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MEDAL PICKS

A full rundown on the 86 events and 258 medals up for grabs over the 17 days of the Vancouver Games

Alpine Skiing

MEN

Downhill

• Didier Cuche, Switzerland

• Manuel Osborne-Paradis, Canada

• Carlo Janka, Switzerland

Cuche, 35, history's oldest world champ, will ski with a broken thumb.

Super Giant Slalom

• Michael Walchhofer, Austria

• Aksel Lund Svindal, Norway

• Didier Cuche, Switzerland

Walchhofer, 34, works at his family's hotel in Zauchensee.

Combined

• Ivica Kostelíc, Croatia

• Benjamin Raich, Austria

• Bode Miller, U.S.

Kostelíc's younger sister, Janica, won six Olympic Alpine medals.

Giant Slalom

• Benjamin Raich, Austria

• Ted Ligety, U.S.

• Marcel Hirscher, Austria

Raich lost the 2009 overall World Cup title to Svindal by two points.

Slalom

• Julien Lizeroux, France

• Reinfried Herbst, Austria

• Ivica Kostelíc, Croatia

Lizeroux's brother Yoann died while base jumping in Switzerland in 2008.

WOMEN

Downhill

• Lindsey Vonn, U.S.

• Maria Riesch, Germany

• Anja P√§rson, Sweden

Seventeen of Vonn's 31 World Cup wins have been in the downhill.

Super Giant Slalom

• Lindsey Vonn, U.S.

• Fabienne Suter, France

• Andrea Fischbacher, Austria

Michaela Dorfmeister of Austria won downhill and Super G in Turin.

Combined

• Anja P√§rson, Sweden

• Maria Riesch, Germany

• Elisabeth G√∂rgl, Austria

Pärson leads active Alpine skiers with 40 World Cup wins.

Giant Slalom

• Kathrin H√∂lzl, Germany

• Tina Maze, Slovenia

• Tanja Poutiainen, Finland

Hölzl has 19 top 10 World Cup finishes, all in giant slalom.

Slalom

• Maria Riesch, Germany

• Sandrine Aubert, France

• Kathrin Zettel, Austria

Vonn and Riesch are best pals.

Biathlon

MEN

10K Sprint

• Ole Einar Bj√∏rndalen, Norway

• Dominik Landertinger, Austria

• Simon Fourcade, France

Bj√∏rndalen won this in 1998 and '02.

12.5K Pursuit

• Dominik Landertinger, Austria

• Ole Einar Bj√∏rndalen, Norway

• Arnd Peiffer, Germany

Austria's team has been rebuilt since a drug scandal in Turin.

15K Mass Start

• Evgeny Ustyugov, Russia

• Emil Hegle Svendsen, Norway

• Ole Einar Bj√∏rndalen, Norway

Svendsen, 24, is looking like the next Bj√∏rndalen.

20K Individual

• Sergei Sednev, Ukraine

• Daniel Mesotitsch, Austria

• Christoph Sumann, Austria

Tim Burke of Paul Smiths, N.Y., should contend.

4 √ó 7.5K Relay

• Norway

• Austria

• Russia

Russia (or the USSR) has medaled in the relay in 10 of the last 11 Games.

WOMEN

7.5K Sprint

• Kati Wilhelm, Germany

• Anna Carin Olofsson-Zidek, Sweden

• Magdalena Neuner, Germany

Wilhelm has won three golds and three silvers in two Olympics.

10K Pursuit

• Helena Jonsson, Sweden

• Andrea Henkel, Germany

• Magdalena Neuner, Germany

Jonsson's dad charged her 10¢ per miss in childhood shooting practice.

12.5K Mass Start

• Andrea Henkel, Germany

• Helena Jonsson, Sweden

• Simone Hauswald, Germany

Henkel's sister, Manuela, won cross-country gold in 2002.

15K Individual

• Helena Jonsson, Sweden

• Anna Carin Olofsson-Zidek, Sweden

• Magdalena Neuner, Germany

Olofsson-Zidek competed while pregnant in 2008.

