The alpine skiing events at the 2014 Winter Games have been nothing short of exciting in Sochi, Russia thus far, and that is set to continue on Day 8 when more big names hit the slopes.
So far, things have been far from predictable as favorites have stumbled and underdogs have emerged to win medals. But on Feb. 15, the focus will be solely on the women's super-G event, which combines aspects of downhill and the giant slalom into one entertaining package.
With each rider only getting one shot at the course to win a medal, fans will not want to miss what is sure to be a highlight of the day.
Event: Women's Super-G
Date: Saturday, Feb. 15
Live TV: None
TV Highlights: NBC Primetime (8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT)
Live Stream: NBC Live Extra
Note: All info courtesy of Sochi2014.com unless otherwise specified.
Athletes to Watch
Julia Mancuso, United States
Julia Mancuso is the definition of these Games personified, as no one could have predicted beforehand that she would put on such a stunning display in place of the injured Lindsey Vonn.
Mancuso is the owner of the United States' only medal in Alpine skiing to date at Sochi thanks to her bronze in the women's super combined. ESPN's Paul Carr points out that the podium appearance did nothing but further solidify her status in Olympic history:
Julia Mancuso wins bronze in the combined. Her 4 career Alpine Skiing medals are 2 more than any other U.S. woman.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) February 10, 2014
In the super-G, Mancuso is a favorite to further her impressive mark in history. The competition is no pushover, but Mancuso has proven up to the task, which is more than most American athletes can say at this point.
Maria Hoefl-Riesch, Germany
Like Mancuso, the dominant Maria Hoefl-Riesch is also looking to add more hardware before the Games in Sochi conclude.
Hoefl-Riesch took home the gold in the women's super combined, and afterward said she understood the pressure but took the expectations in stride, according to Howard Fendrich of The Associated Press, via WNCT 9:
Of course, the expectations were really high for today. I was one of the top favorites - or, actually, the top favorite. The pressure was really high. I tried to keep cool and easy. ... Yeah, you can say that, but it's not always possible.
It is great that Hoefl-Riesch understands the pressure, especially considering she is one gold medal away from tying the record for all-time Olympic gold medals won in Alpine skiing.
Tina Maze, Slovenia
Slovenia's Tina Maze was one of two women to win the gold medal in the women's downhill event recently.
As ESPN points out, Maze is now a part of history:
Slovenia's Tina Maze & Switzerland's Dominique Gisin tied for downhill gold today, the 1st tie for gold in Olympic alpine skiing history.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 12, 2014
Maze has finished no worse than seventh place in all three events so far, and another podium finish is far from out of the question. She is too experienced on the slopes, with records in world championships under her belt, not to be in consideration when things kick off on Saturday.
Time for the Olympics to get a bit boring—the above three will find their way to the podium when all is said and done.
Look, these three have been in heavy contention in all of the events to this point, and Saturday's contest offers minimal changes to the course other than taking the trajectory of the downhill and mashing it with the gates of the giant slalom.
Boring, sure—but Maze, Hoefl-Riesch and Mancuso have been building toward this event for a while now.
Gold: Maria Hoefl-Riesch
Silver: Julia Mancuso
Bronze: Tina Maze