Sochi Olympics: Viewer's guide

Summary: The first half of a probable Olympic coronation for world champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia, who seek to restore the old world order. Russia, and prior to that the Soviet Union, owned this event from 1964 through 2006 with only one exception, and this duo represents the best chance the country has for a gold after being shut out in Vancouver in 2010. Volosozhar and Trankov scored a record 237.71 total points at Skate America in October. The rink in Sochi is literally home ice for the pair, who have trained there frequently.

What: Freestyle Skiing
Where: Rosa Khutor Extreme Park
Events/When: Women's Slopestyle Qualification, 1 a.m. ET; Women's Slopestyle Final, 4 a.m. ET

Summary: Canadian Kaya Turski has been the feel-good story of the season, returning from ACL surgery after only five months to win at the X Games in January. But American Maggie Voisin, who took second to Turski at the X Games in January, has a switch 1080 and, at 15, has nothing to lose.

What: Ski Jumping
Where: RusSki Gorki Ski Jumping Center
Events/When: Women's Individual (normal hill) First Round, 12:30 p.m. ET; Women's Individual (normal hill) Final, 1:20 p.m. ET

Summary: This is it -- the culmination of eight years of legal and bureaucratic wrangling to get women's ski jumping in the Olympics. A field of 30 will contest the lone event (compared to three events for men). Will reigning world champion Sarah Hendrickson be in podium form less than six months after major reconstructive knee surgery? Japan's Sara Takanashi has dominated the World Cup circuit in her absence. U.S. veterans Lindsey Van and Jessica Jerome will join Hendrickson on the hill.

What: Snowboard
Where: Rosa Khutor Extreme Park
Events/When: Men's Halfpipe Quarterfinals, 5 a.m. ET; Men's Halfpipe Semifinals, 10 a.m. ET; Men's Halfpipe Final, 12:30 p.m. ET

Summary: If Shaun White wins, he will become the first American man to win gold at three consecutive Winter Olympics. He dropped out of slopestyle to focus on defending his halfpipe title and, if he needs it, White could land the sport's first triple cork in a halfpipe. Even a perfectly executed YOLO flip can't top that.

Wednesday, Feb. 12

What: Alpine Skiing
Where: Rosa Khutor Alpine Center
Events/When: Women's downhill, 2 a.m. ET

Summary: Lindsey Vonn's rebuilt knee couldn't withstand the stress of a full season, so the 2010 gold medalist will be a faraway spectator when the title is conferred on someone else. It could be her longtime friend and rival Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany, who achieved a double win in Vonn's old stomping grounds, Lake Louise, last fall and captured another World Cup in Cortina d'Ampezzo just two weeks ago.

What: Figure Skating
Where: Iceberg Skating Palace
Events/When: Pairs free program, 10:45 a.m.

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