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Featuring the most compelling stories leading up to the Winter Games, “Countdown to Sochi” airs every Wednesday from October 30 to February 5 at 8 PM ET only on Universal Sports Network. The 15-week show will showcase Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls through exclusive interviews and profiles, and will also have extensive coverage of winter sports competitions and Olympic qualifying events.

10 Reasons to “Countdown To Sochi” With Universal Sports

Watch Ted Shred
Names like Lindsey Vonn, Shaun White and Apolo Ohno, are synonymous with the Winter Games, but if you haven’t heard of Alpine skier Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah), you will come February. Already an Olympic gold medalist, Ligety is in position to win more medals than any other American at the Sochi Olympics.

Ice, Ice Baby
Shani Davis (Chicago, IL) was already roller-skating at local rinks by the age of two, and his early start helped propel him to four Olympic medals. With Apolo Ohno retired to the broadcast booth, will Davis become America’s most decorated male speed skater in Sochi?

Cool Runnings
At the 2010 Vancouver Games, Steven Holcomb (Park City, UT) piloted the United States’ four-man “Night Train” crew to its first men’s bobsled gold medal since 1948. He’s back for Sochi, but can he do it again?

Stars on Ice
Team USA’s best chance for a medal in figure skating falls on Michigan natives Meryl Davis and Charlie White, the reigning Olympic silver medalists and World and U.S. champions in ice dancing. By training 10-hours a day and with new choreography by Derek Hough of “Dancing with the Stars,” will the duo capture America’s – and the judges’ – hearts in Sochi?

Lolo’s Appetite
After finishing fourth in the 100m hurdles at both the Beijing and London Games, Lolo Jones (Des Moines, IA) is hungry for an Olympic medal. In her quest to make the U.S. Bobsled team as a brakeman, she has added nearly 30 pounds to her slender frame by eating 9,000 calories per day. Will her new menu serve up success?

Winter’s Cult Sport
Fans just can’t seem to get enough Curling during the Olympics, the most searched for sport on the Internet during the 2010 Winter Games. Now with a “Men of Curling” charity calendar and personalities like Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud, who made “crazy pants” a global fashion sensation in Vancouver, who knew that sweeping could be so sexy?

The X Files
New extreme sports will make their Olympic debuts in Sochi, including the adrenaline pumping slopestyle and action-packed snowboard cross events. Snowboarding superstar Shaun White (San Diego, CA), who already owns two Olympic halfpipe gold medals, has his sights on winning the inaugural slopestyle gold medal.

Teen Queens
Who will be America’s new sweetheart? Mikaela Shiffrin (Vail, CO), who last year became the youngest world slalom champion since 1974 at the age of 18, could be the next U.S. alpine superstar; figure skater Gracie Gold (Chicago, IL), 18, has high expectations training under legendary coach Frank Carroll; already a World Champion, Sarah Hendrickson (Salt Lake City, UT), 19, has her sights set on Sochi where women’s ski jumping will make its debut.

Snowdurance
Known on Twitter as @kikkanimal, Alaskan native and World Champion cross-country skier Kikkan Randall will compete in her fourth Olympics at Sochi. Will her instincts lead her to become the first U.S. female to win an Olympic nordic gold medal?

The Comeback Kids
All eyes will be on skiing superstar Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) this season as she looks to come back from a serious knee injury at the World Championships. Teammate Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) recently returned to competition after a 20 month absence due injury in pursuit of his fifth Olympics. Can they still dominate on the slopes and defend their Olympic titles?

To watch the world’s best athletes and Olympic hopefuls compete for their chance to compete in Sochi, tune in to Universal Sports Network for the 100 days leading up to the 2014 Winter Games to watch the FIS Alpine World Cup, Grand Prix of Figure Skating, FIBT Bobsled and Skeleton World Cup, ISU Speed Skating World Cup and much, much more!

“Countdown to Sochi” with Universal Sports every Wednesday at 8 PM ET from October 30 to February 5. Check out Universalsports.com/countdowntosochi for exclusive bonus content and highlights.