As part of Alpine Skiing, the Men’s Giant Slalom will take place on February 19 and has a start time of 5:30 am (ET). The event will be televised live at www.nbcolympics.com or you can check your local listings to find out when you can catch the action on television. Odds for the top 12 in the event are listed below, with a slightly detailed look at the top 6 in the field.
What is the Giant Slalom? In the giant slalom, the gates are moderately close together, requiring the skier to make tight turns (though not as tight as Slalom) while maintaining high speeds (though not as fast as the Super G or Downhill). With 46 - 58 gates on a course, the event is classified as a technical event over a speed event, but the skiers can still reach speeds around 50 mph.
Ted Tigety (USA) tops the list of favorites at 8/11 odds. Ted has not had a great trip to Sochi so far as finished 12th in the Super Combined and 14th in the Super G, but he can make up for that with a gold in what is by far his best event. Ted has finished in the top 3 in the World Cup standings for the Giant Slalom 6 years in a row and in 4 of those years he won the season title. Of his 21 wins on the World Cup circuit, 20 of them have been in the Giant Slalom. He has dominated this event and he has a great chance at winning Gold at Sochi.
Marcel Hischer (Austria) is next at 9/4 odds. This will be Marcel’s first event at Sochi, as he really competes in just the 2 slalom events. He has done very well the last two years in the Giant Slalom, ranking 2nd in 2013 and 1st in 2012. He has 22 career wins and 9 have come in the Giant Slalom, while 12 have been in the Slalom and he has 1 in the Parallel Slalom. He comes in with some momentum having already bagged two Giant Slalom wins back in January. It will be a good battle between Ted and Marcel for sure.
Alexis Pinturault (France) is next on the list at 8/1 odds. Like Marcel Hirscher, this will be Alexis’ first event in the 2014 Winter Olympics. He does come off a nice 2013 in which he finished 3rd in the World Cup standing in the Giant Slalom and back in 2012 he finished 4th. He has only been racing for 3 years on the World Cup circuit and has 1 Giant Slalom win and 9 of his 29 career podiums have come in this event. He will give the top two a run for their money.
Felix Neureuther (Germany) is next at 10/1 odds. Felix had a scare a few days ago as he was in a car crash prior to leaving for Sochi. He had just whiplash from the crash and is cleared to race in this event. This will be his first event at these games and he will compete in the Slalom a couple days from now as well. The Slalom is his better event but still Felix finished 6th in the World Cup standings in the Giant Slalom in 2013 and his lone Giant Slalom win did come in January of this year. If he can shake off the car crash he just may be able to sneak up on the podium.
Thomas Fanara (France) checks in at 16/1. This will be his only event in the Sochi games as it is the only even ne competes in. Fanara reached the podium of French national championships four times, all in giant slalom. In 2005 he was third; in 2006 he was second; and he won in 2007 and 2009. Thomas finished the 2013 season ranked 6th in the World Cup standings.
Bode Miller (USA) is next at 25/1 odds. Bode is coming off a bronze medal showing in the Super G, but other than that it hasn’t been all that great as he took 6th in the Super Combined and 8th in the downhill. The Giant Slalom used to be a solid event for Bode, but he has only competed in it in 3 of the last 5 years and finished no higher than 24th in the World Cup standings over that stretch. 9 of his 33 career victories have come in the Giant Slalom, but none since 2005 and he hasn’t medaled in this event in the Olympics since taking the silver in the 2012 games in Salt Lake City. Still Bode is a competitor and must never be ruled out.
One note to make here is the fact that Aksel Lund Svindal has withdrawn from this event and from the Slalom as well.
Other Notable Skier Odds For The Giant Slalom… Manfred Molgg- Italy (33/1)… Fritz Dopher- Germany (40/1)… Philipp Schorghofer- Austria (40/1)… Stefan Luitz- Germany (40/1)… Kjetil Jansrud- Norway (50/1)… Benjamin Raich- Austria (66/1)
Prediction: This is really a top heavy field that will most likely be won by someone in the top 4 and having said that I will go with Ligety. This is his best event and would like to make up for his disappointing showing in the Sochi games thus far. It should be a good battle between Ted and Marcel, but Marcel will just have to settle for Silver here while Felix Neureuther doe shake off the car accident to take the bronze.
Many thanks to Wikipedia and Bleacher Report for providing the info needed for this article.
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