Created on Thursday, 13 February 2014 Written by ANDREW DAMPF, AP Sports Writer
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Ted Ligety, Alexis Pinturault and the other medal favorites will get one last training session in Thursday for the Olympic super-combined a day later.
While the women have two days off before Saturday's super-G, the men are still trying to get used to the softer snow on the Rosa Khutor course.
Friday's super-combi winner will be determined by adding the times together from one shortened downhill run and one slalom leg.
Here are five things to know about Alpine skiing at the Sochi Games heading into Thursday's action:
LIGETY LIKES IT: While he finished 15th both days, Ligety is making steady progress in downhill training for the super-combi.
On Wednesday, last year's world champion in the event trailed his U.S. teammate and training leader Bode Miller by 4.50 seconds.
On Thursday, Ligety finished only 0.87 behind session leader Omar Striedinger — albeit over a course that was significantly shortened so as not to conflict with the women's downhill race.
"It was good. I'm definitely starting to look for some speed in places," Ligety said. "I know I can clean up a lot of it. And it still wasn't so far off.
"I feel like there's room for improvement, and encouraging to have improvement from yesterday," Ligety added.
NO ALCOHOL: Norway's Kjetil Jansrud held off on celebrating after his bronze medal in Sunday's downhill.
"I tried to be smart instead of putting a lot of alcohol in my body," he said after finishing third in Wednesday's super-combi training. "So I missed the party."
Until he tore cruciate ligaments in his left knee at last year's worlds, Jansrud considered himself a top medal contender in super-combi. Not anymore.
"A couple of years ago I was probably among the best slalom downhillers," Jansrud said. "But now I've lost quite a lot of training so I'm pretty uncertain. But with a good downhill, the chances are there. And I'm not going to give in at all. There's no reason to say you've lost before you begin."
BODE RESTS: Miller led the opening super-combi training Tuesday then sat out Wednesday to rest up.
He should ski again Thursday, and teammate Ligety likes his chances for Friday's race.
After all, Miller is the defending gold medalist.
"Bode has a chance always," Ligety said. "His slalom can be really good sometimes. ... If he has a really good downhill run he's in a good position because he won't feel like he has to take any risk."
Miller might want to model his race after Julia Mancuso's bronze medal performance in the women's super-combi Monday.
"Exactly," Ligety said. "Bode is historically a far better slalom skier than Julia was. And he still has a lot of speed in it and he still actually trains it a fair amount. It's all a matter of consistency for him."
MANCUSO MOVES ON: Mancuso didn't sound overly disappointed with her eighth-place finish in Wednesday's downhill, despite leading the downhill portion of the super-combi.
She's already looking ahead to her next race.
"I'm moving on," Mancuso said. "I don't really have many emotions. I mean, I'm disappointed but I can't go back and do it again. ... I feel like I just want to hit the reset button.
"I'm really looking forward to the super-G," Mancuso added. "I think that this is definitely my kind of snow."
VICTORY FOR VIKTORIA?: Germany's Viktoria Rebensburg won the giant slalom at the 2010 Vancouver Games. Now she wants a medal in super-G, too.
"I like super-G very much and I had some good runs this season but not into the finish, actually," Rebensburg said. "But maybe it will be the first time."