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BC-OLY--Sochi Olympics,ADVISORY, OLY

January 17, 2014


The Associated Press will be publishing the following stories in advance of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. For questions, please call +44 207 427 4229.


JAN. 17


Ted Ligety won a gold in 2006, choked in 2010, dominated the 2013 world championships. Is he ready to take over an Olympics? Could be the breakout star of Sochi. Comes across as a relaxed, mellow, ‘surfer dude’ type, but has some serious opinions about his sport. And might be the best giant slalom skier in history. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.

JAN. 18


A preview of long-track speedskating at the Olympics. By Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.

JAN. 19


A preview of short-track speedskating at the Olympics. By Beth Harris. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.

800 words. Photos.


Canada and the U.S. have not fared well in hockey when the Winter Olympics have been played on larger rinks outside of North America. The defending gold-medal champions and silver medalists hope to change that next month at the Sochi Games. By Hockey Writer Larry Lage. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.

JAN. 20


Patrick Kane seems to have grown up on and off the ice, giving the U.S. a go-to player it should be able to count on at the Winter Olympics. By Hockey Writer Larry Lage. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.


Isabella Tobias was born and raised in New York City, but she’ll be skating for Lithuania at the Sochi games. By Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.


A preview of the Luge competition in Sochi. By Tom Withers. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.

JAN. 21


A preview of the Skeleton competition in Sochi. By Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.


Lindsey Vonn, Bode Miller, Beat Feuz, Klaus Kroell, Susanne Riesch — the list goes on and on. Ski racing’s roster is filled with athletes coming back from seemingly catastrophic injuries. What’s the tougher part of coming back, mental or physical? By Howard Fendrich and Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.

JAN. 22


A preview of the Bobsled competition. By Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.


BRUSSELS — It was the blunder of the Vancouver Games. With Sven Kramer closing in on the 10,000-meter speedskating title, his coach sent him into the wrong lane on a changeover. Gone was the chance for triple gold and the opportunity to become one of the top stars of the Olympics. Kramer plans to show how to bounce back from his darkest moment. By Raf Casert. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.

A profile of pairs skaters Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy. By Nesha Starcevic. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.


With the help of veteran Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, who starts in his sixth Olympics, Norway is aiming to top the biathlon medal table in Sochi again like four years ago. Germany, Russia and France are likely to become the Scandinavians’ toughest opponents, while the United States is after its first ever piece of Olympic silverware. 5 Things to know about biathlon at the Sochi Olympics. By Eric Willemsen. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.

JAN. 23


It took a while —the International Ski Federation first recommended in 2006 that women’s ski jumping be added to the Olympic program. But finally the women jumpers will get a chance to appear on the Olympic stage at Sochi. By Dennis Passa. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.


TBILISI, Georgia — The father of the Georgian luger killed during a training run before the 2010 Vancouver Olympics laments that Georgia will have no one competing in the luge at nearby Sochi. But David Kumaritashvili is optimistic about the future of the sport in his country and in his family, with his 1-year-old grandson destined to continue the family tradition. “At 3 we’ll start training him,” Kumaritashvili said. By Misha Dzhindzhikhasvili. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.


Sweden won the women’s curling tournament at the last two Olympics, but that was under skip Anette Norberg and there is a new “Ice Queen” in town. Britain’s Eve Muirhead has already captured European and world titles — can she top the lot with Olympic gold by the age of 23? Five things to know about the women’s tournament. By Steve Douglas. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.

JAN. 24


At a Winter Olympics, there are few athletes dealing with bigger expectations than Canada’s male curlers. And for the past two games, they have delivered the gold medal. Brad Jacobs is the latest skip looking to top the podium for Canada’s men’s team, with Sweden and Norway set to push them closest. Five things to know about the men’s tournament. By Steve Douglas. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.

A preview of the Figure Skating competition at Sochi. By Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.


BRUSSELS — There is nothing more mythical in Dutch sports than an 11-city race skating across lakes and canals in bone-numbing cold from dawn to dusk. No wonder the Netherlands is the greatest speedskating nation in the world. And with Sven Kramer and Ireen Wust leading the way on the big oval in Sochi, they are bent on proving it again. By Raf Casert. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.


Male ski jumpers have been part of the Winter Olympics since 1924, but will share the spotlight with their female counterparts for the first time at Sochi. BC-OLY_JUM-Men’s Ski Jumping-5 Things. By Dennis Passa. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.


How does Tina Maze top last season, when she dominated the World Cup scene, accumulating more points than anyone ever had? The Slovenian star is talented off the slopes, too, an accomplished musician who had a hit song on her country’s airwaves. By Graham Dunbar. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.

JAN. 25


Mike Babcock appeared to make all the right moves at the Vancouver Games, helping the host Canadians play up to their potential to win gold. By Hockey Writer Larry Lage. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.

An overall preview of the Sochi Olympics. By Stephen Wilson. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.

