The Norman Transcript

National Sports

February 14, 2014

Bode and Ted’s excellent chances

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — The men’s super-combined today opens a stretch of three Alpine skiing races in three days at the Sochi Olympics.

The women’s super-G is scheduled for Saturday, followed by the men’s super-G on Sunday.

If all goes according to plan — and there are no warm weather-related postponements — Monday will be an off day for the Alpine squads.

Here are five things to know about Alpine skiing entering Friday’s super-combined, which consists of one downhill run and one slalom leg:

Bode’s slalom: Defending super-combined champion Bode Miller has been terrific in downhill training — and less so in last weekend’s downhill race, finishing eighth. The American knows he’s going to have to turn in a real strong first leg today in order to have some margin for error in the slalom run.

“Obviously, I don’t have the same time in the slalom this year or the last five years as the slalom guys, which is the real disadvantage,” said the 36-year-old Miller, who could become the oldest Alpine medalist in Olympic history.

Ligety split: Ted Ligety of the U.S. won the combined gold medal at the Turin Games in 2006, back when the event included two slalom runs, in addition to the downhill. He also won the world title in super-combined last season, and he’s tied for the current World Cup standings lead in the discipline.

So he’s setting his sights high today

“I want to be able to try to get on the podium or win. I think that’s well within my grasp, if I ski well,” said Ligety, who’s from Park City, Utah.

Mayer the medalist: Today, for the first time in his career, Austria’s Matthias Mayer will be seeking a second consecutive race victory. That’s because he’d never finished first in 65 top-level events until winning the Sochi Olympic downhill last weekend.

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