Kearney has been on an absolute tear since winning Olympic gold in Vancouver. She enters the freestyle worlds in Park City, Utah, on a five-race World Cup winning streak. Her biggest competition may again be Jenn Heil, the Canadian favorite who took silver in Vancouver and plans to retire at season's end.
2 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
Wilson surprised by winning bronze at the Vancouver Olympics, seeing as he had just one top-five finish on the World Cup circuit in nearly two years going into the Games. He's currently eighth in the World Cup standings, staring up at two American teammates.
3 of 10Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
Deneen, the defending world champion from 2009, crashed out at the Olympics (19th place) but has rebounded well with two podium finishes this season. He's fourth in the World Cup standings, a notch below Olympic champion Alexandre Bilodeau.
4 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
Ryan St. Onge
Like Deneen, St. Onge won a 2009 world championship but failed to medal in Vancouver, finishing fourth. Olympic teammate Jeret "Speedy" Peterson is sitting out the season, so the U.S. medal hopes in men's aerials almost solely rest on St. Onge.
5 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
Cook, 31, is the senior member of the 37-member U.S. team. This world championship, her fifth, could be considered a closing-the-circle event for Cook. She was slated to compete at the 2002 Olympic aerials competition, also at Deer Valley, until she broke both ankles in pre-Games training.
6 of 10Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Teller, 27, made history earlier this season by becoming the first American to win a World Cup skicross race. The sport debuted at the Olympics last year, with the U.S. team made up of retired Alpine skiers Daron Rahlves and Casey Puckett. Neither placed in the top 10. Teller is also a former Alpiner, but he's somewhat newer blood, buoyed by winning gold at the X Games.
7 of 10Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Fresh off his sixth career Winter X Games medal, Dumont heads to his first world championship. Ski halfpipe, under consideration for 2014 Olympic inclusion, is part of the freestyle worlds program for the second time. Dumont has long been one of the sport's biggest X Games stars.
8 of 10Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Hudak owns an X Games medal of every color in ski halfpipe, including gold in 2010, but she fell to fifth in Aspen last week. She was the first U.S. world medalist in the sport, snaring bronze in 2009.
9 of 10AP/Carl Yarbrough/SI
Slopestyle is another event not yet a part of the Olympics, but Schlopy has the Games in his blood. His cousin Eric (inset) was a three-time Olympic Alpine skier. Alex placed 13th at the Winter X Games, but he did win another event, Big Air, in Aspen.
10 of 10Jean-Pierre Clatot/AFP/Getty Images
Herman appears to be the top U.S. hope in women's slopestyle. She won silver in the event at the 2010 and 2011 Winter X Games, as well as the 2010 European X Games.
You May Like
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!