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Who Will Win

Feb. 06, 2006
Feb. 06, 2006

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Feb. 6, 2006

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Who Will Win

A complete guide to the 84 events and 252 medals up for grabs over the 17 days of the Winter Games

ALPINE SKIING

This is an article from the Feb. 6, 2006 issue Original Layout

U.S. OUTLOOK: Theteam has set a lofty goal of eight medals. Watch Julia Mancuso in the downhill,Kristina Koznick in the slalom, Rahlves, Mancuso and Kirsten Clark in the SuperGs, and Miller--in anything.

MEN

Downhill

Michael Walchhofer, Austria

Daron Rahlves, U.S.

Hermann Maier,Austria

Walchhofer beganhis career as a slalom specialist.

Super G

Hermann Maier,Austria

Hannes Reichelt,Austria

ChristophGruber, Austria

Maier onceout-arm-wrestled countryman Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Combined

Benjamin Raich,Austria

Bode Miller,U.S.

MichaelWalchhofer, Austria

Miller wassecond, Raich third in '02 behind Norway's Kjetil André Aamodt.

Giant Slalom

Benjamin Raich,Austria

MassimilianoBlardone, Italy

Fredrik Nyberg,Sweden

No nation has wonfour men's Alpine golds at one Games.

Slalom

Giorgio Rocca,Italy

Kalle Pallender,Finland

Ted Ligety,U.S.

Partiallycolor-blind Rocca wears goggles to tell blue gates from red.

WOMEN

Downhill

MichaelaDorfmeister, Austria

Janica Kosteli´c,Croatia

Lindsey Kildow,U.S.

In December,Kildow won a race in France. Her prize: a cow.

Super G

MichaelaDorfmeister, Austria

AlexandraMeissnitzer, Austria

Anja Pärson,Sweden

What, no cow?Dorfmeister used to travel the circuit with her pet rat.

Combined

Janica Kostelic,Croatia

Anja Pärson,Sweden

Marlies Schild,Austria

Kostelic is theonly Alpine skier to win four medals in one Games ('02).

Giant Slalom

Anja Pärson,Sweden

Kathrin Zettel,Austria

Janica Kostelic,Croatia

Pärson celebratesher victories with a sliding belly flop.

Slalom

Janica Kostelic,Croatia

Marlies Schild,Austria

Nicole Hosp,Austria

Kostelic has had11 knee operations, and her thyroid was removed in '04.

BIATHLON

U.S. OUTLOOK:There will be no medals, but Alaska's Jay Hakkinen could give the U.S. itsfirst top 10.

MEN

10K Sprint

Ole EinarBj√∏rndalen, Norway

Frode Andresen,Norway

Michael Greis,Germany

Bj√∏rndalenlearned positive thinking from vacuum salesman turned coach.

12.5K Pursuit

Ole EinarBj√∏rndalen, Norway

Michael Roesch,Germany

Ricco Gross,Germany

To ward offcolds, Bj√∏rndalen gargles with spirits before races.

15K MassStart

Ole EinarBj√∏rndalen, Norway

Rapha√´l Poirée,France

Sven Fischer,Germany

Raphaël andNorwegian wife Liv Grete won medals in 2002.

20KIndividual

Sven Fischer,Germany

Ole EinarBj√∏rndalen, Norway

Michael Greis,Germany

Twice World Cupoverall champ, Fischer has no solo Olympic golds.

4 √ó 7.5KRelay

Germany

Russia

France

German biathleteshave won medals in the relay in the last nine Games.

WOMEN

7.5K Sprint

Kati Wilhelm,Germany

Sandrine Bailly,France

Liv Grete Poirée,Norway

Wilhelm took upbiathlon in 1999; by 2001 she was world sprint champ.

10K Pursuit

Kati Wilhelm,Germany

Sandrine Bailly,France

Uschi Disl,Germany

Wilhelm lost a16-second lead in '02.

