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Who'll Win Can Jean Racine and Gea Johnson overcome controversy to take the first women's bobsledding gold? Will there be any big surprises? Here are SI's fearless medal picks

Feb. 04, 2002
Feb. 04, 2002

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Feb. 4, 2002

Winter Olympic Preview

Who'll Win Can Jean Racine and Gea Johnson overcome controversy to take the first women's bobsledding gold? Will there be any big surprises? Here are SI's fearless medal picks

ALPINE SKIING

This is an article from the Feb. 4, 2002 issue

MEN

DOWNHILL
[Gold]--Stephan Eberharter, Austria
[Silver]--Hannes Trinkl, Austria
[Bronze]--Fritz Strobl, Austria
At 33, Trinkl became the oldest world champion in Alpine history
in 2001

SUPER G
[Gold]--Stephan Eberharter, Austria
[Silver]--Didier Cuche, Switzerland
[Bronze]--Daron Rahlves, U.S.
Eberharter will be the first skier to sweep the downhill and the
Super G

COMBINED
[Gold]--Kjetil Andre Aamodt, Norway
[Silver]--Bode Miller, U.S.
[Bronze]--Lasse Kjus, Norway
Aamodt's stash of 15 world and Olympic medals is an Alpine record

GIANT SLALOM
[Gold]--Fredrik Nyberg, Sweden
[Silver]--Benjamin Raich, Austria
[Bronze]--Frederic Covili, France
Daredevil Nyberg has a fear of dogs, but not of man-eating slopes

SLALOM
[Gold]--Bode Miller, U.S.
[Silver]--Ivica Kostelic, Croatia
[Bronze]--Rainer Schonfelder, Austria
Miller, the son of 1960s nonconformists, grew up in a New
Hampshire cabin that had no electricity or plumbing

WOMEN

DOWNHILL
[Gold]--Isolde Kostner, Italy
[Silver]--Michaela Dorfmeister, Austria
[Bronze]--Hilde Gerg, Germany
Home-fan favorite Picabo Street will make a strong run but just
miss a medal

SUPER G
[Gold]--Hilde Gerg, Germany
[Silver]--Karen Putzer, Italy
[Bronze]--Renate Gotschl, Austria
Putzer's brothers, Pirmin and Marc, were named for ski greats
Zurbriggen and Girardelli

COMBINED
[Gold]--Renate Gotschl, Austria
[Silver]--Janica Kostelic, Croatia
[Bronze]--Michaela Dorfmeister, Austria
Gotschl was the overall World Cup champ in 2000 and runner-up in
2001

GIANT SLALOM
[Gold]--Sonja Nef, Switzerland
[Silver]--Michaela Dorfmeister, Austria
[Bronze]--Karen Putzer, Italy
Despite six operations on her right knee since 1989, the
29-year-old Nef is back on top of the mountain

SLALOM
[Gold]--Anja Parson, Sweden
[Silver]--Laure Pequegnot, France
[Bronze]--Kristina Koznick, U.S.
Koznick skis apart from the U.S. team to train with beau and
coach Dan Stripp

BIATHLON

MEN

10K SPRINT
[Gold]--Raphael Poiree, France
[Silver]--Frank Luck, Germany
[Bronze]--Ole-Einar Bjorndalen, Norway
Poiree will become the first Frenchman to win an Olympic biathlon
event

12.5K PURSUIT
[Gold]--Raphael Poiree, France
[Silver]--Pavel Rostovtsev, Russia
[Bronze]--Frank Luck, Germany
Poiree still has a plate in his left arm from a 1999 motorcycle
crash

20K INDIVIDUAL
[Gold]--Pavel Rostovtsev, Russia
[Silver]--Frank Luck, Germany
[Bronze]--Halvard Hanevold, Norway
Hanevold made up 15 meters in the final two kilometers to win
gold in Nagano

4x7.5K RELAY
[Gold]--Germany
[Silver]--Russia
[Bronze]--Norway
The USSR, Russia or Germany has won every gold since event
debuted in '68

