One of the most fascinating aspects of the 2014 Winter Olympics is watching athletes tackle unknown terrains in crazy ways. That description is a perfect fit for the ski jumping event, where competitors hurtle down a slope, fly off a ramp and launch themselves into the air—soaring like some kind of futuristic pterodactyl.
Day 10 of Sochi 2014 is going to capture some of the most exciting moments of the event with the first and final rounds of the men’s team ski jumping competition on the schedule:
|Time (local)||Time (EST)||Event|
|9:15 p.m.||12:15 p.m.||Men's Team First Round|
|10:22 p.m.||1:22 p.m.||Men's Team Final Round|
For your viewing pleasure, here is the basic information on where you can watch the event.
When: Monday Feb. 17
TV Coverage: NBC Sports (US)
Live Stream: NBC Live Extra
How the Competition Works
There are 12 different countries participating in the event, with each team consisting of four skiers. In individual ski jumping, there are two different hills: normal and large. For the team jumping event, only the large hill is used.
The contestants receive scores based on distance and technique during takeoff, flight and landing. In the team competition, all four members’ scores are added up in the first round and the top eight teams advance to the final round.
Even though there is a “final round,” the gold medal is going to go to the team that demonstrated excellence on a consistent basis.
The format for the final round is the same as Round 1, but the final results are determined by the total score of both rounds of the event.
Breaking Down the Favorites
Based on track record, the favorites to finish atop the podium in 2014 have to be the Austrians. Loaded with some of the sport’s biggest stars like Thomas Morgenstern, Gregor Schlierenzauer and Thomas Diethart, Austria has dominated the team event in recent years.
Team Austria has won gold at the last two Olympics and has taken first place in every world championship since 2005. Austria is the cream of the crop, but its latest form has left the door open for another nation to fly in under the radar and dethrone the kings of the ski jump.
Austria finished fifth in the World Cup in Klingenthal earlier in 2013 and only managed to improve that to third in Poland last month. Similarly, three-time Olympic champion Morgenstern and his teammate Diethart failed to qualify for the final round of the individual event in Sochi.
On the contrary, the Slovenians have won the last three World Cups and are led by Peter Prevc, who has already won two medals in the individual format: silver in the normal hill and bronze in the large hill.
Likewise, Poland is sure to have a say in the result as its star, Kamil Stoch is gunning for his third gold medal of this year’s Olympics. While the Polish jumper is in brilliant form, he is fully aware of the tough competition he faces, as he told the Agence France-Press after claiming his second medal of 2014:
I really would like to have a third gold medal but it will be hard to win any medal It will be difficult, really difficult because the level is really high right now. A lot of teams are jumping really well. We are going to do our best and see what happens.
Additionally, both Germany and Japan boast deep teams with multiple athletes who fared well in the individual competition:
|2 (Silver medal)||Noriaki Kasai||Japan|
With Austria's form so up in the air and so many other top-notch contenders, this event is wide open. In one of the most exhilarating sports of the Sochi Olympics, there will be a hard-fought competition for a spot on the podium—and you don’t want to miss it.