12.5K MassStart

Martina Glagow,Germany

Uschi Disl,Germany

Anna CarinOlofsson, Sweden

Disl, 35, has woneight Olympic medals but no individual golds.

15KIndividual

Andrea Henkel,Germany

Anna CarinOlofsson, Sweden

Albina Akhatova,Russia

Henkel is thereigning world and Olympic champ.

4 √ó 6 K Relay

Germany

Russia

France

With Disl, now afive-time Olympian, Germany has won the last two relays.

BOBSLED

U.S. OUTLOOK: Theteam can mine medals in each event. Look for Hays's sleds in both men's eventsand for Shauna Rohbock & Valerie Fleming and Jean Prahm & VonettaFlowers in the women's.

MEN

Two-man

Pierre Lueders& Lascelles Brown, Canada

Andre Lange &Kevin Kuske, Germany

Martin Annen& Beat Hefti, Switzerland

Jamaican nativeBrown received Canadian citizenship last month.

Four-man

Switzerland(driver: Martin Annen)

U.S. (driver:Todd Hays)

Russia (driver:Alexander Zubkov)

Annen is aprofessional cheese maker (Gruyère is his favorite).

WOMEN

Two-woman

Sandra Kiriasis& Anja Schneiderheinze, Germany

Susi Erdmann& Annegret Dietrich, Germany

Helen Upperton& Heather Moyse, Canada

Kiriasis escapeda fire that destroyed her home in 2004.

CROSS-COUNTRY

SKIING

U.S. OUTLOOK:Bill Koch's 1976 silver will remain the only Nordic medal ever won by anAmerican.

MEN

1.4 K Sprint(freestyle)

Tor Arne Hetland,Norway

Björn Lind,Sweden

Vasily Rochev,Russia

Hetland won goldin Salt Lake City by a 10th of a second.

Team Sprint(classical)

Sweden

Norway

Russia

Five of the top10 sprinters this season are Swedes.

15 KClassical

Tobias Angerer,Germany

Jens ArneSvartedal, Norway

Vasily Rochev,Russia

Angerer wrappedup January with his fifth straight World Cup win.

30 K Pursuit

Tobias Angerer,Germany

Pietro PillerCottrer, Italy

Axel Teichmann,Germany

A part-timedeejay, Angerer posts a monthly playlist on his website.

50K Mass Start(freestyle)

Tobias Angerer,Germany

Lukas Bauer,Czech Republic

Pietro PillerCottrer, Italy

A Scandinavianhas won a medal in the 50K at all 19 Winter Olympics.

4 √ó 10 KRelay

Norway

Italy

Germany

Norway took thelast two gold medals by a total of half a second.

WOMEN

1.2 K Sprint(freestyle)

Marit Bj√∏rgen,Norway

Yulia Chepalova,Russia

Lina Andersson,Sweden

Bj√∏rgen began asa sprint specialist.

Team Sprint(classical)

Norway

Russia

Sweden

Norway leads allnations with 83 cross-country medals.

10 KClassical

Marit Bj√∏rgen,Norway

Claudia Künzel,Germany

Beckie Scott,Canada

Bj√∏rgen won fivemedals at the 2005 world championships.

15K Pursuit

Marit Bj√∏rgen,Norway

Beckie Scott,Canada

Yulia Chepalova,Russia

In '02, after twoRussians were DQ'd for doping, Scott won gold.

30 K Mass Start(freestyle)

KatÀòerinàNeumannova, Czech Republic

Marit Bj√∏rgen,Norway

Yulia Chepalova,Russia

Neumannova, 32,will be in her sixth Olympics, including the Atlanta Games in 1996 when shefinished 18th in mountain biking.

4√ó5 K Relay

Russia

Norway

Finland

Four-timedefending champ Russia pulled out in '02 after one of its skiers wasdisqualified for having a high hemoglobin level.

CURLING

U.S. OUTLOOK: Themen are a long shot, but the women, who won silver at worlds, aren't.

