Your guide to the 2014 Winter Olympics

Minnesota Olympians
Clockwise from top left: Jessie Diggins trains in Sochi; 2014 Olympic men's curling team poses at the Duluth Curling Club; Anna Ringsred at the U.S. speed skating championships in Kearns, Utah; Zach Parise (center) at the 2010 gold medal men's hockey game in Vancouver.
Harry How, Matthew Stockman, Scott Audette/Getty Images, Dan Kraker/MPR News

Minnesota's 44 Olympians
There are 44 athletes with Minnesota ties competing at the Sochi Olympics. We have one biathlete and one luger, two speed skaters, six skiers, eight curlers and 26 hockey players. The list includes Zach Parise, captain of the men's hockey team, speed skater and Duluth native Anna Ringsred, Bloomington's Keri Herman who will be competing in slopestyle and cross country phenom Jessie Diggins from Afton.

Biathlon preview
Susan Dunklee of United States shoots during a Biathlon training session ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center, Mountain Cluster on February 3, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
Harry How/Getty Images

Biathlon: The essential guide
Biathlon combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. It dates back to Norwegian ski troops in the late 1700s and there is still a strong tie to the military today. Coach Piotr Bednarski shares the trick to being able to switch back and forth between skiing and precision shooting. Here's what you need to know when you watch the Sochi games.

Team Pottinger
Skip Allison Pottinger of Eden Prairie, Minn., watches team members Tabitha Peterson, left, of Eagan, Minn., and Natalie Nicholson, right, of Bemidji, Minn., sweep the rock during U.S. Olympic Team Trials at Scheels Arena in Fargo, N.D., on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. Pottinger, a 2010 Olympian who got her start in curling at age 11, and her team will compete for the chance to make Team USA for the 2014 Olympics. Team Pottinger will meet Erika Brown and her team in a best-of-3 final beginning Friday afternoon.
Ann Arbor Miller/ For MPR News

Curling: The essential guide
Curling first originated in Scotland in the 16th century, played on frozen ponds and lochs. But the sport has a strong presence in the upper Midwest and Minnesota in particular. Nearly all of Team USA's curlers are from the state. The game has a language all its own: pebbling, hack, hog line, button. Learn about the sport here.

Zach Parise
Zach Parise #9 of the United States celebrates after scoring a goal past Roberto Luongo #1 of Canada to tie the scores 2-2 late in the third during the ice hockey men's gold medal game between USA and Canada on day 17 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Canada Hockey Place on February 28, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.
Scott Audette/Getty Images

Hockey: The essential guide
Minnesota is most well represented at the Sochi Olympics in — no surprise — hockey. But the rules for Olympic hockey are not the same as for NHL or collegiate games. Both US teams took home silver in 2010. See how Olympic hockey works and which Minnesotans to watch for.

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Sarah Reid of Canada makes a practice skeleton run ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Sanki Sliding Center on February 5, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Luge/bobsled/skeleton: The essential guide
The sports were all developed during the late 1880s in Switzerland as a pastime for tourists who wanted a thrill sledding down the Alps. But a lot has changed since then. Three-time Olympic luger Tony Benshoof from White Bear Lake shares his insight on what to watch for at the games. Here's what you need to know.

Figure skating
Italy's Stefania Berton and Italy's Ondrej Hotarek perform the Figure Skating Pairs Team Short Program at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 6, 2014.
Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Skating: The essential guide
Figure and speed skating are some of the oldest Winter Olympic sports. Two coaches helped guide us through the differences between ice dancing and pairs figure skating, and short track and speed skating. Find out more about the judging, the gear and the events.

Karly Shorr of the United States competes in the Women's Slopestyle Qualification during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 6, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Skiing: The essential guide
Between Alpine, cross country, freestyle, Nordic combined, ski jumping and snowboarding, it's an exciting year for Olympic skiing. Slopestyle is making its debut at the Sochi games, with two Minnesotans competing, and women's ski jump will be an Olympic sport for the first time.


Sochi next stop for Afton ski phenom Jessie Diggins

'Regular guys' from northern Minnesota hope for curling gold in Sochi


The Sochi Olympics Tracker live blog will offer live coverage of the games.