Sochi Olympics: Viewer's guide

Tuesday, Feb. 18

What: Alpine Skiing
Where: Rosa Khutor Alpine Center
Events/When: Women's Giant Slalom, first run, 2 a.m. ET; Women's Giant Slalom, second run, 5:30 a.m. ET

Summary: Five different women have won the five World Cups contested in this discipline this season. Mikaela Shiffrin, the breakout U.S. star in slalom, has been making inroads in her second event, taking a silver and a bronze on the World Cup circuit.

What: Bobsled
Where: Sanki Sliding Center
Events/When: Women's Two-Woman (Run 1), 10:15 a.m. ET; Women's Two-Woman (Run 2), 11:20 a.m. ET

Summary: For all the attention given to the selection of Lolo Jones as a pusher for the U.S., reality is the gold medal will likely come down to the top U.S. team of Elana Meyers and Aja Evans or Canada's Kallie Humphries and Heather Moyse, the defending gold medalists. Humphries' sled beat Meyers' for the World Cup title by one point in January.

What: Freestyle Skiing
Where: Rosa Khutor Extreme Park
Events/When: Men's Halfpipe Qualification, 8:45 a.m. ET; Men's Halfpipe Finals, 12:30 p.m. ET

Summary: Since the last Olympic cycle, American skier David Wise has won every X Games ski halfpipe contest, the in-between-Olympics Olympics of his sport, which is making its Olympic debut in Sochi. But Wise has received more attention for his life outside of skiing, where he's a husband, dad and 23. After his Olympic debut, it's likely that his skiing will take the international stage.

What: Short-Track Speedskating
Where: Iceberg Skating Palace
Events/When: Women's 1000 Heats, 4:30 a.m. ET; Men's 500 Heats, 5:15 a.m. ET; Women's 3000 Relay Final, 5:55 a.m. ET

Summary: We know the U.S. won't medal, because despite taking bronze in Vancouver, the American team didn't qualify to compete in this event this time. South Korea and China, meanwhile, will battle for gold.

Wednesday, Feb. 19

What: Alpine Skiing
Where: Rosa Khutor Alpine Center
Events/When: Men's Giant Slalom, first run, 2 a.m. ET; Men's Giant Slalom, second run, 5:30 a.m. ET

Summary: In all likelihood, this is a two-man race between American star Ted Ligety and Marcel Hirscher of Austria. Ligety is the reigning world champion in the event. He and Hirscher have traded podiums during the World Cup season, with Ligety winning the most recent race in St. Moritz, Switzerland, by an impressive 1.51 seconds.

What: Cross-country
Where: Laura Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Center
Events/When: Women's Team Classic Sprint

Summary: While four-time Olympian Kikkan Randall is America's best cross-country skier, Minnesota's Jessie Diggins, 22, is an upcoming star. Randall and Diggins won the team sprint at last year's world championships, and they could do so again.

What: Figure Skating
Where: Iceberg Skating Palace
Events/When: Women's short program, 10 a.m. ET

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