MEN

Norway

Canada

Sweden

Familiar withquadrennials, U.S. skip Pete Fenson was born on Feb. 29.

WOMEN

Sweden

Canada

U.S.

Sweden beat theU.S. 10-4 to win the 2005 world title in March.

FIGURESKATING

U.S. OUTLOOK:Evan Lysacek or Kimmie Meissner could also win a medal for this deep team.

MEN

Evgeni Plushenko,Russia

Stephane Lambiel,Switzerland

Johnny Weir,U.S.

Last monthPlushenko overcame the flu to win his fifth European title.

WOMEN

Sasha Cohen,U.S.

Irina Slutskaya,Russia

Shizuka Arakawa,Japan

Japan's MaoAsada, 15, who would be favored but is too young to compete, won't be there,but Michelle Kwan will--and don't count her out.

Pairs

TatianaTotmianina & Maxim Marinin, Russia

Maria Petrova& Alexei Tikhonov, Russia

Dan Zhang &Hao Zhang, China

Soviet or Russianpairs have won 11 straight Olympic titles.

Dance

Tatiana Navka& Roman Kostomarov, Russia

Tanith Belbin& Ben Agosto, U.S.

Elena Grushina& Ruslan Goncharov, Ukraine

The favorites arecoached by Navka's husband, Alexander Zhulin.

FREESTYLESKIING

U.S. OUTLOOK: IfJeremy Bloom (moguls) and Jeret Peterson (aerials) are in top form, the teamcould win five medals.

MEN

Aerials

Dmitri Dashinski,Belarus

Kyle Nissen,Canada

Ryan St. Onge,U.S.

Dashinski ledafter the qualifying round in '98 but finished third.

Moguls

Dale Begg-Smith,Australia

Toby Dawson,U.S.

Janne Lahtela,Finland

Vancouver nativeBegg-Smith competed for Canada until 1999.

WOMEN

Aerials

Li Nina,China

Evelyne Leu,Switzerland

Guo Xinxin,China

Last season Lihad six firsts and four seconds in 11 World Cup events.

Moguls

Kari Traa,Norway

Jennifer Heil,Canada

Michelle Roark,U.S.

Once addicted tochocolate, Traa now eats it only as a reward.

HOCKEY

U.S. OUTLOOK: Themen will be hard-pressed to match their silver from 2002, and the women will behard-pressed to better theirs.

MEN

CzechRepublic

Canada

Russia

SI hockey writerMichael Farber disagrees and picks Canada (page 78).

WOMEN

Canada

U.S.

Finland

The top scorer atthe world championship in April, Krissy Wendell is the new U.S. captain.

LUGE

U.S. OUTLOOK:Tony Benshoof could win his first Olympic medal, Mark Grimmette and BrianMartin their third.

MEN

Singles

Armin Zöggeler,Italy

AlbertDemtchenko, Russia

David Möller,Germany

Zöggeler has wonbronze (1994), silver (1998) and gold (2002).

Doubles

Patric Leitner& Alexander Resch, Germany

ChristianOberstolz & Patrick Gruber, Italy

André Florsch√ºtz& Torsten Wustlich, Germany

The medals willgo to those who tame tricky Turn 14.

WOMEN

Singles

Silke Kraushaar,Germany

Tatjana Hüfner,Germany

Sylke Otto,Germany

Otto led a Germansweep in 2002.

NORDICCOMBINED

U.S. OUTLOOK: Todd Lodwick, 29, has an outside shot at the U.S.'s firstmedal.

Individual(normal hill, 15K freestyle)

Hannu Manninen,Finland

Ronny Ackermann,Germany

Magnus Moan,Norway

Manninen made hisOlympic debut in 1994 at age 15.

Sprint (largehill, 7.5 K freestyle)

Hannu Manninen,Finland

Ronny Ackermann,Germany

Felix Gottwald,Austria

Ackermann wonboth individual and sprint events at the 2005 worlds.