4 √ó 6K Relay

• Russia

• Germany

• Sweden

Germany has the versatile Neuner, but Russia is the world champ.

Bobsled

MEN

Two-man

• Beat Hefti & Thomas Lamparter, Switzerland

• André Lange & Kevin Kuske, Germany

• Thomas Florsch√ºtz & Marc K√ºhne, Germany

Florsch√ºtz's brother André could win luge gold.

Four-man

• Germany (driver: André Lange)

• U.S. (driver: Steve Holcomb)

• Switzerland (driver: Ivo R√ºegg)

U.S. is seeking first gold since 1948.

WOMEN

Two-woman

• Cathleen Martini & Romy Logsch, Germany

• Shauna Rohbock & Michelle Rzepka, U.S.

• Kaillie Humphries & Heather Moyse, Canada

In Turin, Rohbock won silver with Valerie Fleming, now injured.

Cross-Country Skiing

MEN

1.4K Sprint (classical)

• Emil J√∂nsson, Sweden

• Ola Vigen Hattestad, Norway

• Nikita Kriukov, Russia

Three of Jönsson's four World Cup wins have come in Canada.

Team Sprint (freestyle)

• Norway

• Russia

• Sweden

Turin finish: Sweden, Norway, Russia.

15K Freestyle

• Matti Heikkinen, Finland

• Vincent Vittoz, France

• Petter Northug Jr., Norway

No Finn has won this event since 1964.

30K Pursuit

• Petter Northug Jr., Norway

• Lukas Bauer, Czech Republic

• Marcus Hellner, Sweden

Northug, the sport's trash talker, won three golds at 2009 worlds.

50K Mass Start (classical)

• Lukas Bauer, Czech Republic

• Maxim Vylegzhanin, Russia

• Alexander Legkov, Russia

In 2006 the top eight finishers were just 3.3 seconds apart.

4 √ó 10K Relay

• Norway

• Russia

• Germany

Reigning champ Italy has fallen on hard times.

WOMEN

1.2K Sprint (classic)

• Petra Majdic, Slovenia

• Justyna Kowalczyk, Poland

• Aino-Kaisa Saarinen, Finland

Saarinen's twin sister, Maija, also skied for Finland.

Team Sprint (freestyle)

• Sweden

• Italy

• Slovenia

Sweden won this event in 2006.

10K Freestyle

• Marit Bjoergen, Norway

• Charlotte Kalla, Sweden

• Irina Khazova, Russia

A Swedish woman last won individual cross-country gold in '68.

15K Pursuit

• Justyna Kowalczyk, Poland

• Aino-Kaisa Saarinen, Finland

• Petra Majdic, Slovenia

Kowalczyk has seven World Cup victories this season.

30K Mass Start (classical)

• Justyna Kowalczyk, Poland

• Marit Bjoergen, Norway

• Anna Haag, Sweden

Kowalczyk had a steroid suspension rescinded in 2005.

4 √ó 5K Relay

• Sweden

• Norway

• Finland

None of these three medaled in '06.

Curling

MEN

• Great Britain

• Canada

• Norway

The Canadians won in Turin; the Brits took the '09 worlds.

WoMEN

• Canada

• China

• Denmark

China is making its Olympic debut in this event.

Figure Skating

MEN

• Evgeni Plushenko, Russia

• Patrick Chan, Canada

• Evan Lysacek, U.S.

Turin gold medalist Plushenko is back after a three-year retirement.

WOMEN

• Kim Yu-na, South Korea

• Mao Asada, Japan

• Joannie Rochette, Canada

Asada's national rival Miki Ando is also a threat.

Pairs

• Shen Xue & Zhao Hongbo, China

• Pang Qing & Tong Jian, China

• Alona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy, Germany

Russians (or Soviets) have won every gold in this since 1964.

Dance

• Meryl Davis & Charlie White, U.S.

• Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir, Canada

• Tanith Belbin & Ben Agosto, U.S.

Davis and White train in Michigan with Virtue and Moir.

