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Preview: Shani Davis goes for more glory in speed skating

Feb 8, 2014, 6:12 AM EST

Sochi Olympics Speedskating Men AP

All races can be seen live online. TV listings can be found here.

EVENT SCHEDULE

Feb. 8 – Men’s 5,000m – 6:30 a.m. ET

Feb. 9 – Women’s 3,000m – 6:30 a.m. ET

Feb. 10 – Men’s 500m race 1 and 2 begin at 8 a.m. ET

Feb. 11 – Women’s 500m race 1 and 2 begin at 7:45 a.m. ET

Feb. 12 – Men’s 1,000m medal event – 9 a.m. ET

Feb. 13 – Women’s 1,000m medal event – 9 a.m. ET

Feb. 15 – Men’s 1,500m medal event – 8:30 a.m. ET

Feb. 16 – Women’s 1,500m medal event – 9 a.m. ET

Feb. 18 – Men’s 10,000m medal event – 8 a.m. ET

Feb. 19 – Women’s 5,000m medal event – 8:30 a.m. ET

Feb. 21 – Men’s team pursuit – 8:30 a.m. ET

Feb. 22 – Women’s team pursuit – 8:30 a.m. ET

MORE: Speed skating breakdown event-by-event

U.S. OUTLOOK

While Shani Davis doesn’t seem ready to say that this will be his last Olympics performance at 31, the possibility is there. He’s already considered one of the greatest winter performers ever, but he could cement his legacy even further as he shoots for a big gold haul. In addition to shooting for individual medals, Davis will also participate in the team pursuit in a rare turn.

Davis would be the first U.S. Winter Olympics performer to win three straight gold medals in the same event if he takes 1000m gold again. The 1,500m might mean just as much to the icon, too, as he’s been limited to silver medals in the past.

MORE: Shani Davis eyes history

It’s not just about Davis for America.

The United States hopes to match its record eight medals from 2002, as Heather Richardson and Brittany Bowe could very well battle each other for medals (and benefit the U.S. program in the process). The women’s team hasn’t won a medal since 2002, yet Richardson and Bowe seem like they have a strong chance to change that, possibly in a memorable way.

MORE: U.S. speed skating hopes for a big medal haul

INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK

There will be plenty of competition from the rest of the world, however.

Mo Tae-Bum hopes to defend his surprise gold from Vancouver in the 500m and ranks among the top contenders to foil Davis’ bid at a 1000m hat trick. Denis Yuskov figures to make it difficult for Davis to get that long-desired gold in the 1500m (aka what Davis calls “the race of kings.”) Sven Kramer hopes to add to his own legend in the 5,000m and 10,000m events while also aiding the Netherlands in the team pursuit. His countryman Bob de Jong cannot be ignored, either.

MORE: Joji Kato and Keiichiro Nagashima seek gold medals this time

Lee Sang-Hwa could very well dominate the women’s 500m. Ireen Wüst is a multiple-medal threat after getting gold (3000m) and bronze (1500m) in 2006 and another gold in the 1500m in Vancouver. Martina Sablikova is another speed skater who could be a threat in more than one event.

MORE: The icy details about sports in the Olympics

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