Team (normalhill, 4 √ó 5 K freestyle)

Germany

Austria

Norway

The U.S. quartettook fourth, its best finish ever, in Salt Lake City.

SKELETON

U.S. OUTLOOK:After sweeping gold in 2002, the team could be kept off the medal stand in2006.

MEN

Jeff Pain,Canada

Gregor Stähli,Switzerland

Sebastian Haupt,Germany

Eric Bernotas,who took up the sport four years ago, is the best U.S. hope.

WOMEN

MayaPedersen-Bieri, Switzerland

MellisaHollingsworth-Richards, Canada

Diana Sartor,Germany

Pedersen-Bieri'shusband, Snorre, once competed for Norway.

SKI JUMPING

U.S. OUTLOOK: Notpretty.

Normal hill

Jakub Janda,Czech Republic

Janne Ahonen,Finland

Roar Lj√∏kels√∏y,Norway

Janda and Ahonenshared the prestigious Four Hills title last month.

Large hill

Jakub Janda,Czech Republic

Janne Ahonen,Finland

Matti Hautamäki,Finland

Ahonen is acompetitive drag racer during the summer.

Team

Norway

Austria

Finland

Three Norwegianshave won World Cup events this season.

SNOWBOARDING

U.S. OUTLOOK:This team rocks. Seven boarders on the roster are X Games champs.

MEN

Halfpipe

Shaun White,U.S.

Antti Autti,Finland

Jan Michaelis,Germany

White barelymissed making the 2002 team at age 15.

Parallel GiantSlalom

Philipp Schoch,Switzerland

Jasey-JayAnderson, Canada

Simon Schoch,Switzerland

In 2003 Philipp'solder brother, Simon, won a silver at worlds.

Snowboardcross

Xavier Delerue,France

Jasey-JayAnderson, Canada

Seth Wescott,U.S.

Wescott's dad,Jim, once coached marathon champ Joan Benoit.

WOMEN

Halfpipe

Gretchen Bleiler,U.S.

Doriane Vidal,France

Hannah Teter,U.S.

In 2002 Bleilerlost an Olympic berth on a tiebreaker.

Parallel GiantSlalom

Daniela Meuli,Switzerland

Manuela Riegler,Austria

Isabelle Blanc,France

Riegler, theworld PGS champ, also competes in snowboardcross.

Snowboardcross

Karine Ruby,France

LindseyJacobellis, U.S.

DominiqueMaltais, Canada

Ruby hails fromChamonix, site of the first Winter Olympics, in 1924.

LONG-TRACK

SPEEDSKATING

U.S. OUTLOOK:Rosy. Eight skaters have won Olympic medals or world all-around titles.

MEN

500m

JeremyWotherspoon, Canada

Joey Cheek,U.S.

Joji Kato,Japan

Cheek won theworld sprint title last month in Heerenveen, Netherlands.

1,000m

Jan Bos,Netherlands

Shani Davis,U.S.

Dmitri Dorofeyev,Russia

Davis missedmaking the short-track team by one place at the trials.

1,500m

Chad Hedrick,U.S.

Enrico Fabris,Italy

Shani Davis,U.S.

Hedrick brokeDavis's world record, skating 1:42.78 in November.

5,000m

Eskil Ervik,Norway

Chad Hedrick,U.S.

Sven Kramer,Netherlands

Only on home icehas a U.S. skater won an Olympic race this long.

10,000m

Lasse Saetre,Norway

Chad Hedrick,U.S.

Eskil Ervik,Norway

Hedrick won 50world inline titles, from 300 meters to 42 kilometers.

Team Pursuit

Norway

Netherlands

U.S.

Peter Mueller,'76 Olympic champ for the U.S., coaches the Norwegians.

WOMEN

500m

Wang Manli,China

Jenny Wolf,Germany

Svetlana Zhurova,Russia

China has neverwon an Olympic gold medal in long-track skating.

1,000m

Anni Friesinger,Germany

Chiara Simionato,Italy

JenniferRodriguez, U.S.

