Sochi Winter Olympics 2014: What to watch for on Day 9

Paul Gilham

Figure skating, skiing and hockey are the main events in Friday Olympic action. Here are the top events to watch.

SB Nation 2014 Winter Olympic Coverage

Day 9 of the Winter Olympics is well underway, and there are plenty of intriguing events happening on Friday. Figure skating has another medal event with the men's individual final, Bode Miller is looking for redemption (again) in the men's super combined event, and ice hockey continues with gold medal favorites Canada taking on Austria. There are also medal events in skeleton, cross country and freestyle skiing, so expect some frantic updates to the medal table when all is said and done.

Here are the top events to watch for on Friday.

Figure skating

Can anybody touch Yuzuru Hanyu? The rising Japanese skater blew away the field in the short program, setting an Olympic record with a 101.45 score. If he skates like he did on Thursday, everyone else will be competing for second place. Canada's Patrick Chan finished second Thursday and has a good chance at his first Olympic medal, but he'll have tough competition from Spain's Javier Fernandez and Japan's Daisuke Takahashi.

Only two Americans qualified for the free skating event, Jason Brown and Jeremy Abbott. Brown was sixth in the short program and has the best shot of getting Team USA on the podium, although Abbott could make things interesting if he avoids another fall. The host country will dearly miss its biggest star, as Russian Evegni Plushenko pulled out of the events and retired on the spot after injuring his back during Thursday's warmups.

Alpine skiing

The men's super combined begins at 6:30 a.m. ET with the downhill run. This event has the skiers doing both the downhill and slalom courses, with the aggregate score determining who gets the medals. Matthias Mayer won the gold in the downhill event and will be hoping to add to Austria's medal count. American Bode Miller will try to recover from a disappointing downhill result and build on his resume from his last Olympic games.

Skeleton

If you thought luge athletes were crazy, they have nothing on skeleton athletes, who basically do the same thing only lying on their bellies and going face-first at 75-80 mph. That alone makes this worth watching. Anyway, the athletes do four runs in this event, and the scores are added up to determine winners. The women make their final two runs on Friday, with the medals handed out sometime after 11 a.m. Great Britain's Elizabeth Yarnold has the lead after the first two runs, followed by America's Noelle Pikus-Pace and Russia's Elena Nikitina.

Ice hockey

Team USA gets the day off after demolishing the Slovakians, 7-1, on Thursday, but Vancouver gold medalists Canada will hit the ice at noon. They started their medal defense with a 3-1 win over Norway and now face off against Austria, who were defeated by Finland, 8-4. Norway will play Finland in the same timeslot, with a Sweden-Switzerland match taking place before them at 7:30 a.m.

More on the Winter Olympics:

SB Nation's Winter Olympics medal tracker | Meet Team USA

Guy falls off skeleton sled, somehow doesn't die | #Lookit

Accidental Selfie Grandma is the star of the Olympics

Remembering the 1980 Miracle on Ice | Longform: Team USA's disaster in 1984

Hockey: Men’s schedule | All 12 men’s rosters | USA roster analysis

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