American short-track speedskater J.R. Celski leads teammate Chris Creveling… (Clive Mason / Getty Images )
WOMEN'S SUPER COMBINED
Four years ago Julia Mancuso surprised everyone when she won silver in Vancouver, Canada. She seems to rise to the occasion in big events, and the Olympics are as big as they get. Look for Marie-Michele Gagnon of Canada and Maria Riesch Hoefl of Germany to also be there with fast times in this event that combines the downhill and two runs of the slalom.
Canada will probably dominate this competition with world champion Mikael Kingsbury and Vancouver gold medalist Alex Bilodeau. Patrick Deneen, a former world champion, is the best hope for the U.S. The competition has a new format with qualification and then three more rounds. It makes for a long day.
FRAMEWORK: View the best images from the Sochi Olympics
In another step on the march to a U.S.-Canada women's final, the American team will play Switzerland. It should be an easy win for the U.S. It beat Finland, 3-1, in its opener and Switzerland lost to Canada, 5-0, in its first game. The format was changed these Games to allow for more balanced competition.
The men's 1,500 will be one of the marquee events on the first day of short track. JR Celski is the top U.S. medal hope. He won the bronze in Vancouver. The favorite should be five-time overall champion Victor An of Russia, formerly of South Korea. The heats, semifinals and finals are all conducted on the same day.
— John Cherwa