It's not the Winter Olympics without the skis, is it? You know my skis. In terms of sheer volume, it's a relatively quiet day on the slopes, but there's still plenty of excitement to go around.
Biathlon fanatics, hold onto your butts; the men's individual 20 km race is Thursday. It's the longest individual biathlon event in the Olympics, and if 20 kilometers seems like an insane distance to make someone ski even before you get the guns involved: yes, it is. So this is like biathlon shangri-la.
Meanwhile, cross-country skiing boasts a medal event in the women's 10 km classic. This event features 76 competitors from all around the globe, including Togo's lone Winter Olympics representative Mathilde Amivi Petitjean and the pride and joy of Dominica, Angelica Morrone di Silvestri. Ski Dominica!
The big ticket is the men's slopestyle ski, though; that features two-time X Games gold medalist Nick Goepper, who is a mere 19 years old and won in Aspen last month skiing without poles ("It's not like they really help you in any way," he said to Entertainment Weekly) and pulls off some of the nastiest tricks you've ever seen on the slopes.
Goepper is, of course, a monstrous favorite in Sochi, but it bears noting that he (like all freestyle skiers) is perpetually one missed trick away from disaster—and someone with his level of ambition in his stunts tempts that disaster in a massive way. If he takes gold though, we might be looking at the next big name in extreme sports, especially with the sun setting on Shaun White, who finished out of the medals this year and is a relatively ancient 27 years old already. So keep your eyes out.
Full Thursday schedule is below, via Sochi2014.com.
9 a.m.: men's individual 20 km
5 a.m.: women's classic 10 km
12:15 a.m.: men's ski slopestyle qualification
4:30 a.m.: men's ski slopestyle final