Saskatchewan is well-represented among the athletes, coaches and officials taking part in the Sochi Olympics.
CBC's Eric Anderson has suggested five names to keep watch on, among those with a strong chance of bringing home a medal.
Lucas Makowsky (Speed Skating):
- Won a gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver (Team pursuit).
- Experience at previous games helps to prepare for Sochi.
"For sure [Sochi is] going to be the biggest race of the year — of the past four years. But you train like you race. You race like you train. So the more confident I can be going into every race knowing that my preparation is the same. Knowing that my preparation is going to get me where I want to, then that's all I can focus on to make sure that I get the results and performance I want."
- Lucas Makowsky
Circle the date: Lucas Makowsky defends team pursuit Gold medal on Feb. 21.
Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers (Figure Skating):
- Paige Lawrence is from Kennedy, Sask.
- Rudi Swiegers lived in Moosomin and Kipling, Sask., (after family moved from South Africa when he was 10).
- Partners since 2005 after meeting at the skating club in Wawota, Sask.
- Finished 3rd at Canadian Figure Skating Championships, earning a spot on Team Canada.
- Finished 2nd at the Four Continents Championships held in Tokyo in 2011.
"Rudi was a really hyper child. So it was one of those things where it was like an annoying brother that I didn't really want around all the time."
- Paige Lawrence (On first impressions of her skating partner.)
"Paige reluctantly said yes. She didn't really want to skate pairs with me. [Coach] Patty and I managed to kind of trick her into it. And we just stuck together for pairs. Next think you know we're competing and now we're here."
- Rudi Swiegers (On becoming skating partner to Paige Lawrence).
Circle the date: Lawrence and Swiegers begin competition Feb. 6.
Scott Perras (Biathlon):
- Top-ranked Canadian in sport (which combines cross country skiing with target shooting).
- In Jan. 2013, finished 10th at a World Cup event in Germany.
- A week ago, at World Cup event in Italy, was on men's relay team that finished 6th.
Circle the date: Scott Perras competes in the 10-kilometre sprint on Feb 10.
Mike Babcock (Coach - Men's Hockey)
- While born in Ontario, younger years were spent growing up in Saskatoon, which he considers his hometown.
- In addition to impressive hockey and coaching credentials, has a University degree (from McGill).
- Brought Ralph Krueger onto coaching staff, adding experience from Europe where ice dimensions match those used at Olympics.
- Only coach in hockey history to win a Stanley Cup, Olympic Gold, World Championship Gold and World Junior Gold.
"I don't know if the pressure will be any more than last time playing at home, but you want there to be enough pressure so that you prepare very well. You do your job the best you possibly can. We make sure we select the right players and give ourselves the best chance. And obviously these opportunities don't come around very often and most people don't get a chance in their lifetime. So for me, you want to make good on the opportunity you've been given and you put pressure on yourself to make that happen."
- Mike Babcock
Circle the date: First game for Team Canada is Feb. 13.