WOMEN

7.5K SPRINT
[Gold]--Liv Grete Skjelbreid-Poiree, Norway
[Silver]--Olena Zubrilova, Ukraine
[Bronze]--Magdalena Forsberg, Sweden
Liv Grete and Raphael Poiree will be the first married couple to
win gold for different countries

10K PURSUIT
[Gold]--Magdalena Forsberg, Sweden
[Silver]--Olena Zubrilova, Ukraine
[Bronze]--Liv Grete Skjelbreid-Poiree, Norway
In the off-season Forsberg works part-time as a tax adviser

15K INDIVIDUAL
[Gold]--Magdalena Forsberg, Sweden
[Silver]--Liv Grete Skjelbreid-Poiree, Norway
[Bronze]--Gunn Margit Andreassen, Norway
Scandinavians will sweep the women's individual events for first
time

4x7.5K RELAY
[Gold]--Germany
[Silver]--France
[Bronze]--Norway
Even the great Forsberg can't beat Germany, with five of the
world's top nine sprinters

BOBSLED

MEN

TWO MAN
[Gold]--Langen/Zimmermann, Germany
[Silver]--Hays/Hines, U.S.
[Bronze]--Annen/Hefti, Switzerland
Seven-time world champ Christoph Langen is still going strong at
age 39

FOUR MAN
[Gold]--Germany (driver: Andre Lange)
[Silver]--Germany (driver: Christoph Langen)
[Bronze]--U.S. (driver: Todd Hays)
Hays is a former University of Tulsa linebacker and Ultimate
Fighting champ

WOMEN

TWO WOMAN
[Gold]--Prokoff/Holzner, Germany
[Silver]--Erdmann/Herschmann, Germany
[Bronze]--Racine/Johnson, U.S.
Susi Erdmann won bronze in Albertville and silver in
Lillehammer--in luge

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING

MEN

1.5K SPRINT FREESTYLE
[Gold]--Tor Arne Hetland, Norway
[Silver]--Cristian Zorzi, Italy
[Bronze]--Trond Iversen, Norway
Olympic debut for sport's shortest race, which lasts just over
three minutes

15K CLASSICAL
[Gold]--Erling Jevne, Norway
[Silver]--Per Elofsson, Sweden
[Bronze]--Anders Aukland, Norway
In August 1999, Jevne's four-year-old son, Erich Iver, was killed
by a car as the two walked along a road in Norway

COMBINED PURSUIT
[Gold]--Per Elofsson, Sweden
[Silver]--Anders Aukland, Norway
[Bronze]--Thomas Alsgaard, Norway
Starting 24 seconds back, Alsgaard sprinted past his legendary
countryman Bjorn Daehlie with 50 meters to go to win gold by 1.1
seconds in Nagano

30K FREESTYLE
[Gold]--Per Elofsson, Sweden
[Silver]--Christian Hoffmann, Austria
[Bronze]--Anders Aukland, Norway
Elofsson has a shot to be first skier to win more than three
golds at one Games

50K CLASSICAL
[Gold]--Johann Muhlegg, Spain
[Silver]--Per Elofsson, Sweden
[Bronze]--Vitaly Denisov, Russia
Muhlegg skied in three Olympics for Germany before a dispute with
top brass

4x10K RELAY
[Gold]--Norway
[Silver]--Italy
[Bronze]--Sweden
Italy beat Norway by .4 seconds in 1994; Norway edged Italy by .2
seconds in '98

WOMEN

1.5K SPRINT FREESTYLE
[Gold]--Katerina Neumannova, Czech Rep.
[Silver]--Hilde Pedersen, Norway
[Bronze]--Maj Helen Sorkmo, Norway
Neumannova finished 18th in mountain biking at the '96 Summer
Games

10K CLASSICAL
[Gold]--Bente Skari, Norway
[Silver]--Olga Danilova, Russia
[Bronze]--Julija Tchepalova, Russia
Skari's father, Odd Martinsen, won gold in the 4x10K relay in
1968 in Grenoble

