The most successful female skier in U.S. history with back-to-back overall World Cup championships, Vonn is poised to make a big showing in the alpine events. Though she has been to two Olympics, the 25-year-old — who raced in Torino after suffering a gnarly crash in downhill practice — has never medaled. Since Torino, Vonn has dominated the sport, snagging 28 more World Cup victories.
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Get ready to watch White take snowboarding to new heights. As the face of the breakout sport of the 2006 Games, the 23-year-old defending champ will again lead the charge in the halfpipe — this time with his gravity-defying new trick, the double McTwist 1260, which he just created in January. Paired with his double cork 1080s, it's a seemingly unbeatable combo.
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Vancouver is about redemption for snowboard cross' golden girl, who settled for silver in 2006 after falling on the second-to-last jump due to an unnecessary method grab. Don't expect the 24-year-old to make the same mistake again as she looks to add Olympic gold to her illustrious resume, which includes six Winter X Games golds.
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Not since Brian Boitano emerged victorious in the Battle of the Brians in 1988 has the U.S. seen a male figure skater on the top step of the Olympic podium. That can change with Evan Lysacek, 24, who finished fourth in Torino (while ill!) and last year became the first American man to win the World Championships since 1996.
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Apolo Anton Ohno
The former Dancing with the Stars champ has set his sights on making Olympic history. A five-time short track medalist (two golds, one silver, two bronzes), the 27-year-old Ohno needs just two more medals to eclipse Bonnie Blair as the most decorated U.S. Winter Olympian of all time.
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The mercurial skier, who hinted at retirement after his dismal 2009 season — which followed an impressive 2008 season — is back in search of that elusive Olympic gold. Miller, 32, won two silvers in 2002, but disappointed in 2006 when he failed to medal in any of the five alpine disciplines. Can he put together some solid runs in Vancouver?
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Meryl Davis and Charlie White
The youthful ice dancing duo (she's 23; he's 22) locked in their Olympic spot by winning nationals, dethroning five-time U.S. champions and defending Olympic silver medalists Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto in the process. Will Davis and White make a bigger splash at the Games?
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He may have taken an extended hiatus after winning Olympic gold in 2006, but the Russian figure skater is more dangerous than ever. Plushenko, 27, won his sixth European title in January, aided by his world record of 91.30 points in the short program.
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Now that his feud with Stephen Colbert is squared away, Davis can concentrate on his four long track events. The 27-year-old, who was the first black athlete to win individual gold in Torino, holds the world records in his two best events, the 1,000-meter and the 1,500.
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The 2002 halfpipe gold medalist is heading to her third Olympics as the favorite yet again. Known for her massive amplitude, Clark, 26, who seemed to have locked up gold in Torino until she fell on her last hit, has been soaring over her competition for the past few seasons. She was the first to qualify for the U.S. Olympic snowboard team — yes, even before Shaun White.
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The South Korean figure skater is the one to beat in Vancouver. Kim, 19, is known for her impeccable artistry and high jumps on the ice, which has helped her set world records in the short and long programs, and in the combined point total. The defending world champion is also the first female skater to break the 200-point barrier.
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After making her Olympic debut in Torino, Uhlaender, the daughter of late Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ted Uhlaender, took home back-to-back World Cup skeleton titles. Fun fact: The 25-year-old has worked on two seasons of Survivor, testing challenges and as a camera assistant.
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A picture of consistency, the 17-year-old performed seven triples, most of them in combination, en route to the national figure skating title in January. Flatt, who won the gold with a whopping 12-point lead over silver medalist and Olympic teammate Mirai Nagasu, will attempt to maintain the U.S. streak of having at least one woman on the Olympic podium — a run that dates back to 1968.
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The Utah-based Aussie may not fly as high out of the halfpipe as some of her competitors, but she's got the technical bag of tricks that can rival even some of the men. Besides her signature switch backside 720, the 23-year-old Bright has been practicing a double cork 900, which has never been done in the women's competition.