This February, the highlight of international sports will be the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. With the many competitions that will be held, the tight schedule that is necessary to fit all of the games into three weeks, and the large time difference between here and Russia, it can be tough to keep up with all of the events that are being broadcast. However, if you want to see the events that Team USA is expected to be a top contender in, here is your guide to our Olympic favorites!
The USA men’s hockey team, led by 2-time Stanley Cup winner Patrick Kane, are in a good position to earn a medal. The only question will be what color – they will be in tight competition with Canada and Russia for the top spot. Similarly, the women’s team is in the position to contend for their first gold medal in decades, but will also find tough opponents in Russia and Canada.
The US is the favorite to win gold in the brand-new team competition in figure skating because of their strong and consistent performers in each competition. In the individual competition, their best medal hopes rest on Meryl Davis and Charlie White in ice dancing. J.R. Celski and Shani Davis are both strong medal contenders in the men’s speed skating event, both having won medals in the previous Olympic Games.
Team USA lost the overwhelming favorite in women’s alpine skiing when Lindsey Vonn was injured and had to withdraw, but the team is still placing high hopes in Julia Mancuso, who won two silver medals in Vancouver four years ago. Ted Ligety and Bode Miller, in their third and fourth Olympics, respectively, bring great experience to the men’s skiing team, and both have a shot at reaching the podium.
In the bobsled event, there is excitement in both the men’s and women’s events. The men’s team (Steven Holcomb, Steve Landon, Curt Tomasevicz, and Chris Fogt) won gold in Vancouver and is looking for a repeat performance. The women are strong medal contenders in the two-person and four-person races, and bobsledders Lolo Jones and Lauryn Williams have the distinction of having competed in both the summer and winter Olympics (both track and field in the summer games).
Although these are some of the favorites for Team USA, it’s the Olympics – anything can happen! Sometimes, the most fun part of watching the games can be rooting for the underdog… and watching them win! Keep your eyes open for the many surprising twists and turns that inevitably come with such a monumental event!