Saturday’s best bets
The event lost a lot of luster when Shaun White decided not to compete. But the craziness of the jumps and potential crashes that follow make it a must watch. The U.S. did not qualify anyone into the finals but has one last shot to get there in the semifinals. Chas Guldemond has the best U.S. shot, but it’s a long one.
Team figure skating
It’s not that they all compete at the same time, but this new event gives TV three more days of figure skating. The U.S. is tied for fifth after the first day with the women’s short program, short ice dance and pairs free skate up today. All eyes will be on Ashley Wagner of the U.S. after her less-than-stellar performance at nationals.
This could be the first gold medal for the U.S. Hannah Kearney is defending her 2010 gold won in Vancouver in this her third and last Games. Sisters Chloe and Justine Dufour-Lapointe of Canada are formidable competitors also looking for gold. The U.S. could sneak a second medal if Eliza Outtrim improves upon her qualifying run.
The U.S. opens women’s play with a tough opponent in Finland. Although most think everything is headed for a U.S.-Canada final, Finland upset the U.S. in November. Key to that win was goalie Noora Raty, who played for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. She stopped 58 shots in a 3-1 win.
Sunday’s early best bet
The Alpine competition starts with one of its marquee events. Bode Miller, after a disastrous performance in Turin, surprised everyone with a bronze medal in Vancouver. He’ll need every bit of that magic to beat Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal, who has dominated World Cup action with two wins in six races.