Olympic Daily Preview - Wednesday, February 12th

The Sports NetworkFebruary 10, 2014 

Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - There are six medal events on Wednesday at the Sochi Olympics.

U.S. speedskater Shani Davis will try to become the first American man to win the same event in three straight Winter Olympics when he goes in the men's 1,000 meters.

American snowboarder Shaun White had the same chance Tuesday, but finished fourth in the halfpipe.

Davis, 31, warmed up with a 24th-place finish in the 500 on Monday, an event he competed in only after a teammate was disqualified in December for an infraction, leaving Davis with the last spot on the team.

Korean Mo Tae Bum, who was fourth in the 500, finished second to Davis four years ago in the 1,000 and will skate against him again. Americans Brian Hansen, Jonathan Garcia and Joey Mantia are also in the field. Denny Morrison, William Dutton, Muncef Ouardi and Vincent de Haitre will go for Canada.

The only three athletes ever to three-peat at the Winter Olympics were all women: speed skaters Bonnie Blair of the U.S. and Claudia Pechstein of Germany, and figure skater Sonja Henie of Norway.

Davis isn't the only athlete who can pull off the feat Wednesday.

Austrian brothers Andreas and Wolfgang Linger have won the last two Olympic luge doubles titles and will go for a three-peat. Canadians Tristan Walker and Justin Snith and Americans Matthew Mortensen and Preston Griffall are in the field.

On Tuesday, Erin Hamlin earned the first-ever American medal in Olympic luge singles, a bronze.

There won't be a repeat Olympic champion in the women's downhill on Wednesday.

Injured American star Lindsey Vonn didn't make the trip to Sochi, but 2010 silver medalist Julia Mancuso did and earned the first U.S. alpine skiing medal of the Sochi Games with a bronze in the super combined on Monday.

Mancuso will ski the Olympic downhill for a third time and is trying to match Bode Miller for the most Olympic medals -- five -- by any U.S. alpine skier.

Austria's Elisabeth Goergl, the 2010 bronze medalist, is also in the field. So are Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch, who won her second straight Olympic gold in the super combined on Monday; and fellow medal hopeful Tina Maze of Slovenia.

After White's flameout in the men's halfpipe, the women's event will be held Wednesday with several riders looking for their second gold medal.

The U.S. team includes former Olympic champions Hannah Teter (2006) and Kelly Clark (2002), who finished 2-3 behind Australian Torah Bright in 2010. All three are in the field again.

Also on Wednesday, the men's hockey tournament will get underway with a pair of games. Sweden will take on the Czech Republic and Switzerland will open against Latvia.

One of the more anticipated matchups of the games will take place on the women's side when Canada and the U.S. face off in a matchup of Group A unbeatens.

While the U.S. has won four of the last five world championships, Canada has won three straight gold medals and topped the Americans in the final game in Vancouver.

The U.S. will be trying to follow up a dominant 9-0 win over Switzerland on Monday. Canada, meanwhile, has yet to allow a goal in its two wins over the Swiss and Finland.

The figure skating pairs competition will continue with medals being handed out following the free program.

Heavily favored Russians Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov easily won the short program on Tuesday and earned a score of 84.17 -- 4.53 points higher than Germany's Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, who were second.

Americans Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir were ninth and teammates Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay also qualified for Wednesday's free program in 14th place.

Canadian pairs Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford and Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch were fifth and sixth. Teammates Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers also qualified in 13th.

Americans made a splash four years ago in Nordic combined -- which pairs ski jumping and cross country skiing in the same event -- winning the country's first four medals in the sport.

Opening ceremony flag bearer Todd Lodwick, who won a silver in the team event four years ago, leads the U.S. team into Wednesday's normal hill competition. Also in the field are teammates Bill Demong, who won a gold at the Vancouver games, and brothers Talyor and Bryan Fletcher. France's Jason Lamy Chappuis will defend his Olympic title.

Curling continues with a number of men's matchups as well as a session by the women.

The U.S. men will try to get off the schneid with a matchup against Denmark. The Americans were defeated by China on Tuesday to fall to 0-2. Meanwhile, the American women, who are also looking for their first win, will play China.

Canada's men's team, which has won two straight Olympic gold medals, was defeated by Sweden on Tuesday to fall to 1-2 andwill meet Russia on Wednesday. The women have a matchup with Great Britain after rolling past Sweden a day earlier.

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