FloridianRodriguez, sometimes called J-Rod, is also known as Miami Ice.

1,500m

Anni Friesinger,Germany

Cindy Klassen,Canada

Ireen Wust,Netherlands

Friesinger'sspeedskating parents met at a competition in East Berlin.

3,000m

RenateGroenewold, Netherlands

Anni Friesinger,Germany

Cindy Klassen,Canada

Klassen tried outfor the Canadian ice hockey team in 1998.

5,000m

MartinaSablikova, Czech Republic

ClaudiaPechstein, Germany

RenateGroenewold, Netherlands

Pechstein has wonseven Olympic medals, including four golds.

Team Pursuit

Germany

Netherlands

Canada

In this newOlympic event, teams of three race six laps around the oval.

SHORT-TRACK

SPEEDSKATING

U.S. OUTLOOK:Ohno? Oh, yes. And Haley Kim, 17, is a future star.

MEN

500m

Ahn Hyun-Soo,South Korea

Li JiaJun,China

Apolo Anton Ohno,U.S.

Li has twicesuffered a collapsed lung because of race crashes.

1,000m

Ahn Hyun-Soo,South Korea

Apolo Anton Ohno,U.S.

Lee Ho-Suk, SouthKorea

Ahn and Ohnocollided in the '02 final.

1,500m

Apolo Anton Ohno,U.S.

Ahn Hyun-Soo,South Korea

Lee Ho-Suk, SouthKorea

Ohno found goldin '02 after South Korea's Kim Dong-Sung was DQ'd.

5,000m Relay

South Korea

China

U.S.

Favored SouthKorea was DQ'd in '02.

WOMEN

500m

Wang Meng,China

Evgenia Radanova,Bulgaria

Kalyna Roberge,Canada

Wang is unbeatenin four World Cup 500-meter races this season.

1,000m

Wang Meng,China

Yang Yang (A),China

Jin Sun-Yu, SouthKorea

Wang and Yangboth hail from Harbin, the short-track hotbed.

1,500m

Jin Sun-Yu, SouthKorea

Yang Yang (A),China

Wang Meng,China

Allison Baver ofthe U.S. has a shot.

3,000m Relay

China

South Korea

Canada

All three wonmedals in '98 and '02.

View this article in the original magazine


The Germans Will Rule

Stars like lugerSilke Kraushaar (right) will help Germany top the Winter medal standings forthe third time in a row

COUNTRYGOLDSILVERBRONZETOTAL2002 TOTAL
GERMANY1711113938 (RANK: 1ST)
U.S.512163334 (2ND)
NORWAY15662725 (3RD)
CANADA41082217 (4TH)
AUSTRIA6761915 (5TH)
RUSSIA4771813 (6TH)
CHINA543128 (10TH)
SWEDEN336127 (12TH)
FINLAND245117 (12TH)
SOUTH KOREA42394 (14TH)
SWITZERLAND432911 (8TH)
FRANCE243911 (8TH)
ITALY261912 (7TH)

 

Italy

To the home team go the spoils: automatic entries inevery event, roaringly supportive crowds and a virtually guaranteed boost inmedals won. Led by skier Giorgio Rocca, Italy's team will give locals plenty tocheer about

Giorgio Rocca, ALPINE SKIING
At 30, Rocca (above) has blossomed into a World Cup sensation. His fivestraight slalom wins this season--a feat matched by only three otherskiers--set off a frenzy of ticket sales in Italy. Rocca's lucky charm:10-week-old son Giacomo, born shortly before the streak began.

Carolina Kostner, FIGURE SKATING
Her cousin Isolde, one of Italy's greatest Alpine skiers, carried the nationalflag in the opening ceremonies in 2002, and Carolina (top left) will follow inIsolde's footsteps in Turin. The fan favorite, who turns 19 on Feb. 8, was theworld bronze medalist in 2005.

