Sochi Winter Olympics: Athletes to watch

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Sochi Winter Olympics: Athletes to watch

By Phyllis Stark. CREATED Feb 3, 2014

With the Sochi Olympics set to begin in just days, the Associated Press sports writers covering the Winter Games help break down which American athletes you'll want to keep an eye on as medal contenders in the games’ 98 events, spread out over just under three weeks.

They include skiiers Mikaela Shiffrin, Julia Mancuso, Ted Ligety and five-time medalist Bode Miller. Also on deck is snowboarder Shaun White, who is looking for his third gold medal in the half-pipe and is also a top competitor in a new Olympic game, snowboard slopestyle.
 
The Sochi games will also feature one of the biggest names from the London Summer Games. Lolo Jones (pictured above) has made the transition from track and field to bobsled. And while she won her spot on the winter team, her move is not without controversy, with experts saying she could actually medal in a sport she didn’t know anything about two years ago.
 
In figure skating, pairs team Meryl Davis and Charlie White are expected to be the only Americans to medal.
 
On the speed skating track, watch for J.R. Celski, as well as Shani Davis, who will be looking for his third gold medal in the 1000 meter event.
 
Also on the ice, the U.S. men’s and women’s hockey teams will be looking for gold, after both won silver in Vancouver.

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