ncaa-d1 flag | February 8, 2014

Let the Games begin

The Sochi Olympic Winter Games opened with a celebration of Russia's past greatness and hopes for future glory at the Opening Ceremony at Fisht Olympic Stadium on Friday night. The 230 athletes that paraded in with Team USA are the largest team to participate in any Olympic Winter Games.


The first five medals at Sochi will be awarded on Saturday: the men's 5,000-meter speedskating, the men's 10-kilometer sprint in biathlon, the women's moguls, the men's slopestyle final, and the women's 15-kilometer skiathlon. Here are the three disciplines to watch:


Team figure skating is making its debut at the Sochi Games. In the opening round, one skater per country does a short program or short dance in each of the four disciplines: men's, women's, pairs and ice dance. The top five countries then move on to the medal round, where skaters do a free program or free dance in the four events. Countries can make up to two roster changes between rounds.

Michigan's Meryl Davis and Charlie White will be skating at 9:30 a.m ET Saturday in team's ice dancing discipline. The reigning Olympic silver medalists are the favorites to win gold in ice dancing, which will take place Feb. 15.

After tough performances from Jeremy Abbott and the pairs team of Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, Davis and White hope to make up ground for the Americans.


The United States' women's ice hockey team will begin pool play competition in Sochi early Saturday morning with a game against Finland, starting at 3 a.m. ET.

Seven NCAA athletes will take to the ice for Team USA including Harvard's Lyndsey Fry, Michelle Picard, Josephine Pucci. Northeastern's Kendall Coyne, Boston College's Alex Carpenter, and Minnesota's Lee Stecklein and Amanda Kessel will also skate against Finland.

Harvard head coach Katey Stone will be on the bench for the Americans who aim to win their first gold medal since Nagano in 1998.