On almost popular demand (i.e. one other person who promises to read it once) I present the thread for winter sports in 2006-07, which despite almost non-existent coverage in cricketing countries are HUGE on the northern end of the European continent - Norwegian and German TV show some 8 hours of it every weekend - and are even stretching down beyond the Alps thanks to the effort of Silvio Fauner, Maurillio de Zolt, Enrico Fabris, Alberto Tomba and other Italian champion Winter Olympic athletes.
The season of individual sports has been underway for more than two months, and despite the lack of snow hosts around Europe have been doing a fabulous job of getting events completed. (US resorts are buried in snow, but moving the entire professional circus from Europe to compete in front of zero crowds is not desirable).
The weekend had a number of memorable performances, particularly for Dutch, Czech and Norwegian viewers:
Biathlon: Norway dominate the men's events. The relay, sprint and pursuit all go to Norway, with the sprint ending 1-2-3 for Bjørndalen, Hanevold and Svendsen, and the mass start won by Bjørndalen (who hit 20 of 20 targets) ahead of Svendsen. Bjørndalen's 70th biathlon World Cup victory puts him back on top of the overall standings. No one really impresses among the women.
Ski jumping: Anders Jacobsen, Norway's youngest Four Hills Tournament (in Germany and Austria) winner, won the ski flying event in the Vikersund hill - right next to his home town of Hønefoss. It's his first start in ski flying. Gregor Schlierenzauer, the 17-year-old who was runner-up to Jacobsen in the Four Hills, doesn't start.
Speed skating: 20-year-old Dutchman Sven Kramer continued his long-distance domination by playing with the European élite in the European Championships held in the Italian village of Klobenstein; he beat hometown favourite Enrico Fabris by half a point in the allround standings, but could have won by much more. He skated the two last laps of the 10 km at a pace normally seen in a 1500-metre race after letting Carl Verheijen up to his neck with two laps to go. Eight of a possible ten outdoor world records are broken during the championships, and Fabris registers the fastest time ever seen in Europe on the 1500 metres, despite skating outdoors (at lower temperatures with more air resistance). The women's allround is won by 19-year-old Martina Sáblíková, who beats her 15-year-old brother Milan over 5000 metres, and takes the first major Czech victory in speed skating ever - despite trailing Ireen Wüst by 13 seconds with 2 km to go. It's also the first time since 1974 that Germany don't make it to the podium.
Alpine skiing: Slalom specialist Mario Matt wins the classic combination event in Wengen after finishing 30th in the combined downhill, more than two seconds down on the best downhill skiers. Bode Miller, who has crashed out of almost half the races so far, takes the downhill by almost a second despite falling over the line.
Fire away with questions, really, if there's anything you're curious about. It'll be updated once a week until March (or closed) anyway.