2014 Olympic Alpine Skiing: Preview and Predictions for Men's Downhill Event

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2014 Olympic Alpine Skiing: Preview and Predictions for Men's Downhill Event
Michel Cottin/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

Alpine skiing kicks off in the Winter Olympics with the fastest of all the disciplines: men's downhill. 

The downhill event has a longer course and higher speeds than any other Alpine event due its the steep course with spread-out gates. The athletes are known to achieve speeds up to 120 km/hr (74.5 mph) as they race to the finish line. The skiers go down the course one at a time, and at the end the athlete with the fastest time wins—it's certainly the simplest of all scoring systems.

This year the competition is wide open. Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal is the favorite, but Bode Miller of the U.S. and many other contenders are nipping at his heels. Here is everything you need to know about the men's downhill event in Sochi: 

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