Monte Carlo or bust

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Take a look at the stylish Brisbane homes set to be auctioned this weekend

first_imgRecently renovated interiors.“It is ideal for young families because of its proximity to transport and good schools and parks,” agent Ross Armstrong said. Happy bidding! The ideal family home.The well maintained home at 9 Edith Street will be auctioned at 10am on Saturday, March 17.Dating back to the 1930s, the home has high ceilings and polished timber floors as well as a covered deck and office area. Modern living in the heart of the city.“It’s got all the modern conveniences of a new home,” he said.It will be auctioned on-site on Saturday, March 17 at 11am. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market20 hours agoCity views.Over on the south side of the river a four-bedroom home at 23 Marian Street in Coorparoo will be hitting the market. Inner city living at 19 Bartley Street Spring HillIT WILL be a busy weekend for auctioneers with lots of properties set to go under the hammer across Brisbane.For people who like the inner city this two storey house at 19 Bartley Street in Spring Hill could be worth looking at. Take a look inside.The historical home has been given a dramatic makeover in the last few years according to agentst Richard Mirosch. “It is the existing house but the guy has totally renovated it,” Mr Mirosch said.The home was elevated to add an extra storey, an extra bedroom and a large deck out the back. 23 Marian Street CoorparooIt will be auctioned on-site on Saturday, March 17 at 9am.There has already been a lot of interest in a renovated Queenslander in the family friendly neighbourhood of Alderley. Right in the heart of CoorparooAgent Shane Hicks said the two-storey home could be ideal for first homeowners to crack into the market. “The beauty of it is that it is an entry level home in a very good street in Coorparoo,” Mr Hicks said. “Marian Street is surrounded by prestige homes.”With a triple-car garage and a bedroom and living area on the lower floor, he said it could be an ideal home for dual living. last_img read more

PenSam adopts MSCI Climate Index for €4.8bn equities portfolio

first_imgDanish labour market pension fund PenSam said it has switched weightings in its passively-managed listed global equities portfolio to take account of climate factors, by adopting the MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI) Climate index for the whole €4.8bn allocation.Torsten Fels, PenSam’s chief executive officer, said: “The MSCI Climate Change Indexes consider both the opportunities and risks associated with the transition to a low carbon economy, enabling PenSam to integrate climate risk considerations in the global equity portfolio.”Announcing the move, index provider MSCI said its climate change Indices re-weighted securities based on MSCI’s low carbon transition score, which kept track of a company’s exposure to low carbon transition risk, carbon emissions and fossil fuel reserves as well as its exposure to opportunities including alternative energy and clean technology.A spokeswoman for the €20bn Danish pension fund confirmed to IPE that it had adopted the index for both listed Danish and foreign equities, adding that the fund had only a minor exposure to Danish equities. PenSam previously used the MSCI ACWI, she said.Alvise Munari, global head of client coverage at MSCI, said: “It is critical that the investment industry leads the transition to a low carbon economy, before climate change becomes a major threat to financial stability.”MSCI was trying to aid this transition, he said, by developing tools that analysed “next-generation data” to support clients’ integration of sustainability into their investment processes.The ACWI Climate Change Index is based on the MSCI ACWI, including large and mid-cap securities across 23 developed and 26 emerging market countries, said MSCI.Last June, French utility company EDF announced that it was adopting the index for its €28.1bn nuclear plant decommissioning fund, and was planning to switch some of its passive investments into indexed funds using the new MSCI indices.last_img read more