COMBINED PURSUIT
[Gold]--Larissa Lazutina, Russia
[Silver]--Olga Danilova, Russia
[Bronze]--Bente Skari, Norway
Lazutina took home five medals in '98

15K FREESTYLE
[Gold]--Stefania Belmondo, Italy
[Silver]--Larissa Lazutina, Russia
[Bronze]--Julija Tchepalova, Russia
Belmondo ranks eighth in Winter Olympic history, with seven
medals

30K CLASSICAL
[Gold]--Olga Danilova, Russia
[Silver]--Julija Tchepalova, Russia
[Bronze]--Larissa Lazutina, Russia
Top contender Kristina Smigun of Estonia failed preliminary drug
test

4x5K RELAY
[Gold]--Norway
[Silver]--Russia
[Bronze]--Italy
Order of finish in last three Games: Russia, Norway and Italy

CURLING

MEN
[Gold]--Sweden
[Silver]--Canada
[Bronze]--Switzerland
Sweden, which edged Switzerland 5-4 to win the 2001 European
championship, will atone for a disappointing sixth-place finish
in Nagano

WOMEN
[Gold]--Canada
[Silver]--Sweden
[Bronze]--Denmark
Canada has taken the last two world titles and will win again
despite the loss of longtime skip Sandra Schmirler, who died of
cancer two years ago at 36

FIGURE SKATING

MEN
[Gold]--Evgeni Plushenko, Russia
[Silver]--Alexei Yagudin, Russia
[Bronze]--Timothy Goebel, U.S.
Yagudin won the European title last month while world champ
Plushenko was sidelined with a groin injury

WOMEN
[Gold]--Michelle Kwan, U.S.
[Silver]--Irina Slutskaya, Russia
[Bronze]--Sarah Hughes, U.S.
No Soviet or Russian woman has ever won the ladies' singles title

PAIRS
[Gold]--Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze, Russia
[Silver]--Sale/Pelletier, Canada
[Bronze]--Shen/Zhao, China
Soviets or Russians have won 10 in a row

DANCE
[Gold]--Anissina/Peizerat, France
[Silver]--Fusar Poli/Margaglio, Italy
[Bronze]--Bourne/Kraatz, Canada
Marina Anissina's mom, Irina Chernieva of the USSR, was sixth in
pairs in '72

FREESTYLE SKIING

MEN

AERIALS
[Gold]--Eric Bergoust, U.S.
[Silver]--Aleksei Grichin, Belarus
[Bronze]--Ales Valenta, Czech Republic
Bergoust's quad flip is banned until '03

MOGULS
[Gold]--Stephane Rochon, Canada
[Silver]--Jeremy Bloom, U.S.
[Bronze]--Janne Lahtela, Finland
Bloom is also a wide receiver for Colorado

WOMEN

AERIALS
[Gold]--Jacqui Cooper, Australia
[Silver]--Alla Tsuper, Ukraine
[Bronze]--Veronika Bauer, Canada
Taking herbalist's advice, Cooper drank cockroach extract to cure
a bad back

MOGULS
[Gold]--Kari Traa, Norway
[Silver]--Hannah Hardaway, U.S.
[Bronze]--Aiko Uemura, Japan
Traa's career took off once she controlled her chocolate obsession

HOCKEY

MEN
[Gold]--Canada
[Silver]--Czech Republic
[Bronze]--Russia
Canada hasn't won gold since 1952

WOMEN
[Gold]--U.S.
[Silver]--Canada
[Bronze]--Finland
Though Canada has beaten the U.S. in all seven world finals since
1990, Yanks won gold in '98 and went 8-0 against Canadians in
pre-Olympic tour

LUGE

MEN

SINGLES
[Gold]--Georg Hackl, Germany
[Silver]--Markus Prock, Austria
[Bronze]--Armin Zoggeler, Italy
A new sled engineered by Porsche will propel Hackl to his fourth
straight Olympic title and deny nine-time world No. 1 Prock his
first gold yet again

