Some of the most indelible images from the Winter Olympics often come from the Alpine skiing events. The altitude, speed and grace at which these athletes perform is amazing.
In Sochi, fans should expect more memorable moments and performances from the world's best.
Here's a look at the full men's and women's schedule. All television coverage will come via NBC and the NBC Sports network.
Feb. 9: Men’s downhill, 3 a.m. EST
Feb. 10: Women’s super combined, 3 a.m. EST
Feb. 12: Women’s downhill, 3 a.m. EST
Feb. 14: Men’s super combined, 3 a.m. EST
Feb. 15: Women’s super-G, 3 a.m. EST
Feb. 16: Men’s super-G, 3 a.m. EST
Feb. 18: Women’s giant slalom, 3 a.m. EST
Feb. 19: Men’s giant slalom, 3 a.m. EST
Feb. 21: Women’s slalom, 7:45 a.m. EST
Feb. 22: Men’s slalom, 7:45 a.m. EST
Stars to Watch
Perhaps no athlete in the world has been hotter than Ligety. He finished third in the latest World Cup standings and he won the giant slalom, super-G and the super combined at the World Championships.
Because of his recent success, Ligety has the potential to win multiple medals in Sochi.
He won gold at the super combined at the 2006 Turin Olympics, but wasn't as fortunate during the 2010 Vancouver Games. The 29-year-old from Salt Lake City is in a great position to rebound from the disappointment in Vancouver and to make the Sochi Games his place for glory.
Even at 36 years old, Miller is a force to be reckoned with. He has already won five Olympic medals in his illustrious career.
Expect to see him as a medal threat in super-G and downhill in Sochi. On Thursday, Miller had the fastest time during the downhill training session. He clocked in at 2 minutes, 7.75 seconds down the Rosa Khutor piste. This was also the area where he suffered a knee injury that forced him to miss the 2013 Alpine season.
After the impressive practice run, Miller was careful not to get too excited about his preliminary success. Per Andrew Dampf of the Associated Press, per ABC News, Miller said:
"Unfortunately they don't give you medals for training runs. If they did, I would be psyched today. But it certainly doesn't hurt to come out here and ski well first run. I just have to keep trimming time."
Following Miller's progress at Sochi will be one of the high points of the 2014 Winter Games.
Without the injured Lindsey Vonn to contend with, Shiffrin is poised to become the darling of the American team in Sochi. At just 18 years of age, Shiffrin could be at the beginning of a long and successful Olympic career. In 2013, Shiffrin became the first U.S. slalom World Cup champion since Tamara McKinney in 1984.
Shira Springer of the Boston Globe writes:
For American audiences almost worshipful of precocious sports talent, the Games provide a perfect launching pad for the country’s most promising Alpine skier since Vonn, a gold medalist and 17-time World Cup title winner. Plus, Vonn’s absence because of knee surgery creates a face-of-the-Games void. Shiffrin, with her long blond hair and easy smile, could fill that void, especially if she ends up on the podium.
Winning is the key. A beautiful smile will only take you so far. As Springer mentions, the grin shines a bit brighter when it is flashed atop a podium spot.
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