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Sochi Olympics best bets: Downhill and team figure skating

Bode Miller is the one to watch in the downhill. U.S. seems locked into a team bronze.

February 08, 2014|By John Cherwa
  • Bode Miller has been one of the fastest skiers during men's downhill training this week at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center.
Bode Miller has been one of the fastest skiers during men's downhill… (Clive Rose / Getty Images )


This early marquee event (both early in the Games and very early Sunday morning) could easily be one of the last chapters in the Bode Miller story. The former U.S. bad boy had the fastest time in Saturday's final training run and that was after easing up at the end. He is perfectly suited to this course, winning two of three training runs.


Normally long-track speedskating can seem sort of dull. But defending Olympic champion Martina Sablikova's dominance has been something to watch. This season the Czech has won two of the three races she competed in and finished second in the other. Jilleanne Rookard is the best U.S. hope, but she won't even come close to the podium.


The United States seems headed for a bronze medal on the last day of competition, which will include the men's and women's free skate and the ice dance free skate. Russia has a commanding lead followed by Canada. Still, the competition could be a preview of the more prestigious individual medals.


The U.S. hopes to build on the success of Sage Kotsenburg on the women's side of the snowboard slopestyle competition. The main U.S. hope is Jamie Anderson, who was considered a favorite for the gold. However, in the qualifying run she was beaten by Anna Gasser of Austria.



Four years ago Julia Mancuso surprised everyone when she won silver in Vancouver. She seems to rise to the occasion in big events and the Olympics are as big as it gets. Look for Marie-Michele Gagnon of Canada and Maria Riesch Hoefl of Austria to also be there with fast times in this event that combines the downhill and the super-giant slalom.

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