Landrum Performance Springs adds Late Models to IMCA awards program

first_imgMENTONE, Ind. – Landrum Performance Springs adds a sixth division to its IMCA awards program this season.All IMCA Late Model track champions will receive a pair of springs from the Mentone, Ind., manufacturer.In its 14th year as a sponsor for the sanctioning body, Landrum has also renewed awards for IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods and Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMods.A product certificate to purchase one spring and get a second free goes to top three eligi­ble drivers in each of the five Modified regions, both Stock Car regions and both Hobby Stock regions, and to top three eligi­ble drivers in na­tional Northern SportMod and national Southern SportMod point standings.In addition to competing with four Landrum-manufac­tured springs, Modified, Stock Car, Hobby Stock and SportMod drivers must dis­play two Landrum decals on their race car and return a sign-up form to the IMCA home office by Aug. 1.All Landrum awards will be presented during the national banquet in November or mailed from the IMCA home of­fice beginning the following week.Information about Landrum-manufactured springs is available at the web­site, on Facebook and by calling 877 703-3154.“Our Late Model members in 2018 are a loyal group and Landrum wanted to reward that loyalty with a new program designed just for them,” said IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder. “The spring pairs for track champions is one way to recognize their outstanding accomplishments on the track and provide them with something they may not expect.”last_img read more

EPL: Newcastle dent Man City’s title hopes

first_imgRelatedPosts UEFA Nations League: Sterling saves 10-man England against Iceland COVID-19: Usain Bolt tests positive after partying with Man City star, others Manchester City not perfect against Lyon, Guardiola says Jonjo Shelvey further dented Manchester City’s hopes of retaining their Premier League title as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Newcastle.Jetro Willems cancelled out Raheem Sterling’s 15th goal of the season but Kevin De Bruyne thought he had won it with a fine 82nd-minute strike.But Shelvey curled home a brilliant 87th-minute equaliser which, coupled with Martin Dubravka’s stoppage-time save from Sterling, ensured the game finished level.City, who started the day nine points behind Liverpool, dominated possession throughout but could not turn the pressure into enough goals to atone for their defensive fragility in front of a crowd of 49,937 at St James’ Park.City full-backs Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy played as auxiliary midfielders when they were in possession as the Magpies retreated to form a black-and-white wall.But they were unable to prise their way through and it was the Magpies who mounted the first attack of note when Shelvey picked out Allan Saint-Maximin down the left and he cut inside to scuff a seventh-minute shot straight at goalkeeper Ederson.Fernandinho headed over from a De Bruyne corner, but the home side responded with Shelvey curling a 20th-minute free-kick just wide after Saint-Maximin had been fouled by De Bruyne.However, it was City who took the lead two minutes later when David Silva back-heeled the ball into the path of Sterling after it had ricocheted back to him from Isaac Hayden’s challenge and the England forward blasted home from close range.Newcastle were level within three minutes when Willems – whose only other Newcastle goal came against Liverpool – played a one-two with Miguel Almiron before thumping a low right-foot drive past Ederson. It was the Paraguay international’s first assist since his £21million arrival in January.Dubravka needed two attempts to claim Sterling’s rising 33rd-minute strike and was relieved to see De Bruyne’s stoppage-time effort deflected into his waiting arms as the Magpies made it to the break on level terms.Federico Fernandez’s barnstorming run from his own penalty area sparked a rare Newcastle counter-attack which saw Shelvey send a 54th-minute free-kick just wide after Fernandinho had barged Joelinton to the ground 30 yards out.Javier Manquillo had to produce a last-ditch tackle to deny Gabriel Jesus after De Bruyne and Sterling had picked a path through in the 65th minute, and Dubravka had to turn away a dangerous De Bruyne cross seconds later.The Slovakia international pulled off a fine 68th-minute double save to deny Jesus and De Bruyne and saw substitute Bernardo Silva drag a left-foot shot wide four minutes later with the pressure mounting.However, he was powerless to resist when De Bruyne pounced after Mendy’s cross had been half-cleared, chesting the ball down before firing home off the underside of the crossbar.But there was to be a further twist when, with three minutes remaining, substitute Christian Atsu played a free-kick square to Shelvey, who sent a sumptuous curling effort beyond Ederson’s despairing dive to snatch a point. Tags: Jonjo ShelveyRaheem Sterlinglast_img read more