Freestyle Skiing

MEN

Aerials

• Anton Kushnir, Belarus

• Qi Guangpu, China

• Jia Zongyang, China

Kushnir has won a medal in all six World Cup events this season.

Moguls

• Dale Begg-Smith, Australia

• Guilbaut Colas, France

• Jesper Bj√∂rnlund, Sweden

World champ Patrick Deneen of the U.S. has a shot.

Skicross

• Michael Schmid, Switzerland

• Chris Del Bosco, Canada

• Andreas Matt, Austria

The father of Colorado native Del Bosco is Canadian.

WOMEN

Aerials

• Lydia Lassila, Australia

• Li Nina, China

• Zhang Xin, China

Lassila blew out her knee on a qualifying jump in Turin.

Moguls

• Jennifer Heil, Canada

• Heather McPhie, U.S.

• Hannah Kearney, U.S.

Lake Tahoe's Shannon Bahrke could also climb the podium.

Skicross

• Ophelie David, France

• Ashleigh McIvor, Canada

• Kelsey Serwa, Canada

Corsica native David, 33, skied on Hungary's Alpine team in 1994.

Hockey

MEN

• Canada

• Russia

• Czech Republic

Goalie Ryan Miller gives the U.S. a chance.

WOMEN

• Canada

• U.S.

• Finland

Canada and the U.S. have faced off in all 12 world championship finals.

Luge

MEN

Singles

• Armin Z√∂ggeler, Italy

• Albert Demchenko, Russia

• Felix Loch, Germany

Zöggeler has five world titles and four Olympic medals.

Doubles

• André Florsch√ºtz & Torsten Wustlich, Germany

• Patric Leitner & Alexander Resch, Germany

• Christian Oberstolz & Patrick Gruber, Italy

The Linger brothers of Austria won in Turin and could contend again.

WOMEN

Singles

• Tatjana H√ºfner, Germany

• Natalie Geisenberger, Germany

• Erin Hamlin, U.S.

Hüfner clinched her third overall World Cup title last month.

Nordic Combined

Normal Hill

• Jason Lamy Chappuis, France

• Magnus Moan, Norway

• Felix Gottwald, Austria

U.S.'s Bill Demong, Todd Lodwick or Johnny Spillane could medal.

Large Hill

• Magnus Moan, Norway

• Jason Lamy Chappuis, France

• Tino Edelmann, Germany

Moan (MOO-ahn) was born in the '94 Olympic host city, Lillehammer.

Team (large hill, 4 √ó 5K freestyle)

• Germany

• U.S.

• Norway

The U.S. has never won an Olympic Nordic combined medal.

Skeleton

MEN

• Martins Dukurs, Latvia

• Frank Rommel, Germany

• Jon Montgomery, Canada

Dukurs's older brother, Tomass, is also a medal threat.

WOMEN

• Kerstin Szymkowiak, Germany

• Mellisa Hollingsworth, Canada

• Anja Huber, Germany

Growing up on an Alberta ranch, Hollingsworth was a barrel racer.

Ski Jumping

Normal Hill

• Gregor Schlierenzauer, Austria

• Simon Ammann, Switzerland

• Wolfgang Loitzl, Austria

Ammann won double gold in '02.

Large Hill

• Simon Ammann, Switzerland

• Gregor Schlierenzauer, Austria

• Thomas Morgenstern, Austria

Morgenstern's uncle Alois finished seventh in the slalom in 1976.

Team

• Austria

• Norway

• Finland

Four of the world's top five jumpers are Austrian.

Snowboarding

MEN

Halfpipe

• Shaun White, U.S.

• Iouri Podladtchikov, Switzerland

• Scotty Lago, U.S.

Louie Vito from the U.S. could also contend for a medal.

Parallel Giant Slalom

• Jasey-Jay Anderson, Canada

• Benjamin Karl, Austria

• Andreas Prommegger, Austria

Anderson runs a blueberry farm in Quebec.

Snowboardcross

• Pierre Vaultier, France

• Nate Holland, U.S.

