The last full day of skiing action is upon us, and what a way to go out: three big-time events, including the men's slalom.
First on the docket is cross-country skiing action, and it's a doozy: women's 30 km, the single longest women's winter olympics event and one of the most grueling events you'll ever see. The gold-medal winner four years ago, Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland, finished in 1:30:33.7 -- and she won by three-tenths of a second over Marit Bjoergen of Norway. So yes, that's 90 minutes of pure, uninterrupted cardiovascular hell with the slimmest of margins for error. Just think about that the next time you're putting 20 minutes in on the treadmill.
Next on Saturday's schedule is the biathlon, which wraps up with the men's 4 x 7.5 km relay. Norway is likely to win this one, with Ole Einar Bjoerndalen -- the most decorated winter Olympian of all time with 13 medals -- leading the way. Norway has six medals and the Czech Republic is lurking with five, so there are some bragging rights on the line here as well. As if there's ever not in biathlon.
The last skiiing event of the day -- and the last alpine skiing event of the Sochi Olympics -- is the men's slalom, which holds both its runs on Saturday. Austrian Marcel Hirscher is the World Cup leader in the slalom and looks like the top competitor here, but slalom's hardly lacking for unpredictability -- one slip or missed gate and everything can go to hell.
The full skiing schedule, via Sochi2014.com, is here. All times are ET.
4:30 a.m.: Women's cross-country, 30 km mass start
7:45 a.m.: Men's slalom, run 1
9:30 a.m.: Men's biathlon, 4 x 7.5 km relay
11:15 a.m.: Men's slalom, run 2
So that's it. After today's action, all that's left is Sunday's men's cross-country 50 km race, which is less "sports" and more "people almost dying," so embrace the day's events, people.