DOUBLES
[Gold]--Skel/Woller, Germany
[Silver]--Leitner/Resch, Germany
[Bronze]--Brugger/Huber, Italy
Nagano bronze medalists Mark Grimmette and Brian Martin of the
U.S. are also contenders

WOMEN

SINGLES
[Gold]--Silke Kraushaar, Germany
[Silver]--Sylke Otto, Germany
[Bronze]--Barbara Niedernhuber, Germany
German women have won the last 33 World Cup races

NORDIC COMBINED

INDIVIDUAL (Normal hill, 15k freestyle)
[Gold]--Felix Gottwald, Austria
[Silver]--Ronny Ackermann, Germany
[Bronze]--Samppa Lajunen, Finland
Gottwald will be first Austrian to win this event; Todd Lodwick
could become first American to win Nordic combined medal

SPRINT (Large hill, 7.5k freestyle)
[Gold]--Ronny Ackermann, Germany
[Silver]--Felix Gottwald, Austria
[Bronze]--Samppa Lajunen, Finland
Ackermann finished in the top three in nine of the last 11 races
this season

TEAM (Normal hill, 4x5K freestyle)
[Gold]--Austria
[Silver]--Germany
[Bronze]--Finland
Norway, dominant four years ago, will be denied a spot on the
podium

SKELETON

MEN
[Gold]--Gregor Stahli, Switzerland
[Silver]--Chris Soule, U.S.
[Bronze]--Martin Rettl, Austria
A stuntman in the film G.I. Jane, Soule has also appeared in Sex
and the City

WOMEN
[Gold]--Alex Coomber, Great Britain
[Silver]--Maya Pedersen, Switzerland
[Bronze]--Lea Ann Parsley, U.S.
Oxford-educated Coomber is a lieutenant in the Royal Air Force

SKI JUMPING

NORMAL HILL
[Gold]--Adam Malysz, Poland
[Silver]--Sven Hannawald, Germany
[Bronze]--Matti Hautamaki, Finland
Malysz is first Pole to win World Cup; only Pole to win Winter
gold was ski jumper Wojciech Fortuna in Sapporo

LARGE HILL
[Gold]--Sven Hannawald, Germany
[Silver]--Adam Malysz, Poland
[Bronze]--Martin Hollwarth, Austria
In January, Hannawald became first to sweep four events in
prestigious Four Hills tournament in Austria and Germany

TEAM
[Gold]--Germany
[Silver]--Austria
[Bronze]--Finland
The order could vary but not which countries mount the platform;
nine of the world's top 11 jumpers are members of these three
teams

SNOWBOARDING

MEN

HALFPIPE
[Gold]--Magnus Sterner, Sweden
[Silver]--Ross Powers, U.S.
[Bronze]--Heikki Sorsa, Finland
Magnus's cousin Fredrik was World Cup champ in '98; his father,
Kristen, was goalie in Swedish pro hockey league

PARALLEL GIANT SLALOM
[Gold]--Dejan Kosir, Slovenia
[Silver]--Nicolas Huet, France
[Bronze]--Jasey Jay Anderson, Canada
Hermann Maier's kid brother, Alex, from Austria, could sneak onto
the platform

WOMEN

HALFPIPE
[Gold]--Nicola Pederzolli, Austria
[Silver]--Doriane Vidal, France
[Bronze]--Sabine Wehr-Hasler, Germany
Though Austria didn't qualify for a slot in this event,
Pederzolli was allotted a last-minute berth after World Cup
success

PARALLEL GIANT SLALOM
[Gold]--Karine Ruby, France
[Silver]--Doris Guenther, Austria
[Bronze]--Julie Pomagalski, France
New event--in which pairs of boarders race head-to-head--replaces
the giant slalom, which Ruby won in '98

SPEED SKATING

MEN

500M
[Gold]--Jeremy Wotherspoon, Canada
[Silver]--Hiroyasu Shimizu, Japan
[Bronze]--Casey FitzRandolph, U.S.
A nagging back injury, which he has been fighting for four
months, will cost Nagano champion Shimizu the gold