Road clash with Washington State is nothing to ignore

first_imgOllie Jung | Daily TrojanI feel like I’ve been writing the same column for the last five weeks. If anyone actually has a bead on this USC team, I’m all ears.It’s crazy: the fifth-ranked Trojans are undefeated through their first four games of the season, meaning their playoff aspirations remain very much alive — and they have beaten so-called “rival” teams in three of those matchups, taking care of business against Stanford, Texas and Cal in consecutive weeks. Yet, it’s hard to shake the feeling that something has been missing so far this fall. USC fans may still be dreaming big for the postseason, but you can bet they’re relieved that the playoffs are months away — if the Trojans even make it there.There is plenty to get excited about when watching this year’s team play. Junior wide receiver Deontay Burnett has established himself as a true top option following the departure of JuJu Smith-Schuster, freshman running back Stephen Carr has brought an unexpected nitro boost to the Trojans’ backfield and sophomore cornerback Jack Jones has three interceptions in his last two games.And how about defensive end Christian Rector? After totaling four tackles across 12 games last season, the redshirt sophomore has gone off for two forced fumbles, one recovery, 3.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for a loss so far this season. Thanks to numerous emerging threats, the Trojan defense has become a force to be reckoned with, and explosive plays have become a possibility on any snap on offense.Then again, so have turnovers. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold has thrown seven interceptions this year, and though some have not been his fault, the total is third highest in the FBS. Add in a lost fumble from Carr last week, and USC is tied for 97th nationally in ball security with eight total giveaways.Thanks to their ball-hawking defense, the Trojans still own a positive turnover margin (+3), and they rank top 20 in the FBS in both first downs and third-down conversion percentage, meaning they do move the ball on offense. Nevertheless, they also entered the fourth quarter tied against Western Michigan and Cal, and they needed overtime to beat Texas. It seems like the team isn’t struggling offensively as much as it is struggling to make timely plays, especially early in the game. USC was able to scrape by in its opening four games, but continuing the trend will likely prove costly tonight.Matt Karatsu | Daily TrojanFor better or for worse, undefeated No. 16 Washington State will be the litmus test for this Trojans squad. The short week is a real concern for a banged-up roster, and it means the defense might not be fresh enough to bail USC out with turnovers, especially facing the Cougars’ superstar quarterback Luke Falk. Falk is the best signal-caller the Trojans have faced all season by a significant margin, spearheading a Washington State passing attack that ranks fifth in the country.The onus, then, will be on Darnold to prove that he is indeed the best quarterback in the nation. He may have to prevail in an old-fashioned shootout; fortunately, it’s exactly the type of game the gunslinger loves to play. Outperforming Falk and overpowering the Cougars’ defense would undoubtedly be a massive boost to Trojan fans and Darnold alike, and a win tonight may even begin carving an unlikely path back into the Heisman Trophy race.But as has been the case all year, it’s almost impossible to predict how things will play out in Pullman. I can imagine almost anything: an impressive road victory a la the Trojans’ trip to Washington last season, to a shocking blowout loss in a packed, raucous and cold Martin Stadium. Win, and USC continues to survive and advance — optics be damned. Given how unimpressed AP Poll voters have seemed by the Trojans so far this fall, however (USC has dropped one spot from its preseason No. 4 ranking despite remaining perfect), a loss could be disastrous, especially against the team’s highest-ranked opponent of the year.So — and I’ve definitely said this before — this week marks a turning point for head coach Clay Helton and his squad. The Trojans will aim to put all doubts to rest with a road win against a strong opponent, and the Cougars look to keep their season on the rise while killing USC’s. Let’s see which team seizes the moment and establishes its playoff credentials.This isn’t a trap game; it’s a legitimate clash of Pac-12 titans. Brace yourselves.Ollie Jung is a senior studying print and digital jouranlism. He is also the sports editor for the Daily Trojan. His column, Jung Money, runs on Fridays.last_img read more

