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Sochi Day 6: Five things to watch

1) Feet first: Thursday marks the debut of the luge relay. In this coed medal event, sliders Alex Gough, Sam Edney, Tristan Walker, and Justin Snith will take to the course representing Canada. All four will be looking for vindication—Gough narrowly missed out on a medal finishing fourth in women’s singles, while Edney was 11th on the men’s side. Walker and Snith, meanwhile, are looking to come back strong after setting a Canadian record in the doubles, but falling one spot shy of the podium at fourth yesterday. 11:15 a.m. ET

2) Men’s short track 5,000 m relay semis: The first appearance by the Canadian medal favourites. The team is anchored by Charles Hamelin, and features his brother Francois, Michael Gilday, Charle Cournoyer, and Olivier Jean. Gilday and Cournoyer are the only two who weren’t a part of the gold medal–winning relay team from the Vancouver Games.
6:35 a.m. ET

3) Chan’s chance: For the second time in these Games, the top men in figure skating take the ice. At the team event last week, Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu took top spot with a score of 97.98, followed by 31-year old Russian superstar Evgeni Plushenko and gold medal favourite Patrick Chan. Can Chan top the leaderboard this time around? 10 a.m. ET

4) Women’s speed skating: In the long-track 1,000 m race, Christine Nesbitt, the defending Olympic champion in this event, has a shot at repeating. Meanwhile, the short track 500 m qualifiers, semis, and finals are all underway Thursday, featuring Marianne St-Gelais, who took home silver in this event in Vancouver. 9 a.m. ET/5 a.m. ET

5) Canada-Norway: A tune-up for all intents and purposes (Norway, although third in the medal standings, are not exactly known for their puck prowess), but Team Canada’s first round robin game in the men’s hockey tournament will provide coach Mike Babcock a chance to evaluate line combinations and gauge how much he can trust Carey Price, who will get the start. With Roberto Luongo slated to start the following day against Austria, Price will look to prove Babcock can rely on him as the tournament progresses, though history suggests that the first goalie Canada plays isn’t the one between the pipes by the time the knockout round comes. Noon ET