The Winter Olympics - what to watch for from Sochi

Winter Olympics highlightsPic: Getty

It might be wet, cold and dreary outside, but winter does have its plus points. Friday 7 February marked the beginning of the 22nd Winter Olympics, and the event has a habit of throwing up a few surprise Team GB winners.

Who could forget Torvill and Dean's Bolero triumph, our slightly unexpected victory in the curling, or Amy Williams' nail-biting but ultimately record-breaking skeleton bob run?

The opening ceremony took place at Sochi's Fisht Olympic Stadium on Friday evening, while the action, including bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, skating, skiing, snowboarding and biathlon, will now continue for 17 days.

So what should we be looking out for in 2014, and where is the best place to catch all the action?

Speed skating king Sven Kramer, a legend of the ice who is not only the defending Olympic champ, but has won five of the past six world titles, began his defence on the first day of action.

Meanwhile Shaun White, otherwise known as 'the flying tomato', will take to the halfpipe to being his defence of the Olympic title in the snowboarding on Tuesday 11 February.

Elsewhere, watch for South Korean figure-skater Yuna Kim, and American alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin, who looks to have a great chance of taking gold, despite being only a teenager.

The ice hockey looks to be Russia's best chance to win gold for home country, with NHL top scorer Alex Ovechkin leading the charge. And it would without doubt prove a crowd-pleaser should the Jamaican bobsleigh team make it to the final.

But let's not rule out our very own Team GB. The men's curling team will be putting their best knee forward starting on Monday 10 February, with the women's team starting their Olympic campaign on 20 February.

On the slopes, Jenny Jones, a pro snowboarder of 15 years, is taking her place in the Olympic line-up for the first time, with the 'slopestyle' event included for the first time this year, and James Woods is hopeful of a medal in the ski version of the event (13 February). Last, but most certainly not least, both Lizzy Yarnold and Shelly Rudman will be hoping to emulate Amy Williams in the terrifying but thrilling skeleton bob.

Where to watch
Following its outstanding coverage of London 2012, the BBC sports team, led by Claire Balding, has 200 hours of network coverage lined up, and over 650 hours of live action available via the red button and six HD streams, so it looks your best bet of catching the highlights. The Beeb recently launched its Winter Olympics website, which includes the six live streams, allowing you to quickly switch from event to event, and two of the streams will be available through BT Vision, Freesat, Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media and YouView.

Furthermore, all the highlights and major events will be coming to a radio near you thanks to BBC Radio 5 live coverage.

So whether you are a Winter Olympics virgin or a seasoned pro, don't miss out on the action - you never know what exciting new event you might find yourself glued to this February.

What events are you looking forward to in the Winter Olympics? Leave your comments below...