Italian Serie A Returns on DStv, Debuts on GOtv

first_imgSpeaking after the signing of the agreement, Gideon Khobane, SuperSport Chief Executive, said: “We’ve always prided ourselves on offering viewers the best football from around the world and the return of Serie A to our screens fulfils our promise of an unrivalled football offering.”Gaetano Miccichè, President of Serie A, was similarly delighted, saying:: “We are very happy with this agreement as it will allow the SuperSport audience to follow all 380 matches of our league. We are certain that the passionate supporters from Sub-Saharan Africa will appreciate all the stars from Serie A.”Founded in 1898, and contested by 20 teams, the league is regarded as one of the best football leagues in the world and it is often touted as the most tactical national league. “MultiChoice Nigeria is excited to continue to bring customers the best international football. This is part of our ongoing commitment to bring more value to our customers.” says John Ugbe, Managing Director, MultiChoice Nigeria.SuperSport will exclusively broadcast all 380 Serie A matches.The 2017/18 season was exciting and uncertain until the end, thanks to the epic duel between Juventus and Napoli and is a sign of great things to come. The fight for the remaining UEFA Champions League berth was just as enthralling, the challenge between Lazio and Inter Milan settled only in the final minute of the last day of the campaign with Inter Milan ultimately returning to the elite European club competition.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram One of Europe’s most prestigious football leagues, the Italian Serie A, will have its games return for live broadcast by SuperSport from the upcoming 2018/2019 season, which begins on 19 August.The matches will be broadcast on both DStv and GOtv. It is the first time ever that matches of the Italian league will be broadcast on GOtv.This is sequel to an agreement reached between SuperSport and Serie A.last_img read more

Ghana coach optimistic of winning AFCON 2013

first_imgGhana coach Kwesi Appiah is positive his charges can easily go pass the group stages of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.The Black Stars have been drawn in Group B with DR Congo, Niger and Mali for the group phase at the Nations Cup following Wednesday’s draw in Durban.Appiah’s men will be hoping to end the 31-year trophy drought in January when the continental showpiece kicks off.“It’s not going to be easy, and I don’t also believe in the Mali is strong talks, both Niger and Congo are good sides but for me I believe we will go through,” the coach told Ghana.Black Stars will open their campaign at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations against DR Congo on January 20, a team which is handled by former Ghana coach Claude Le Roy, who guided the four-time African champions to bronze at the 2008 continental flagship on home soil. Appiah insists the Frenchman’s meeting will have no influence on his team.“I think he knows our style of play because a few of the players he coached are in this squad, but over the years the team has also changed with the addition of young talents and our style of play has changed so it will be a different team and I know it is going to be a nice game to watch,” he added. Ghana will take on Mali on January 24 before rounding up their group campaign against Niger on January 28.last_img read more

State Unemployment Agency Reports Data Breach

first_imgShe says the agency is making free identity protection services available to affected individuals “in an abundance of caution,” and advises them to immediately report any unauthorized activity on their financial accounts.“At this time, we have not received any reports of malicious activity,” Landrum reiterates.She did not specify how many people were affected by the breach.The U.S. Department of Labor reported on Thursday that an estimated 223,927 initial claims were submitted in Florida during the week that ended May 16. The state agency responsible for overseeing unemployment claims said Thursday that a recent data breach affected some applicants for reemployment assistance.A statement from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity explains that residents who were impacted by a “data security incident” have been notified.DEO spokeswoman Paige Landrum adds that the issue was addressed within an hour of staff becoming aware of the incident.last_img read more

