What to watch on Day 15 of Sochi Olympics

Steve Holcomb
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Here’s a look at the compelling events, athletes and storylines of the Sochi Olympics on Saturday, Feb. 22. A complete list of every Saturday event can be found here.

WHAT TO WAKE UP EARLY FOR …

Alpine skiing, men’s slalom, 7:45 a.m. ET/11:15 a.m. ETCLICK HERE TO WATCH FIRST RUN | SECOND RUN

The final Alpine skiing event includes three Americans — giant slalom champion Ted Ligety, David Chodounsky and Nolan Kasper — but it would be a surprise to see any of them win a medal.

The favorites are led by Austrian Marcel Hirscher, who is the reigning world champion and leading the World Cup standings for a third straight season.

Germany’s Felix Neureuther could pose a threat, skiing after being involved in a car accident on his way out of Munich this week. So could rising Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen, 19, who won the last World Cup slalom in Schladming, Austria, on Jan. 28.

Hirscher was fourth in the Olympic giant slalom, Neureuther eighth and Kristoffersen 10th.

Speed skating, men’s and women’s team pursuit, 8:30 a.m. ET CLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE

The U.S. has been shut out of speed skating medals for the third time in Olympic history and is done at the Adler Arena.

The Dutch, though, are favored to cap their dominance in the final two events.

Sven Kramer leads the men’s team seeking to better disappointing bronze medals in 2006 and 2010. They blew out France and Canada by a combined 20 seconds in the quarterfinals and semifinals Friday. The Dutch men get South Korea in the gold-medal final.

The women have semifinals and finals left to go. The Netherlands beat the U.S. in a quarterfinal and will get Japan in the semis. Russia and Poland are in the other semifinal.

If the Netherlands women wins their semifinal (or win the bronze-medal matchup), Ireen Wuest will finish the Olympics with five medals, matching the Winter Olympic single-Games record. Wuest would be the only athlete at the Sochi Olympics to win five medals.

The Netherlands could win eight of the 12 speed skating events in Sochi and 23 of 36 total medals awarded.

WHAT YOU CAN’T MISS DURING THE DAY …

Biathlon, men’s 4×7.5km relay, 9:30 a.m. ET CLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen will go for one more record in the final biathlon event. He’s part of the Norwegian team in the running for gold.

If Norway wins, Bjoerndalen will capture his ninth career gold medal, breaking the tie for most career golds with retired Norwegian cross-country skier Bjorn Daehlie. Bjoerndalen already broke Daehlie’s total medals record, notching Nos. 12 and 13 here.

This will be Bjoerndalen’s record 27th and final career Winter Olympic event. France, Russia, Austria and the Czech Republic should also contend.

Men’s hockey bronze-medal game, U.S.-Finland, 10 a.m. ETCLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE

The U.S. must regroup after a 1-0 loss to Canada if it wants to win its first men’s hockey medal outside of North America since 1972.

It was the U.S. that knocked Finland out of the 2010 Olympics in the semifinals, so there should be plenty of motivation. What was iffy as of Friday night was the status of Finland goaltender Tuukka Rask, who missed a semifinal loss to Sweden with the flu.

Finland is hoping to win its sixth men’s hockey medal over the last eight Olympics. The Finns have never won an Olympic hockey gold.

The U.S. has not won an Olympic men’s hockey bronze medal since 1936.

Four-man bobsled, runs 1 and 2, 11:30 a.m. ET CLICK HERE TO WATCH EVENT LIVE

American Steven Holcomb will begin defense of his Olympic title with the first two of four total runs. The final two runs will be Sunday.

Holcomb, who won bronze in the two-man Monday, has been dealing with a calf injury this week, slowly ramping up his fitness in training runs. He was fourth and sixth in the final two of six training runs Friday.

The fastest sleds in training have been driven by Russian Aleksander Zubkov, the two-man champion, Latvian Oskars Melbardis, Britain’s John Jackson and Germany’s Max Arndt and Francesco Friedrich.

Germany, long a bobsled powerhouse, has yet to win a bobsled medal at these Olympics.

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