Today at the Games in Sochi athletes will compete for eight sets of medals across the mountain and coastal clusters. The main events will unfold in Krasnaya Polyana where spectators will get a double dose of emotions. Two sets of medals in the cross-country skiing and snowboarding will be awarded there.
Also in the mountains, new Olympic champions in the alpine skiing, bobsleigh and biathlon will be decided. In the Coastal Cluster at Adler Arena, speed skaters will compete for medals in the 5000 meters, at the Iceberg Skating Palace the figure skating competition begins and the quarterfinals take place in the ice hockey.
At Laura, cross-country skiers head out for the team sprint classic. Favorites for the women's sprint are Stefanie Boehler and Denise Herrmann of Germany. Also traditionally strong in this event are the Norwegians, Swedes and Americans. Julia Ivanova and Anastasia Dotsenko will represent Russia.
In the men's tournament, Scandinavians Petter Northug, who has not yet won a medal in Sochi, and Ola Vigen Hattestad will compete. Canada, Sweden, and the Russians Maxim Vylegzhanin and Nikita Kryukov will also be hoping to get their hands on a medal.
This evening also at Laura, the biathlon mixed relay will make its Olympic debut. One of the favorites is the Norwegian team, which will include Sochi medal-winners Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, Emil Hegle Svendsen, Tora Berger and Tiril Eckhoff. Teams from France, Belarus, Czech Republic, and Ukraine are also worth watching.
In the Roza Khutor Extreme Park, medal-winners will be named in the women’s snowboarding and in the men’s parallel giant slalom. The main favorite amongst the men is an Olympic champion from the Vancouver Games, Jasey-Jay Anderson from Canada. In the women’s giant slalom, Russian fans are pinning their hopes on two-time world champion Ekaterina Tudegesheva, and former silver medalist Ekaterina Ilyukhina. The frontrunner this season is Patrizia Kummer from Switzerland.
The clear favorite in alpine skiing is Austrian Marcel Hirscher. Going up against him will be the American Ted Ligety, who is an Olympic champion and the reigning world champion.
In the women’s bobsleigh after two heats yesterday, the leaders are Americans Elana Meyers and Lauryn Williams. They are ahead of the Canadian team of Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse, who won at the Olympics in Vancouver, by 0.23 seconds. In third place right now are Jamie Greubel and Aja Evans from the US.
On the ice at Adler Arena the last individual start in speed skating will take place, the ladies' 5000m. The strongest speed skater here is multiple World and Olympic champion Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic. Other favorites are Yvonne Nauta and Carien Kleibeuker of the Netherlands, Stephanie Beckert and Claudia Pechstein of Germany, and the 3000m bronze medalist Olga Graf of Russia.
The battle for medals in the concluding figure skating program starts at the Iceberg with the solo ladies performing short programs. A significant group of skaters are laying their claim for medals, including two Russians, Yulia Lipnitskaya.and Adelina Sotnikova. Their main rivals are Vancouver Olympic champion Korea's Kim Yuna, as well as twice winner of the world championships Japan's Mao Asada.
Finally, the hockey quarterfinals will be staged at Bolshoy and Shayba. The first showdown begins between Sweden and Slovenia, and the Russian team will play the Finns this afternoon. Two more matches will be held at 21:00 Moscow time: Canada v. Latvia and United States v. Czech Republic.