Sochi Olympics 2014: What to Watch

With Friday night coverage of the opening ceremonies, the winter Olympic games kicked off to a fantastic start on local TV last week. This long-awaited event that takes place once every four years began with coverage from NBC’s Bob Costas who gave a brief overview of what’s to come as well as some of the controversy surrounding the games in Sochi, Russia.

Sochi Olympics 2014: What to Watch


Slopestyle snowboarding for both men and women started last Thursday with a qualifying round that foreshadowed who to stay on the lookout for in the final rounds. Team USA’s Jamie Anderson was a favorite for women’s slopestyle. As analyst Todd Richards put it, she is “Quite possibly the most dominant force on women’s snowboard slopestyle competition.” And Jamie came through with the gold Sunday night.

Shaun White, two-time Olympic gold medalist, unfortunately decided not to compete during the slopestyle event due to injury. He hopes instead to save up energy for his signature event: the much anticipated half pipe.

Team Figure Skating

Debuting a new category, the pressure was on with Team Skate an event which pits countries against one another in the figure skating rink. Scott Hamilton, former Olympian, explained the anxiety behind this event, “If you mess up, you don’t just let yourself down, you let your team down as well.” Basically, in Team Skate, there are 10 teams of one man, one lady, one pair, and one dance couple whose scores cumulatively decide which nations advance.

Unfortunately for USA’s Jeremy Abbott, he had a rough go during the competition, falling once and then reducing the degree of difficulty in his program. The commentators did not hold back either, stating, “This is a disastrous performance.”

But Russia’s Team Skaters made their competition look like amateurs. And Sunday night, Russia emerged as the gold medal winner with performances by its seasoned veteran Evgeni Plushenko and fifteen year old star Yulia Lipnitskaia. This gold puts Russia now in sixth place just behind the US and Germany in the medal count. The Netherlands sit in the top spot ahead of Canada and Norway.

What’s Coming Up

Men’s halfpipe kicks off this Tuesday in prime time which pits the US favorite Shaun White, who is competing for his third gold medal in this event, against up and coming Japanese sensation Ayumu Hirano who is just fifteen years old.

Also on Tuesday, a historic even happens with the first ever Olympic women’s ski jumping. Look out for American Lindsey Van who is not to be confused with skier Lindsey Vonn despite their similar names.

And on Thursday, the luge team relay begins with probably the fastest and most dangerous sport in the winter games. Watch lugers reach high speeds of up to 87 miles per hour as they whiz down the icy track.

Lots of other fantastic events are scheduled, so be sure to tune in.

Competitors to Look Out For

Team USA and Russia will face off in men’s ice hockey with a potentially bitter competition as Russia tries to take the gold on their home ice. In 1980, USA defeated the Soviet Union in a famous contest. But that was the last time the USA has won gold in this event which makes the American’s also hungry for a win. The game airs February 15th.

Straight out of a scene from Cool Runnings, Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon will make Jamaica’s first appearance in 12 years on the bobsledding track. Don’t miss it on February 16th.

The Sochi games have already begun displaying the athletes’ sensational hard work, dramatic disappointments, and heart-warming comeback stories. The Olympics are only here for a couple more weeks, so don’t miss out on any of the exciting action.

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