• Graham Watanabe, U.S.

Last week, Holland won the X Games snowboardcross for the fifth time in five years.

WOMEN

Halfpipe

• Kelly Clark, U.S.

• Gretchen Bleiler, U.S.

• Torah Bright, Australia

Bright, a Mormon, lives in Utah and appears in an Xbox game.

Parallel Giant Slalom

• Nicolien Sauerbreij, Netherlands

• Fraenzi Maegert-Kohli, Switzerland

• Amelie Kober, Germany

World Cup champ in 2008--09, Kober is training to be a police chief.

Snowboardcross

• Maelle Ricker, Canada

• Lindsey Jacobellis, U.S.

• Helene Olafsen, Norway

Jacobellis hot-dogged her way out of gold in Turin.

Long-Track Speedskating

MEN

500 Meters

• Lee Kang-seok, South Korea

• Keiichiro Nagashima, Japan

• Lee Kyou-hyuk, South Korea

Tucker Fredricks is the U.S. hope.

1,000 Meters

• Shani Davis, U.S.

• Lee Kyou-hyuk, South Korea

• Denny Morrison, Canada

Lee is in his fifth Olympics, but has yet to win a medal.

1,500 Meters

• Shani Davis, U.S.

• Denny Morrison, Canada

• Chad Hedrick, U.S.

Hedrick dealt Davis his only season loss in the 1,500.

5,000 Meters

• Sven Kramer, Netherlands

• Enrico Fabris, Italy

• Bob de Jong, Netherlands

Kramer hasn't lost a 5K since Fabris beat him in 2007.

10,000 Meters

• Sven Kramer, Netherlands

• H√•vard B√∏kko, Norway

• Alexis Contin, France

Kramer's father, Yep, skated at the 1980 and '84 Olympics.

Team Pursuit

• Netherlands

• Norway

• Canada

U.S. chances suffer without Davis, who chose to skip the team event.

WOMEN

500 Meters

• Jenny Wolf, Germany

• Lee Sang-hwa, South Korea

• Wang Beixing, China

Wang has been living and training in Canada.

1,000 Meters

• Christine Nesbitt, Canada

• Sayuri Yoshii, Japan

• Annette Gerritsen, Netherlands

Nesbitt was born in Australia.

1,500 Meters

• Christine Nesbitt, Canada

• Kristina Groves, Canada

• Ireen Wust, Netherlands

A lane violation cost Groves world gold in 2009.

3,000 Meters

• Martina Sàblíkovà, Czech Republic

• Stephanie Beckert, Germany

• Kristina Groves, Canada

Sàblíkovà's brother Milan skates for the Czech national team.

5,000 Meters

• Martina Sàblíkovà, Czech Republic

• Stephanie Beckert, Germany

• Daniela Anschuetz-Thoms, Germany

Sàblíkovà won 5K world titles in 2007, '08 and '09.

Team Pursuit

• Canada

• Germany

• Netherlands

Russia and Japan will make this a wide-open race.

Short-Track Speedskating

MEN

500 Meters

• Charles Hamelin, Canada

• Kwak Yoon-gy, South Korea

• Apolo Ohno, U.S.

Hamelin's dad, Yves, heads Canada's national program.

1,000 Meters

• Lee Jung-su, South Korea

• Apolo Ohno, U.S.

• Charles Hamelin, Canada

A four-skater crash may have cost Ohno gold in the 1,000 in '02.

1,500 Meters

• Lee Ho-suk, South Korea

• Lee Jung-su, South Korea

• Sung Si-bak, South Korea

Lee Ho-suk won three medals in Turin.

5,000 Meter Relay

• South Korea

• Canada

• China

South Korea beat Canada by a blade length in 2006.

WOMEN

500 Meters

• Wang Meng, China

• Kalyna Roberge, Canada

• Zhao Nannan, China

The mother of tiny (5' 3") Roberge hails from tiny Mauritius.