Armin Zöggeler, LUGE
The 32-year-old defending gold medalist (bottom left) is a policeman from SouthTyrol, a region so close to Austria that German was his first language. Withhis final set for Day 2 of competition in Turin, Zöggeler could win Italy'sfirst gold medal of the Games.

Austria

Benjamin Raich, ALPINE SKIING
THE BEST all-around skier on the world's strongest Alpine team, Raich(pronounced RIKE) has nevertheless been overshadowed by U.S. star Bode Miller.Steady and unassuming, Raich, 27, won four world championship medals in 2005and is the World Cup overall points leader.

Norway

The top cross-country skiing nation in Olympic historydelivers a new star

Marit Bj√∏rgen, CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING
In 2002 Norwegian biathlon great Ole Einar Bj√∏rndalen won a Games-high fourgolds. In Turin the upbeat Bj√∏rgen, 25, a triple winner at 2005 worlds, couldduel her 32-year-old countryman for most-medals honors.

Russia

The erstwhile Big Red Machine is still a dynamo in theOlympics' most graceful sport

Irina Slutskaya, FIGURE SKATING
An Olympic cofavorite four years ago, Slutskaya (above) blew the landing of atriple flip in her long program and ended up with silver. In the last threeyears she has had to overcome vasculitis, an affliction that causes painfulinflammation of blood vessels, and the strain of her mother's kidney disease.But she is the reigning world champion and could become the oldest women'sfigure skating gold medalist since at least 1908. (She turns 27 on Feb. 9, theday before the opening ceremonies.)

Evgeni Plushenko, FIGURE SKATING
An Olympic cofavorite four years ago, he fell on a quadruple toe loop in hisshort program and ended up with silver. Now 23, Plushenko (right) is easily theclass of the sport and could become the fourth straight Russian (and fifthstraight Soviet-born skater) to win men's gold. He has the seven highest scoreson record under the sport's new Code of Points judging system.

Canada

Though strong in speedskating, sliding and some skiingand snowboarding events, the 2010 host country is most intent on repeating its2002 sweep of hockey gold medals

Hayley Wickenheiser, ICE HOCKEY
After all these years at the forefront of her sport, can she be only 27?Wickenheiser, the Olympic MVP in 2002 when she led Canada past the archrivalU.S. in the final, has played forward on the national team since age 15. Morerecently she has been the MVP at worlds (2004) and played in a men's pro leaguein Finland ('03-04). In the likely gold medal rematch with the U.S., herleadership could make the difference.

South Korea

No country is more passionate about the Olympics' mostrough-and-tumble sport--or has a more talented young competitor in it

Ahn Hyun-Soo, SHORT-TRACK SPEEDSKATING
Unlike many of his countrymen, the 20-year-old Ahn (above, in blue) doesn'thate the U.S.'s Apolo Anton Ohno for what happened at the 2002 Olympics. Inaddition to Ohno's controversial win over Kim Dong-Sung in the 1,500 meters, heand Ahn bumped in the 1,000, knocking Ahn out of contention. Ahn calls Ohno agreat skater whom he respects, but he's been less than deferential, beatingOhno for the overall title at worlds three straight times.

PHOTOPhotograph GERARD BERTHOUD/DPPI/Icon SMITWO PHOTOSJENS-ULRICH KOCH/AFP/GETTY IMAGES; ORN E. BORGEN/AFP/GETTY IMAGESTHREE PHOTOSSHAUN BOTTERILL/GETTY IMAGES; ALEXANDER DEMIANCHUK/REUTERS; ALEXANDER HASSENSTEIN/BONGARTS/GETTY IMAGESTWO PHOTOSYURI KADOBNOV/AFP/GETTY IMAGES; ANATOLY MALTSEV/EPATWO PHOTOSMARK GALLUP; ANTONIO CALANNI/APTHREE PHOTOSMAX ROSSI/REUTERS; LEE JAE-WON/REUTERS; FABRIZIO BENSCH/REUTERSEIGHT ILLUSTRATIONS