Miller and Ligety are U.S. hopefuls
Europeans have won every installment of the Olympic super-giant slalom since its addition to the program in 1988, and have several leading candidates for gold in 2010. Didier Cuche of Switzerland is the defending world champion and Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway was last season's World Cup champion. The U.S. has won only one medal in this event: Tommy Moe with a silver at the 1994 Lillehammer Games. Bode Miller and Ted Ligety are the top U.S. competitors.
Five teams appear to be in the running
Russians or teams from the former Soviet Union have won seven of the nine Olympic ice dancing gold medals, but they might not win gold this year. Five teams have a legitimate shot. 2006 Olympic silver medalists Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto of the U.S. could medal, as could U.S. team Meryl Davis and Charlie White. Oksana Domnina and Maksim Shabalin of Russia are the reigning world champions. Friday begins with the compulsory dance, with the free dance to be held Sunday.
Men and women trying for gold
Gold will be awarded to the men and women Friday. On the women's side, all three 2006 Olympic medalists are competing: Maya Pedersen (gold, Switzerland), Shelley Rudman (silver, Britain), and Mellisa Hollingsworth (bronze, Canada).
Of the men, only Jeff Pain (silver, Canada) returns.
-- Houston Mitchell