What to watch for in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

first_imgJamie Greubel, left, and Lauryn Williams of the United States celebrate on the podium after winning the two-women Bob World Cup race in Innsbruck, Austria, on Sunday, Jan. 19. 2014. Williams, from Rochester, Pa., was also a gold medalist in the 4×100-meter relay at the 2012 London Summer Olympics(AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)SOCHI, Russia (AP) — A look at the sports for the Sochi Olympics:___ALPINE SKIING:THE BASICSAfter missing the first three Winter Olympics, Alpine skiing joined the program in 1936. Ten gold medals will be awarded in Sochi, five for men and five for women — downhill, slalom, giant slalom, super giant slalom (usually called super-G) and super combined.STARS TO WATCHWith Lindsey Vonn out injured, the 18-year-old American many call “The Next Lindsey Vonn,” Mikaela Shiffrin, will attract plenty of attention as the favorite to win the slalom. Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany, a double gold medalist at the 2010 Vancouver Games, and Lara Gut of Switzerland, who’ll be making her Olympic debut, could dominate other races. Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway already enjoys rock-star status in Europe, while 36-year-old Bode Miller, owner of five Olympic medals, and Ted Ligety, who won three titles at last year’s world championships, will also be ones to watch from the U.S. team.DID YOU KNOW?Austria has won a record 105 Alpine skiing medals at the Olympics, nearly twice as many as any other country. Switzerland ranks second with 56, followed by France with 43 and the United States with 39.___BIATHLON:THE BASICS:Like several other sports, biathlon has military origins with the combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting first becoming a common exercise for winter troops in northern countries during the second half of the 19th century. That also helps explain why countries like Norway, Russia and Sweden are still dominant. Biathlon has one of the busiest schedules on the Olympic program, with four individual events for both men and women, along with a relay. New for this year is a mixed relay.STARS TO WATCH:Martin Fourcade of France has been the top men’s biathlete in the last two years, winning three world championship titles in 2012 and the overall World Cup last season, and he is expected to add his first Olympic gold in Sochi. Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway could well add to his two golds from Vancouver, as well. On the women’s side, expect Tora Berger of Norway and Darya Domracheva of Belarus to grab at least a couple of medals each.DID YOU KNOW?One of the all-time greats will be competing in the biathlon events in Sochi as Ole Einar Bjoerndalen aims to cap his storied career by making Olympic history. The 40-year-old Norwegian has six Olympic golds from previous games and needs two more to equal the Winter Games record. While Bjoerndalen hasn’t won an individual World Cup race in two years, Norway is one of the favorites in both the men’s and mixed relay — meaning he could well get there.___BOBSLED:United States women’s bobsled head coach Todd Hays, left, helps brakeman Lauryn Williams from Rochester, Pa., also a gold medalist in the 4×100-meter relay at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, load luggage into a waiting bus as the team arrives for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Jan. 30, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/David Goldman, Pool)THE BASICSIt looks simple, but it’s incredibly intricate to get a sled going and keep it upright for the ride down the track. Everyone sprints while pushing the sled on ice, then hops inside, at which point the driver is typically the only one with his or her head up for the rest of the trip. One wrong move, and that sled could tumble on its side easily.United States bobsled brakeman Lolo Jones arrives at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Jan. 30, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/David Goldman, Pool)STARS TO WATCHSteven Holcomb of the United States was the top driver on the men’s World Cup circuit this winter, while Kaillie Humphries of Canada took the women’s overall title. Both won gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games and might again this year. The U.S. has two Olympic track athletes on the women’s team, with gold medalist Lauryn Williams and Lolo Jones qualifying as push athletes.DID YOU KNOW?BMW doesn’t just make fast cars. Their sled-building business will be on full display in Sochi, with Germans, Americans and Canadians — all medal favorites — among the nations racing in their sleds. And while those sleds bear the same logo, there’s some significant set-up and technological differences depending on which nation’s flag is affixed.