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Today at the Olympics: Ted Ligety dominates, Bode Miller's Olympic career is over, US men's hockey takes on Czech Republic

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  February 19, 2014 07:19 AM

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Each day throughout the Winter Olympics, we'll bring you a daily rundown on what to expect and a look at key story lines in Sochi.

What to watch today, Wednesday, Feb. 19

While you were sleeping (spoilers):

Ted Ligety became the first American skier to win Olympic gold in the men’s giant slalom Wednesday, with a dominating total time of 2:45.29. Teammate Bode Miller finished the event a distant 20th.

Ligety’s second run was only the 14th-best among the competitors, but his stellar first run time of 1:21.08 was still enough to fend off France’s Steve Missillier, who won silver. France also won a bronze, as Alexis Pinturault took third place.

Miller tweaked his knee during the first run of the giant slalom, and announced after the race that he will not compete in this weekend’s slalom event. The New Hampshire native ends his Olympic career as the most decorated American skier ever.

The event can be seen as part of NBC primetime lineup Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile, in snowboarding, Switzerland’s Patrizia Kummer, Japan’s Tomoka Takeuchi, and Russia’s Alena Zavarazina took the top three spots, respectively, in the women’s parallel giant slalom. Russia’s Vic Wild (Zavarazina’s husband), Switzerland’s Nevin Galmarini, and Slovenia’s Zan Kosir took gold, silver, and bronze, respectively, in the men’s event.

In men’s ice hockey, Bruins forward Loui Erikkson scored a goal as Sweden shut out Slovenia, 5-0. Henrik Lundqvist earned the shutout in net, as Sweden moves on to face the winner of today’s Finland-Russia showdown (7:30 a.m., NBC Sports Network) in the semifinals.

Medal watch:

The US men’s hockey team will play for the first time since Sunday when it takes on the Czech Republic in the tournament’s quarterfinal round (Noon, USA Network). The winner will move on to play the winner of Canada-Latvia (Noon, MSNBC) in the semifinals.

In figure skating, the women’s short program kicks off on Wednesday (10 a.m., NBCSN), with Gracie Gold, who won the US Figure Skating title in Boston last month as well as a bronze medal in last week’s team event, among the skaters. Ashley Wagner is also among the favorites in the competition.

In women’s bobsled, United States 1, led by Elana Myers and Lauryn Williams, sits in first place after two heats with a solid chance at winning gold in the event (NBC primetime). In cross-country, medals will be awarded in the men’s team sprint classic final. The women’s classic wrapped up early Wednesday morning, with Norway, Finland, and Sweden taking the top three spots (both can be seen at 3 p.m., NBC). Also airing at 3 will be the women’s 5,000 meter speed skating event, with American Maria Lamb among the competitors.

Tweets from the athletes:

Bode Miller and Mikaela Shiffrin congratulating teammate Ted Ligety on his gold in the giant slalom:

Freestyle skier David Wise, not wanting to give too much away after winning gold in the halfpipe on Tuesday:

Reality sets in for Hannah Kearney:

San Jose Shark Tomas Hertl has a bit of faith in his country going up against Team USA Wednesday:

Gold medalist Tina Maze, a big Whitney Houston fan:

Elana Myers, going for bobsled gold:

Photo of the day:

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