Section two of our guide to the Sochi Olympics takes us to some of the other sports including snowboarding, figure skating, speed skating, and bobsledding. With a long list of athletes representing the United States, over 200 in fact, here are some of the names to watch for in their events.
Of course, here is a link to the full television schedule as well. There should be something for everyone from the slow pace of curling to the skeleton to the artistic ice-dancing.
I know most of you remember everyone’s favorite movie about a certain Jamaican bobsled team. Well guess what, it’s real! Yup, their bobsled team is in full effect. And who doesn’t love a good underdog story?
They even had to raise the funds themselves, over $30,000 in order to get to the games, which they were able to do quite easily. To cap it all off their luggage got lost en route to the games after delays in New York, so they may even still be wearing shorts!
For the U.S., Lolo Jones will be competing on the women’s side. If that name sounds familiar it should, since she was one of the favorites in her even during the 2012 Summer Olympics. A bad start to her race ended that dream quickly though as she only mustered seventh place.
Still, for those wondering, there are only four people in history who have medalled in both the Summer and Winter Games. She is a long way off, but we could see the beginning of history in the making.
On the men’s side the four-man team is looking to defend their gold medal from Vancouver after 62 year drought before that. On the men’s side bobsled pilot Steve Holcomb is gold or bust in his two events. He ranks as the world’s best two-man bobsled pilot while holding a meager second spot in the world as a four-man pilot.
Not really sure if you could call it a sport, but for some reason this one always captivates me. In essence it’s a glorified version of bocce ball on ice, yet the skill of some of these guys in incredible.
Curling is one of those games that’s captivating for a couple weeks every four years, but always something I look forward to when the Winter Olympics come around. Besides, it gives hope to all of us not in shape that we too could become Olympic athletes, even if we are completely unathletic.
This one is more about ice-dancing as American duo Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who have been dancing together for 16 years, look to take gold as the favorites in the event. In 2010 in Vancouver the duo took silver, but this year they want the top spot on the podium.
Now, if you want a sport that really separates the men from the boys then this one is for you! If you have cahones of steel perhaps you might like to participate too, but for those of us who don’t like to live life too close to the edge we can sit comfortably at home on our Lay-Z-Boys.
For the United States the women’s side has a good chance of medalling, and even gold, with Noelle Pikus-Pace and Katie Uhlaender finishing one and two respectively at the Sochi test event last year. Pikus-Pace has also dominated the Women’s World Cup gaining the podium in nine of 10 races.
One name. Ted Ligety. 2013 was an unbelievable year for the American skier who probably has multiple trophy rooms at this point. Just last year he won three gold medals at the 2013 World Championships in three difference events. He has also been the World Cup in the giant slalom four times, including in 2013. He’ll be looking to defend his gold medal in the alpine skiing combined event.
Bode Miller, who is even more decorated than Ligety, will also be competing once again at the Sochi Olympics as he enters his fourth games. With five medals under his belt in his career (the most of any U.S. skier) he will be looking to add to that total, which includes his one gold medal.
I’ve glossed over snowboarding by lumping them all together, but there is one guy in particular, Shaun White, to keep an eye on as he goes for gold in the half pipe for the third straight time. Unfortunately in order to focus on getting gold in that competition he has pulled out of the slopestyle competition.
Also look out for Seth Wescott who is the only guy to have ever won snowboardcross since it has been part of the Olympics in 2006. He will also be going for his third straight gold medal in that event.
While the longer lengths can be more like marathon races that require incredible endurance, the shorter races can be quite entertaining and are exciting for the brief rounds around the track. Still, the long track team is expected to take home a few medals with Shani Davis for the men’s side and Heather Richardson for the women’s each expected to do well in multiple events.
Meanwhile, the successor to Apollo Anton Ohno could perhaps be J.R. Celski in the short track. The 23 year old won two bronzes in Vancouver four years ago and is in top form after being nearly unstoppable as the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Well, there you have it, quite a few things to keep an eye on during the next two weeks throughout the Sochi Olympics. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do! USA! USA! USA!