., 11:30 p.m.-midnight; MSNBC, midnight-3 a.m., 9 a.m.-noon, 4-7 p.m., 8:30-11:30 p.m.; CNBC, 2-5 p.m., 7-10 p.m.; U-S, 2-3 a.m., 7-11 a.m.

Feb. 22 - KGW, midnight-4:30 a.m., 3-5 p.m., 8 p.m.-midnight; USA, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; MSNBC, midnight-2:30 a.m., 8:30-11:30 p.m.; CNBC, 2-10 p.m.; U-S, 7 a.m.-noon

Feb. 23 - KGW, 12:30-5 a.m., 3-5 p.m., 8 p.m.-midnight; USA, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. MSNBC, midnight-2:30 a.m., 7-10 p.m.; CNBC, 2-11:30 p.m.; U-SHD, 3-9 a.m.;U-S, 2-3 a.m., 7-11 a.m.

Feb. 24 - KGW, 12:30-5 a.m., 3-5 p.m., 8-11:30 p.m.; MSNBC, midnight-2:30 a.m., 2-5 p.m.; CNBC, 4-11:30 p.m.; U-SHD, 3-9 a.m.; U-S, 2-3 a.m., 7-11 a.m.

Feb. 25 - KGW, midnight-5 a.m., 3-5 p.m., 8 p.m.-midnight; USA, 9 a.m.-noon; MSNBC, midnight-2:30 a.m., 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 3-6 p.m.; CNBC, 2-5 p.m.; U-S, 2-3 a.m., 7-11 a.m.

Feb. 26 - KGW, 12:30-5 a.m., 3-5 p.m., 8-11:30 p.m.; USA, 9 a.m.-noon; MSNBC, midnight-3 a.m., 12:30-2:30 p.m.; CNBC, 3-9 p.m.; U-SHD, 6-9 a.m.; U-S, 2-3 a.m., 7-11 a.m.

Feb. 27 - KGW, midnight-5 a.m., 1-6 p.m., 8-11 p.m.; USA, 9 a.m.-noon; MSNBC, midnight-2:30 a.m., 7-9:30 p.m.; CNBC, 3-6 p.m.; U-SHD, 6-9 a.m.; U-S, 2-3 a.m., 7-11 a.m.

Feb. 28 - KGW, 1-4:30 a.m., noon-6 p.m., 7-10:30 p.m., 11:30 p.m.-midnight; MSNBC, midnight-9 a.m.; U-SHD, 6-9 a.m.; U-S, 7-11 a.m.