1,000M
[Gold]--Jeremy Wotherspoon, Canada
[Silver]--Erben Wennemars, Netherlands
[Bronze]--Michael Ireland, Canada
Wotherspoon says skating is his second favorite passion--behind
fishing

1,500M
[Gold]--Adne Sondral, Norway
[Silver]--Ids Postma, Netherlands
[Bronze]--Jan Bos, Netherlands
If Derek Parra of the U.S. regains the fine form he showed early
this season, the Floridian could take a medal

5,000M
[Gold]--Jochem Uytdehaage, Netherlands
[Silver]--Carl Verheijen, Netherlands
[Bronze]--Frank Dittrich, Germany
After 5,000 king Gianni Romme's shocking failure to qualify at
Dutch trials, this race deserves an asterisk

10,000M
[Gold]--Frank Dittrich, Germany
[Silver]--Gianni Romme, Netherlands
[Bronze]--Bob de Jong, Netherlands
In his fourth Winter Games, the 34-year-old Dittrich will
finally bring home his first gold medal

WOMEN

500M
[Gold]--Catriona LeMay Doan, Canada
[Silver]--Andrea Nuyt, Netherlands
[Bronze]--Svetlana Zhurova, Russia
LeMay Doan has the eight fastest times at this distance, and at
the Olympic Oval she should break her world record

1,000M
[Gold]--Sabine Volker, Germany
[Silver]--Jennifer Rodriguez, U.S.
[Bronze]--Catriona LeMay Doan, Canada
No Hispanic-American has won a medal

1,500M
[Gold]--Anni Friesinger, Germany
[Silver]--Claudia Pechstein, Germany
[Bronze]--Marianne Timmer, Netherlands
Friesinger's mom skated for Poland in '76

3,000M
[Gold]--Anni Friesinger, Germany
[Silver]--Claudia Pechstein, Germany
[Bronze]--Gretha Smit, Netherlands
Defending champ Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann is on maternity leave

5,000M
[Gold]--Claudia Pechstein, Germany
[Silver]--Anni Friesinger, Germany
[Bronze]--Gretha Smit, Netherlands
Unheralded Smit will be huge surprise

SHORT TRACK

MEN

500M
[Gold]--Li Jiajun, China
[Silver]--Kim Dong-Sung, Korea
[Bronze]--Takafumi Nishitani, Japan
A fitting name: In Mandarin, Jiajun means "winner"

1,000M
[Gold]--Kim Dong-Sung, Korea
[Silver]--Apolo Ohno, U.S.
[Bronze]--Min Ryoung, Korea
Now 21, Kim became first skater to win world senior title as a
junior, in '97

1,500M
[Gold]--Marc Gagnon, Canada
[Silver]--Kim Dong-Sung, Korea
[Bronze]--Apolo Ohno, U.S.
In fourth Games, four-time world champ Gagnon will win first
individual gold

5,000M RELAY
[Gold]--Canada
[Silver]--Korea
[Bronze]--U.S.
U.S. skater Rusty Drew Smith of Sunset Beach, Calif., was named
for Rusty Staub and Drew Pearson

WOMEN

500M
[Gold]--Evgenia Radanova, Bulgaria
[Silver]--Yang Yang (A), China
[Bronze]--Yang Yang (S), China
The letters A and S--A stands for nothing, S for "small"--are used
to distinguish the unrelated Yangs

1,000M
[Gold]--Yang Yang (A), China
[Silver]--Evgenia Radanova, Bulgaria
[Bronze]--Ko Gi-Hyun, Korea
Yang's name translates as "flying flag"--and at the medal
ceremony, hers will

1,500M
[Gold]--Yang Yang (A), China
[Silver]--Joo Min-Jin, Korea
[Bronze]--Choi Min-Kyung, Korea
Yang won five world allround titles from 1997 to 2001

3,000M RELAY
[Gold]--China
[Silver]--Korea
[Bronze]--Canada
Korea edged China by just .123 seconds in this event in Nagano

PHOTOGRAPH BY GERARD RANCINAN