___CROSS-COUNTRYTHE BASICS:Cross-country skiing is one of the original Winter Olympic sports, on the program since the 1924 Chamonix Games. Only two men’s events were held then, though; now it’s a total of 10 men’s and women’s races — ranging from the explosive individual sprint to the grueling endurance test of the men’s 50-kilometer race. Events are held in either the classical style or freestyle depending on the format, with the skiathlon a combination of both.STARS TO WATCH:Norway usually dominates the cross-country skiing events, and its two biggest stars are Petter Northug and Marit Bjoergen. Northug has struggled with illness this season, however, and his form is in question. Bjoergen won three golds in Vancouver in 2010 and could well repeat that feat in Sochi if she again gets the better of main rival Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland. Three-time overall World Cup winner Dario Cologna has only recently returned from an ankle injury but should still be a contender.DID YOU KNOW?The most successful Winter Olympian of all time was a cross-country skier. Bjoern Daehlie of Norway won eight Olympic gold medals between 1992 and 1998, along with four silvers. He nearly won a ninth gold, but surprisingly lost a sprint finish to Silvio Fauner of Italy in the men’s 4×10-kilometer relay at the 1994 Lillehammer Games, stunning the home crowd.___CURLING:THE BASICSTwo gold medals will be awarded, one for men and one for women. Ten teams are in both tournaments. They all play each other once in the round-robin stage, with four advancing to the semifinals.STARS TO WATCHMargaretha Sigfridsson of Sweden and Eve Muirhead of Britain have been engaged in a battle for supremacy in women’s curling for the past 12 months. Muirhead is the world champion and Sigfridsson the European champion — and the Olympics can be viewed as the decider. Brad Jacobs is the star attraction in men’s curling, although the spotlight is often stolen by the Norwegian team, with its funky wardrobe.DID YOU KNOW?Canada, the stronghold of world curling, has won a medal in every men’s and women’s tournament since the sport returned to the Olympic program in 1998.___FIGURE SKATING:THE BASICSTo the familiar medal events of men’s and women’s singles, pairs and ice dance, the IOC is adding a team competition. Ten countries will take part, combining the scores of their entries in the four disciplines.STARS TO WATCHYuna Kim of South Korea seeks to repeat — she’d be only the third woman to win two straight gold medals. A foot injury forced her out of the Grand Prix series, though. Three-time world champion Patrick Chan is the favorite on the men’s side, but was upset by Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan at the Grand Prix Final.DID YOU KNOW?Russian or Soviet skaters have won seven of the 10 gold medals in the event, but Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir will be on hand to defend their titles.___FREESTYLE SKIING:THE BASICSThere are the old-school events — moguls and aerials — and the newcomers — halfpipe and slopestyle. There’s also skicross. Moguls are judged on a skier’s ability to get down the bumps quickly and smoothly, while also taking off for two jumps that each count for 12.5 percent of the score. Aerials skiers pack multiple flips and twists into a jump that sends them soaring up to 50 feet off a steeply angled ramp. Ski halfpipe and slopestyle are new events, though they’ll look very much like the snowboard version.STARS TO WATCHDefending moguls champion Alex Bilodeau’s toughest competition could come from Canadian teammate Mikael Kingsbury. Hannah Kearney of the United States is the defending women’s champion. Victor Oehling Norberg of Sweden is a consistent top-10 finisher in skicross but still looking for that first victory of the season.DID YOU KNOW?Freestyle skiing dates back more than 100 years with records of skiers performing somersaults on skis at the start of the 20th century in Norway, Italy and Austria. The first professional competitions were in 1971, and it entered the Olympic program in 1992.___MEN’S HOCKEY:In a Feb. 28, 2010 file photo Canada’s Sidney Crosby (87) shoots past USA goalie Ryan Miller (39) for the game-winning goal in the overtime period of a men’s gold medal ice hockey game at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. Crosby will captain the Canadian hockey team at the Olympics in Sochi. