- Associated Press - Friday, February 14, 2014

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) - The final speed races at the Sochi Olympics will be held back-to-back, with the women’s super-G on Saturday and the men’s super-G on Sunday.

Here are five things to know about Alpine skiing entering the weekend:


AUSTRIAN HAT TRICK?: Michaela Dorfmeister won in 2006, Andrea Fischbacher took gold in 2010. Now, Anna Fenninger, Nicole Hosp and Elisabeth Goergl lead Austria’s charge to win the women’s super-G for the third consecutive Olympics.

Fenninger has 12 career World Cup podiums in super-G, Goergl won the 2011 world title in the discipline and Hosp has one World Cup win and eight podiums.

The course will be set by Austrian coach Florian Winler.

MANCUSO RESETS: After a bronze medal in the super-combined, followed by an eighth-place finish in the downhill, Julia Mancuso was looking forward to starting over, in a way, with Saturday’s super-G.

“I feel like I just want to hit the reset button,” the American said.

She’s had quite a bit of success in the super-G at world championships, winning a bronze in 2005, silver in 2011, and bronze in 2013.

Asked what her overriding emotions were coming out of the Sochi downhill, Mancuso replied: “Kind of just like, I’m moving on. I don’t really have many emotions. I mean, I’m disappointed, but I can’t go back and do it again. I just want to remember it for the super-G.”

WARHORSE: Andrew Weibrecht, an American skier nicknamed “Warhorse,” will be back in the start hut for the super-G on Sunday, four years after he took home a bronze from Vancouver in that event.

That medal now hangs in the lobby of his parents’ Lake Placid hotel in New York.

“It’s hanging behind the front desk, so when people check in, it’s right there,” he said. “It’s kind of cool.”

Since 2010, Weibrecht’s career has been hampered by a series of injuries - four operations in all.

But he’ll always have that bronze.

“It’s nice to have the medal kind of in my back pocket, because that’s sort of a lifelong accomplishment. Now I feel like I can let it run a little bit more and just hope for the best. It does take some of the pressure off the Olympics, having that medal for the rest of my career,” Weibrecht said.

MEN’S COURSE: Patrice Morisod, the French men’s head coach, is setting the men’s super-G course for Sunday. He said to expect a run that is good for giant slalom skiers at the top, and good for downhillers at the bottom.

But he’s also not sure exactly how it will shape up until he watches competitors free ski on Saturday morning.

“I will have to look at what the (snow and weather) conditions are.” Morisod said. “It’s changing every day.”

RIESCH RETIRING?: Super-combined gold medalist Maria Hoefl-Riesch has talked about retiring after this season.

For Germany women’s head coach Thomas Stauffer, however, it’s still just talk.

“She shouldn’t think too much about retiring,” Stauffer said. “She has to go full on and take the best out of that season. … She needs to do an evaluation and see where she is. She really has time until after the season.”


AP Sports Writer Howard Fendrich contributed.


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