It’s about 15 months before the Feb. 7, 2014 opening of the next
So here are 15 thoughts on winter sports as the full gamut of sports on the program for the Sochi Games get into pre-Olympic-year action this weekend.
1. There is a good chance the groin injury that has delayed
2. Lysacek withdrew from Skate America in October and decided not to go to Croatia for a Dec. 13-16 competition that would have allowed him to get his blades wet before nationals. So why did he skate in a made-for-TV cancer charity show in North Carolina last week?
3. In answer to No. 2, Lysacek's agent, Shep Goldberg, told me that even if the skater was feeling ready to compete, the lengthy trip to Croatia could have affected the injury. Goldberg said Lysacek was committed to the Carolina event on a personal level, since his father, Don, is a cancer survivor. And Lysacek did not push himself in the exhibition, doing only two jumps.
4 Two-time Olympic speedskating champion
5. Brittany Bowe has made an unusual sports transition. An all-
6. The addition of Olympic track stars
7. Reigning 4-man Olympic gold medal driver Steve Holcomb also couldn't be hotter: two 2-man wins, two 4-man second places in the first two World Cups. In his new biography, But Now I See: My Journey From Blindness to Olympic Glory, Holcomb reveals he made a failed suicide attempt (pills) in 2007 when he thought a degenerative eye disease was about to leave him blind.
8. Looks as if Ashley Wagner will be the only U.S. singles qualifier, male or female, for the Dec. 7-8 Grand Prix figure skating final – the test event for the new Sochi arena. It would be the first time since 2002 the U.S. had just one singles qualifier.
9. Making the Grand Prix Final is a dubious reward for U.S. skaters, because getting to Sochi currently is a major and tedious pain requiring at least three flights for anyone not starting in New York or Washington.
10. Reigning Olympic champion
11. High school senior Mikaela Shiffrin, just 17, already has proved making the podium last year in just her fifth World Cup slalom race was no fluke by duplicating that third place in the season-opening slalom Nov. 11 in Finland. She’ll be in the spotlight when the White Circus hits Aspen, Colo., this weekend: the second run of Sunday’s slalom is live on
12. Funny how things work out. First
13. The 2014 U.S. Olympic feel-good story is likely to be skeleton racer
14. Women's ski jumping, slopestyle skiing and snowboarding, halfpipe skiing, snowboarding parallel slalom, luge team relay and the figure team event debut on the Sochi Olympic program.