Olympic Alpine Skiing 2014: Preview and Predictions for Women's Super-G
It is the ultimate marriage of speed and technical precision. A timed speed event, the super-G, also known as the super giant, combines the speed requirements of the downhill competition but as an additional twist, the skiers must maneuver through gates spread in a similar fashion to the giant slalom.
Alpine skiing is one of the most physically demanding and treacherous sports in the Winter Games. The super-G requires athleticism, finesse and fearlessness to reach the Olympic podium.
Read on as we take a look at the women's super-G competition.
Schedule, TV and Live Stream Info
The women's super-G competition is a must-watch event. Though it is held in the middle of the night for those following the action from the United States, here are several ways to make sure you do not miss a minute of the excitement.
Women's Super-G Viewing Info
Date: Feb. 15
Time: 2 a.m. ET
TV: Click here for TV listings.
Live stream: Available on the NBC Olympics website.
How Did We Get Here?
So far, the course at Sochi has proven to be an extremely difficult and demanding one. With two medal events already in the record books, the downhill and the super combined, there has been a precedent set as to how the super-G may play out.
In the downhill competition, Slovenia's Tina Maze tied for a gold medal with the Swiss Dominique Gisin with a time of 1:41.57. Both women figure to be medal contenders in the super-G as well and should carry that momentum forward. Lara Gut was not far behind with a silver medal after finishing the course in 1:41.67 and she also has been in sharp form in Sochi.
In the super combined, the favored Maria Hofl-Riesch delivered for Germany in a gold medal performance over Austria's Nicole Hosp and Team USA's Julia Mancuso. All three ladies should be major factors in the super-G.
Without Lindsey Vonn, will Team USA medal?
The absence of alpine skiing sensation Lindsey Vonn has left a void in the roster for the United States. Vonn, who took home the bronze hardware in this event at the Vancouver Games, would have been the strongest representative for America. However, Julia Mancuso has brought her A-game to Sochi and will try to turn in the same sort of strong performance that landed her a bronze in the super combined.
Will Maria Hofl-Riesch make history?
The star of the slopes from Germany is inching her way towards a place in the history books. After earning the third Olympic gold medal in alpine skiing in the super combined, she is now one gold away from tying the record for all-time Olympic gold medals won in the sport set by Croatian pioneer Janica Kostelic.
Will Tina Weirather compete?
After a training injury forced Weirather to the bench for the downhill competition, doubts have begun to surface as to whether or not she will miss the remainder of the competition. The competition is too fierce for her not to be competing at her best, though she was an early medal favorite for the super-G.
Athletes to Watch
Slovenia's Tina Maze had to share the top podium with Dominique Gisin of Switzerland after the women tied in the downhill competition. The 30-year-old was gracious in an interview with NBC following the achievement.
"It's better to be two on top than one to be 1/100th behind. Two happy faces."
She will try to take home the gold hardware in this event and with the potential elimination of Tina Weirather, she should be the top contender.
After an injury forced her to sit out the Vancouver Games, Gut has made her Olympic debut a stylish one for her native Switzerland. The 22-year-old athlete took home her first Olympic medal with a bronze in the downhill competition. Despite that achievement, she was in tears after the race and The Washington Post reported that she was disappointed with her performance. The tears came again when she failed to finish the super combined. If she can keep her emotions in check, she is a medal contender.
After a silver medal in the slalom event at the Turin Games, Hosp was sidelined and missed the 2010 Winter Olympics with injury. She got off to a sharp start in Sochi with a silver medal in the super combined, and the super-G may actually be her strongest event.
Who Are the Sleepers?
Finally able to re-emerge from the shadow of her superstar teammate, Lindsey Vonn, the four-time Olympic medalist will try to add additional hardware to her trophy case here. She turned in a tenacious, impressive performance to surprise some doubters and take the bronze in the super combined and could pull another minor upset here.
Though the 24-year-old Austrian has had a disappointing stint in Sochi thus far with an eighth-place finish in the super combined and a failure to finish in the downhill, she could turn that around in the super-G. It is regarded as her strongest event and if she has a shot to medal, this will be the time.
Complete Medal Predictions
The super-G has shaped up to be one of the most competitive events on the alpine skiing lineup. With a deep field of talented, evenly-matched athletes, the gold will likely be decided by mere hundredths of a second.
Gold - Tina Maze
Silver - Maria Hofl-Riesch
Bronze - Julia Mancuso