1,000 Meters

• Wang Meng, China

• Zhou Yang, China

• Lee Eun-byul, South Korea

Wang has won 14 world titles.

1,500 Meters

• Zhou Yang, China

• Lee Eun-byul, South Korea

• Katherine Reutter, U.S.

South Koreans won both gold and silver in 2002 and '06.

3,000 Meter Relay

• China

• South Korea

• Canada

The U.S. quartet could win a medal.

Projected Medal Count

For the second straight Winter Games, and the third time in the last four, Germany will come out on top

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COUNTRY

GOLD

SILVER

BRONZE

TOTAL

2006 TOTAL (RANK)

GERMANY

11

11

13

35

29 (1)

CANADA

10

11

9

30

24 (3)

U.S.

7

10

10

27

25 (2)

NORWAY

7

10

5

22

19 (6)

AUSTRIA

5

7

10

22

23 (4)

SWEDEN

6

4

6

16

14 (T-7)

CHINA

5

5

5

15

11 (T-9)

SOUTH KOREA

5

6

3

14

11 (T-9)

RUSSIA

3

5

4

12

22 (5)

FRANCE

4

4

3

11

9 (T-12)

SWITZERLAND

4

3

3

10

14 (T-7)

THE NETHERLANDS

4

0

4

8

9 (T-12)

FINLAND

1

1

5

7

9 (T-12)

The Master

OLE EINAR BJ√òRNDALEN

Norway, Biathlon

He's a bit obsessive—gargling daily with cognac and religiously sanitizing his hands so that he won't get sick—but attention to detail has helped make him the greatest biathlete ever. The 36-year-old Bj√∏rndalen has more World Cup victories (92) than any other winter-sport athlete in history, and in Vancouver he'll add to his stockpile of nine Olympic medals, five of which are gold.

The Queen in Waiting

KIM YU-NA,South Korea, Figure Skating

No South Korean figure skater has won an Olympic medal, but the 19-year-old world champion, also known as Queen Kim, appears sure to change that. Since 2008 she has won nine of 11 competitions, many by huge margins. Her nation's biggest celebrity, the willowy, 5'4" Kim has escaped the spotlight by training in Toronto for the last three seasons under two-time Canadian Olympic silver medalist Brian Orser. Kim has it all—speed, jumps, musicality, class and sass. Her James Bond--themed short program is one for the ages. Still, she'll have to overcome an Olympic jinx: No women's favorite has won gold since Oksana Baiul in 1994.

The Internet Mogul

DALE BEGG-SMITH,Australia, Moguls Skiing

Under other circumstances, he'd be defending his Olympic title for Canada as a hometown hero. But Begg-Smith, 25, a Vancouver-born skiing and computer whiz, left the national junior team at age 15 after coaches said his business ventures were distracting him. He moved Down Under, got rich from his multiple web-marketing companies and, as a new citizen, won gold for Australia in 2006—a feat honored with an Aussie postage stamp. The Lamborghini-driving Begg-Smith won't talk about his businesses, which have been accused of producing Internet spam, but they aren't a distraction: He's won three overall World Cup titles.

The Short Stopper

WANG MENG,China, Short-Track Speedskating

Perhaps it was boredom from winning over and over again that turned the world's best short-track speedskater into a hot dog at a World Cup event in Marquette, Mich., in November. With her relay team well ahead on the final lap, Wang, 24, left her arms on her back, stood straight up and stared over her shoulder at her pursuers. The showboating, which nearly cost her team—she edged South Korea's Kim Min-jung by .001 of a second—was uncharacteristic but her quest for excitement wasn't. Wang, who won a medal of each color in Turin, is an adrenaline freak. She hopes to get a sports car after her success in Vancouver, where a four-race sweep is within her grasp.

PHOTO

Photograph by OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

PHOTO

JED JACOBSOHN/GETTY IMAGES

LINDSEY JACOBELLIS U.S., snowboardcross medal pick

PHOTO

TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

PHOTO

MAX ROSSI/REUTERS

PHOTO

KIYOSHI OTA/GETTY IMAGES