Svindal looks for Olympic super-G boost, Jamaica on track
Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal, seen in the finish area during the Men's Alpine Skiing Downhill, at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre, during the Sochi Winter Olympics, on February 9, 2014 - by Alexander Klein
Svindal scored a full set of medals in Vancouver in 2010, but just missed the podium in the Sochi downhill, one of his best disciplines, and fell to eighth in the super-combined.
But on Sunday, the 31-year-old five-time world champion could redeem himself in the men's super-G.
As Olympic champion and current leader in World Cup super-G rankings, he is the clear favourite with four of his seven World Cup crystal globes having come in the discipline, including in the last two seasons.
Also in contention are US pair Bode Miller and Ted Ligety as well as Matthias Mayer, the shock winner of the downhill.
Over at the Sanki sliding centre, the Jamaican duo of Winston Watts and brakeman Marvin Dixon go into the first heats of the two-man bobsleigh as underdogs for the gold but favourites with the crowd.
The 46-year-old Watts, who is taking part in a fourth Olympics but first since 2002, admitted that he still even watches "Cool Runnings", the Hollywood movie which chronicled Jamaica's famous first appearance at a Winter Olympics, at Calgary in 1988.
"I still watch that movie as if it's the first time I'm watching it," Watts said. "It's very inspiring."
On the challenge ahead, Watts added: "I'm trying to grasp what I can get from my coach. Hopefully by the time the competition starts I'll get all of what the coach has said."
Only five medals will be decided on Sunday with Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen again trying to win a record 13th Olympic Winter medal when he competes in the men's 15km mass start.
Among his rivals will be France's Martin Fourcade who has already won two gold medals in Sochi.
Three-time world champion Lindsey Jacobellis of the United States tries to make up for her fall while showboating on the final jump in the snowboard cross at the 2006 Turin Games.
In speedskating, Ireen Wust of the Netherlands, who won gold in the 3000m and silver in the 1000m, defends her 1500m title.
Victory would give her the fourth gold of her career and a sixth Olympic medal.
Norway, Sweden and Russia start as cross country medal favourites in the men's 4x10km relay.
Elsewhere, the figure skating ice dance competition starts with the short dance while in the men's ice hockey competition, Canada, Russia and United States are all in action.