A profile of Norwegian downhill skier Aksel Lund Svindal. By Andrew Dampf. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos.

JAN. 26


SOCHI, Russia — If you are flying into Sochi for the Winter Games, book a window seat on the right side of the plane and you’ll get a bird’s-eye view of what Russia spent $51 billion on: gleaming new sports arenas and a cobweb of highways. Everything inside the Olympic bubble is brand new, and that’s the Russia that President Vladimir Putin wants you to see. Outside the Olympic bubble it is a different story. By Nataliya Vasilyeva. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.


With women’s ski jumping added to the program, Nordic combined is the only remaining male-only event at the Winter Olympics. Combining ski jumping and cross-country skiing, three medals are on offer on the normal and large hills and team By Dennis Passa. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.

JAN. 27


MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin has a lot riding on the Sochi Games. If the Olympics are deemed a success, his image will be burnished at home and abroad. But if terrorists strike, the weather causes havoc in the coastal city or the hastily finished electricity grid leaves spectators in the dark, Putin will face disgrace and the $51 billion spent on his games will seem like a colossal waste of money. By Lynn Berry. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.


The idea was to add skiing to the mix of Olympic action sports, bringing the fun and frolic of the halfpipe onto two boards instead of one. Canadian star Sarah Burke pushed for that, and in Sochi, halfpipe and slopestyle events will be contested not only on snowboards, but skis, as well, in large part thanks to Burke’s effort. Burke was killed in a training accident shortly after her event gained acceptance onto the Olympic program. By Eddie Pells. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.

A profile of skater Joannie Rochette, By Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.

JAN. 28


His hair is shorter, still red, though when Shaun White walks down the street these days, more people do a double-take to make sure that really is him. Older, wiser, not quite as carefree, White carries some new baggage into his third Olympics. With Lindsey Vonn out, he is one of the biggest stars at these games. And this time, there will be two gold medals to chase, not just one, along with nagging ankle injuries to overcome. By Eddie Pells. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.


The NHL is freezing the league in the prime time of its season, allowing star players to play for their countries without any guarantees that the best players in the world will be able to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics. By Hockey Writer Larry Lage. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.

JAN. 29


A preview of the Alpine competition. By Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.


Too warm and too wet, the 2010 Vancouver Olympics had a tough time getting started when it came to Alpine skiing. Sochi’s had its own issues with mudslides and flooding and a lack of natural snow, so could there be more problems this time around? And also a look at what the Sochi skiing courses are like, how they might be different for the skiers and how things might look different to TV viewers. By Andrew Dampf. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos.


So what will be among the must-see moments at the Sochi Olympics — Shaun White’s latest trick or Evgeny Plushenko’s quad jump? When it comes to curling, however, there’s no doubt what the show-stopper will be. Yes, Norway’s men’s team is back with their crazy, funky pants. By Steve Douglas. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.

A profile of Liechtenstein skier Tina Weirather. By Graham Dunbar. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos.

JAN. 30


A preview of the Olympic hockey tournament. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.


It’s as if Switzerland’s Lara Gut is in a time machine, finally getting the sort of attention she probably deserved for years ago, when she was going to be the teen star of the Vancouver Games — until she hurt her hip and had to skip those Olympics. Now, if she can stay healthy, Gut could steal the show in Sochi. By Graham Dunbar. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.


Four years ago, the powerful Austrian men were a flat-out flop. The country with nearly twice as many Olympic Alpine medals as any other picked up only four in Vancouver — and zero by their men for the first time at an Olympics they entered. This sport is a big deal in that country, and they’re hoping Marcel Hirscher could put them back on track in Sochi. By Eric Willemsen. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.

JAN. 31

A profile of Russian skater Yevgeny Plushenko. By Jim Heintz. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos.

FEB. 1

A preview of top-level IOC meetings being held in Sochi before the Olympics. By Stephen Wilson. Photos. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.


MOSCOW — Russia is mounting an unparalleled security operation for the Sochi Olympics. By Jim Heintz. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.

FEB. 2

A profile of IOC President Thomas Bach. By Stephen Wilson. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.


Four years ago, the tragic death of a Georgian luger during practice at the Vancouver Games forced officials to alter the track and make it safer. The changes probably cost U.S. slider Erin Hamlin an Olympic medal as the 2009 world champion finished a disappointing 16th. Motivated by that failure, Hamiln, a three-time Olympian, is determined to reach the podium in Sochi. To do that, she’ll need to go faster than the dominant Germans. By Tom Withers. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.

FEB. 3


The U.S. coaching staff is filled with Austrians, seemingly more present now than ever with Riml as the Alpine director, Hoedlmoser leading the women, and Roland practically a personal coach for Shiffrin. Andreas leads the men’s downhill squad. And the U.S. team even has its in-season World Cup base in Austria. By Pat Graham and Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.

The AP

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