Alpine Skiing Olympics Schedule 2014: How to Catch Women's Downhill Competition

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IFebruary 11, 2014

United States' Julia Mancuso smiles during a US ski team press conference at the Gorki media centre at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Christophe Ena/Associated Press

Women will take center stage on the slopes of the Sochi Games on Wednesday, as the women's downhill is the only Alpine event scheduled for Wednesday. 

Hopefully conditions on the slopes will improve.

Due to mild temperatures and heavy use, as the Associated Press reported, the final training run for this event was cancelled. 

After Austrian Matthias Mayer took gold in men's downhill, and Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch pulled off the same feat for the women's super combined, the course had some serious ruts. The snow on Rosa Khutor was simply too soft to have any other result. 

As you can imagine, with the breathtaking speeds and no room for error that downhill skiers battle, it is important to have a dependable run for these athletes.

Check out all of the vitals for the course and the skiers and then I'll preview this always exciting event. 


Viewing Info

When: Wednesday, Feb. 12

Watch: NBC prime time (tape delayed)

Start Time: Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. ET; 8 p.m. CT; 7 p.m. MT; 8 p.m. PT

Live and NBC Live Extra 

Remaining Alpine Skiing Events at Sochi Games
DateTime (ET)Event
Feb. 122 a.m.Women's Downhill
Feb. 142 a.m.Men's Super Combined, Downhill
Feb. 146:30 a.m.Men's Super Combined, Slalom
Feb. 152 a.m.Women's Super-G
Feb. 162 a.m.Men's Super-G
Feb. 182 a.m.Women's Giant Slalom
Feb. 192 a.m.Men's Giant Slalom
Feb. 217:45 a.m.Women's Slalom
Feb. 227:45 a.m.Men's Slalom


Race Preview

With a bronze in the women's super combined, U.S. skier Julia Mancuso became just the third American to medal in three straight Winter Olympics.

Mancuso pulled off that feat thanks to an insanely good run on the downhill. She torched the course for a time of 1 minute, 42.68 seconds.

Admittedly, that number means very little to me. What gives it pop, however, is that it is almost a half-second better than the next closest competitor. In a sport where 0.1 seconds can be the difference between medaling or not, one-half of a second is impressive.

With Mancuso's outstanding history of performing in big events, she is a strong favorite to add another gold to her impressive legacy. Perhaps it would even be enough for her not to be "overlooked" anymore. 

With a resume that is not nearly as full away from the Olympics, Mancuso has often found herself taking a backseat to fellow American Lindsey Vonn. ESPN's Bonnie D. Ford passed along this quote from Mancuso: 

'Overlooked' is just maybe looking in the wrong places. 

That kind of stuff has never mattered to me. My teammates have been incredible. Lindsey Vonn is a champion and of course has had way more success than I have on the World Cup [59 wins to seven for Mancuso], so it's definitely warranted to give her a lot of credit.

Not that she is a lock. She will have to contend with defending overall World Cup champion Tina Maze of Slovenia. 

Also, a different woman posted the fastest time for each of the four training runs. As the Associated Press reported, Austrians Anna Fenninger and Nicole Hosp and Switzerland's Fabienne Suter and Dominique Gisin were the four women to post the day's fastest run. 

Throw in skiers playing musical chairs for the best times with the questionable condition of the course, and this is going to be an unpredictable and exciting race.