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, file)THE BASICSAbout 150 jetlagged NHL players join their European counterparts in a frenetic 12-team, 12-day tournament for hockey supremacy. Nobody has time for practice or team-building with three quick opening-round games before the knockout portion begins, but Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland and the United States all have their eyes on gold.STARS TO WATCHReigning NHL MVP Alex Ovechkin and fellow stars Evgeni Malkin and Pavel Datsyuk are under extraordinary home-country pressure to lead the Russians to their first gold medals since the Unified Team’s 1992 win in Albertville. Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby also is back for more Olympic magic after scoring the gold-winning overtime goal in Vancouver.DID YOU KNOW?The NHL stars are back for their fifth consecutive Olympics since Nagano, but this might be your last chance to see them on the podium for a while. NHL owners are making serious noise about keeping the league in session in 2018 during the Pyeongchang Olympics, citing the time difference to South Korea and lost revenue.___WOMEN’S HOCKEY:THE BASICSIn order to boost competition in a sport that has been dominated by Canada and the United States, the Olympic women’s hockey format was changed this year. The round-robin features a guaranteed grudge match between the North Americans, and a chance for them to earn a bye through to the semifinals. The preliminary round will be played at the puck-shaped Shayba Arena, and the medal round at the larger Bolshoy Ice Dome.STARS TO WATCHFinland goalie Noora Raty was 41-0 at the University of Minnesota, leading her team to a second straight college championship. Hayley Wickenheiser of Canada is going for her fourth gold medal, and she is already the leading scorer in Olympic women’s hockey history with 16 goals and 29 assists; she also won a silver medal when the Americans won the gold in the sport’s inaugural Winter Games in 1998.DID YOU KNOW?U.S. forward Amanda Kessel is the sister of Toronto Maple Leafs star Phil Kessel, who will be in Sochi for the American men’s team.___LUGE:THE BASICSSliders race feet-first down the track, sometimes going as fast as 90 mph, though the speeds should be a bit lower at the Sochi Olympics. Steering is done by subtle shifts of the body, and the start is critical. Lugers wear gloves with tiny spikes attached to the finger pads, using them to dig into the ice to gain momentum, before settling into position for the ride.STARS TO WATCHGermany, Germany, Germany. Felix Loch is the reigning Olympic champion and is favored to repeat in the men’s race, and teammate Natalie Geisenberger has been nearly unbeatable on the World Cup circuit to earn her Sochi-favorite status. The Germans also dominate in doubles luge.DID YOU KNOW?The Olympic luge program is growing in Sochi with the addition of a team relay. One man, one woman and one doubles team will compose each nation’s team, and they’ll go one after another — with one slider slapping a pad to trigger the clock and tell the next teammate it’s time to start their run.___NORDIC COMBINED:THE BASICSWith ski jumping and cross-country skiing, it’s the sole male-only sport left at the Winter Olympics. Three gold medals will be awarded, off the normal and large hills with 10-kilometer ski races for each, and a team event from the large hill which includes a 4×5-kilometer cross-country race.STARS TO WATCHEric Frenzel of Germany comes into Sochi with a big lead in the World Cup standings, having also won the Nordic Combined Triple in January, a new format that added the results of three competitions on one weekend. The Americans have a strong team, with 2010 individual large hill gold medalist and team silver medalist Billy Demong back, and 37-year-old Todd Lodwick competing in his sixth Olympics.DID YOU KNOW?The starting places in the cross-country race are determined by the finishes in the ski jump competition, with generally a 10-point lead in jumping providing a one-minute start in the ski race. That format is known as the Gundersen Method.___SKELETONTHE BASICSSometimes called “headfirst luge,” but it really has hardly anything in common with the feet-first racing sport. The sleds are simple, with racers usually grabbing a handle with one arm as they take off running at the start. They then flop onto the sled — it sort of looks like an oversized cookie sheet — and have their chin just barely off the surface of the ice as they speed down the chute.STARS TO WATCHMartins Dukurs of Latvia is a huge favorite to win the men’s title. In the women’s race, the gold-medal battle figures to come down to Noelle Pikus-Pace of the United States and Lizzy Yarnold of Britain. Dukurs’ top competition might be his own brother, Tomass. Pikus-Pace was fourth in Vancouver, and Yarnold rents a flat nowadays from Amy Williams — who won skeleton gold for Britain four years ago.DID YOU KNOW?The sport has roots in the 1800s and was in the Olympic program in 1928, then again in 1948. But it wasn’t back as a medal sport until 2002, and now attracts sliders from nations that don’t even have home tracks on which to train.