MEDAL PICKS

A full rundown on the 86 events and 258 medals up for grabs over the 17 days of the Vancouver Games
February 08, 2010

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 Pärson, 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 Pärson, Sweden

Maria Riesch, Germany

Elisabeth Görgl, Austria

Pärson leads active Alpine skiers with 40 World Cup wins.

Giant Slalom

Kathrin Hölzl, 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 Florschütz & Marc Kühne, Germany

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

Four-man

Germany (driver: André Lange)

U.S. (driver: Steve Holcomb)

Switzerland (driver: Ivo Rüegg)

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 Jönsson, 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 Björnlund, 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 Zöggeler, 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 Hüfner, 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

Håvard Bøkko, 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.

PHOTOPhotograph by OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES PHOTOJED JACOBSOHN/GETTY IMAGESLINDSEY JACOBELLIS U.S., snowboardcross medal pick PHOTOTORU YAMANAKA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES PHOTOMAX ROSSI/REUTERS PHOTOKIYOSHI OTA/GETTY IMAGES

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)