With a multitude of storylines and stars poised to pop, Olympic long-track speedskating promises to be one of the most anticipated and watched events of the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Competition will take place across five men’s and women’s individual events as well as a team pursuit race, with much of the focus centering on the 500-, 1,000- and 1,500-meter events where the biggest American stars are likely to shine.
Chief among those is American Shani Davis, who is seeking a third straight gold in the 1,000 meters as well as a first triumph in the 1,500-meter event after winning silver in the 2010 Vancouver Games. He’s joined by Heather Richardson, who will challenge for medals in all three of those events on the women’s side. Good friend and competitor Brittany Bowe is also seeking a multiple-medal haul in those events.
As a team, the United States is looking to better its four-medal performance in Vancouver, where the women failed to win a single medal. If that changes in Sochi, the Yanks have a great chance to increase their medal total and provide a lift to the country’s overall count.
As always, the Germans, Dutch and South Koreans will be among the most formidable delegations in Russia, and all three have multiple favorites across a number of competitions, headlined by the likes of the Netherlands' Sven Kraker and German Claudia Pechstein.
The action gets underway on Feb. 8 and runs all the way through the Feb. 21 where the exciting team pursuit competitions will close out the action on the large oval.