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Sochi 2014: Five to watch out for at the Winter Olympics

 
 
 
 
 
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Ahead of the opening ceremony this evening for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, here are five athletes in line to make record breaking history at the Games.

Claudia Pechstein
Speed Skating
While seen as a veteran at the age of 41, the German long-distance speed skater is nevertheless very much at the height of her powers. She’s therefore also a good bet to make history in Sochi by becoming the most decorated female Winter Olympian.

Claudia-Pechstein.jpg

Having already notched up nine medals over the course of five Winter Olympics, dating back to the 1992 Games, Pechstein needs just one more in 2014 to level the record of ten medals held jointly by Raisa Smetanina (USSR/Russia) and Stefiana Belmondo (Italy).

Watch Claudia win gold at the 1994 Games in Lillehammer in the clip below.

Shaun White
Snowboarding
Having pulled out of the slopestyle events earlier this week, bypassing the opportunity of winning a pair gold medals, the 27-year-old American will be hoping to have given himself a better chance in the event he knows best – the Halfpipe.

Shaun-White.jpg

Arguably the world’s most famous snowboarder, White will  be hoping to score his third straight title and better the below performance which saw him notch up the highest ever Olympic Halfpipe Score of 48.4 .

Simon Ammann
Ski Jumping
With Sochi set to be his fifth appearance at a Winter Olympics, Switzerland's Simon Ammann needs two medals to become the most decorated Winter Olympics ski jumper of all time.

Simon-Ammann.jpg

The 32-year-old, already has four gold medals, having won two in Salt Lake and Vancouver.

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen
Biathlon
Having 11 Olympic medals already in the bank, Norway’s Ole Einar Bjoerndalen could leave Sochi as the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time.

Ole-Einar-Bjoerndalen.jpg

Requiring just one medal to draw level with fellow Norweigan Bjoern Daehlie’s record of 12 medals, the 40-year-old will be appearing in his sixth Olympics and is widely tipped to medal in both the relay and mixed relay events.

In the clip below, we see Bjoerndalen claim silver in an incredibly tough 20km individual biathlon contest at the Vancouver 2010 Games.

Marit Bjoergen
Cross-country skiing
Very much the women to beat in this event, the Norwegian's five-medal haul at the Vancouver Games was the best by any athlete (three individual, plus two relay events).  

Marit-Bjoergen.jpg

Now 33, like her fellow countryman Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, Bjoergen is in line to equal or break Bjoern Daehlie’s all-time individual record for most Winter Olympic medals.

In the video below, Bjoergen delights the crowds with an incredible gold medal-winning performance in the sprint classic event at Vancouver 2010.

Related stories:

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: A record tour around the figure skating world

The best records for all the favorites in Winter Olympics men's ice hockey

Make sure to follow @GWR on Twitter for all the latest up-to-the-minute updates from performances at Sochi 2014.

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