The 2014 Winter Olympic Games are upon us, as the world’s attention will soon focus on Sochi, Russia. More than 2,500 athletes from 88 different nations are scheduled to compete in 98 events over 15 disciplines from Feb. 7-23 in the Russian resort city located on the coast of the Black Sea.
And while the IOC and Sochi Games have their own official accounts, Athlon Sports has put together its list of the 25 other must-follow Twitter accounts for the 22nd Winter Olympics. Whether you are looking for up-to-the-minute coverage or are more interested in what goes behind the scenes or with the athletes themselves, the accounts listed here should be able to satisfy your informational and entertainment needs.
What is curling? Think of it as something akin to shuffleboard on ice. Its origins date all the way back to the 16th century and it was part of the inaugural Winter Olympics in 1924. It’s been an official event since the 1998 Nagano Games and The Curling News, the self-described “global authority” on the sport, will have blanket coverage of both the men’s and women’s tournaments in Sochi. And if you can't get into the sport, there's always the fashion.
Another one of the Winter Games’ unique events, biathlon combines cross-country skiing and rifle marksmanship. The United States has never won an Olympic medial in biathlon and will be looking to make history in Sochi with its largest team (5 men, 5 women) in 22 years.
Luge may get its name from a French word that means “small coasting sled,” but when it comes to Olympic-level competition it’s all about speed. Of the three Olympic sliding sports, which also includes bobsled and skeleton, luge is the fastest and most dangerous. One- or two-person sleds race down the track feet-first at speeds up to 87 mph. The United States’ 10-person team (7 men, 3 women) features six first-time Olympians and medal hopeful Erin Hamlin. No American woman has ever medaled in luge at the Olympics.
Speed skater Shani Davis’ Twitter handle reads “Not your average Olympic Champion,” and it’s perfectly understandable why he would make such a claim. During the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy, Davis became the first African-American from any nation to win a gold medal in an individual sport at the Winter Games. He repeated his feat in the 1,000 meters four years later in Vancouver and enters these games looking to add to his overall medal haul (four total) and become the first American man to win three gold medals in a single event.
Around The Rings certainly knows its way around the Olympics; having covered them for more than 20 years. Expect their reporters to have the Sochi Games blanketed with plenty of news, interviews, features and other information posted from now until the Closing Ceremonies.
The US Bobsled & Skeleton Federation (USBSF) is the official governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton. The U.S. bobsled and skeleton contingency captured two medals four years ago in Vancouver and will be looking for similar, if not better, results in Sochi led by Steven Holcomb, Christopher Fogt and Lolo Jones, to name a few.
A member of the gold medal-winning four-man bobsled team in Vancouver, Steven Holcomb is back for more. A five-time world champion, Holcomb’s story of how he overcame depression and an eye disorder to achieve his goals has already been an inspiration for many.