___SKI JUMPING:THE BASICSWomen will compete for the first time in a sport the men have had to themselves since 1924. Four gold medals will be awarded overall, the large hill, the normal hill and a team event for the men. The women will compete only on the normal hill.STARS TO WATCH“Kid Ballerina” Sara Takahashi of Japan, who says her ballet training helps her maintain balance during jumps, is the women’s favorite. Her biggest competitors are American teenager Sarah Hendrickson, the world champion who is coming off right knee surgery in August, and Lindsey Van, the sport’s first world champion and Hendrickson’s teammate.DID YOU KNOW?The International Olympic Committee fought for years to keep women from ski jumping at the Olympics, with suggestions their event wasn’t competitive enough and that their bodies weren’t strong enough to take the strain of jumps, affecting their ability to have children.___SNOWBOARDING:THE BASICSFive events: Halfpipe, snowboardcross, parallel giant slalom and two new ones — slopestyle and parallel slalom. Slopestyle is a ride down a hill with steeply angled jumps, rails and little bumps called “jibs.” Parallel slalom is racing — a shortened version of parallel giant slalom event that’s been on the program since snowboarding was introduced in 1998.STARS TO WATCHA certain rider named Shaun White, who is going for his third straight halfpipe gold and trying to win in slopestyle, as well. Another rider to watch will be Torah Bright of Australia, the defending Olympic halfpipe champion who will compete in halfpipe, slopestyle and snowboardcross.DID YOU KNOW?Mark McMorris of Canada is largely considered White’s top challenger in slopestyle but he broke a rib competing in the Winter X Games. He’s expected to be OK in time for Sochi.___LONG TRACK SPEEDSKATING:THE BASICSAll races are held in pairs using two lanes on the track. At the back straightaway, the skaters switch lanes, allowing them both to cover the same distance per lap. When both skaters emerge from the corner at the same time, the skater in the inside lane has to let the outer lane pass in front of them. The men and women each compete in five individual events, and the team pursuit.STARS TO WATCHUnited States long track speed skater Shani Davis glides around a turn as he practices in Adler Arena for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Jan. 31, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Shani Davis of the United States will try to become the first male skater to win the same event at three straight Olympics in the 1,000 meters. Sven Kramer of the Netherlands is looking for redemption in the 10,000, having lost a gold medal four years ago in Vancouver after being disqualified when his coach directed him to the wrong lane during the race. On the women’s side, Ireen Wust of the Netherlands is a favorite to medal in the 1,500 and 3,000. Claudia Pechstein of Germany will turn 42 during the Olympics, her sixth. She owns nine career medals and will try for a 10th in the 5,000.DID YOU KNOW?The clap skate revolutionized the sport in the mid-1990s, helping lower world records considerably. The skates are hinged to the front of the boot and detach from the heel, allowing a more natural range of movement. The blades are about 1 millimeter thick and come in lengths from 13 to 18 centimeters.___SHORT TRACK SPEEDSKATING:THE BASICSUsually between four and six skaters compete on an oval ice rink using a mass start. Men and women compete in the same events: 500 meters, 1,000, 1,500, and the relays (3,000 for women and 5,000 for men). It’s often called roller derby on ice and there are several rules that, if broken, result in disqualification.STARS TO WATCHViktor Ahn is a medal favorite in all three individual men’s events. Born Ahn Hyun-soo in South Korea, Ahn became a Russian citizen in 2011. Wang Meng, China’s most decorated Winter Olympian, is out with a broken ankle on the women’s side. South Korea’s women’s team could dominate, led by Shim Suk-hee.DID YOU KNOW?The most common reason for disqualification is impeding, which involves pushing, blocking or otherwise causing an impediment for another skater.US Olympic Rosterslast_img read more