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MEDAL PICKS

Feb. 03, 2014
Feb. 03, 2014

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Feb. 3, 2014

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MEDAL PICKS

WHICH COUNTRY WILL TOP THE TABLE AND WHO WILL REACH THE PODIUM IN ALL 98 EVENTS

ALPINE SKIING

MEN

DOWNHILL

[Gold] Aksel Lund Svindal, Norway

[Silver] Hannes Reichelt, Austria

[Bronze] Erik Guay, Canada

When not flying down mountains, Reichelt pilots his own plane.

SUPER-G

[Gold] Aksel Lund Svindal, Norway

[Silver] Patrick Kueng, Switzerland

[Bronze] Georg Streitberger, Austria

Defending champ Svindal, 31, leads the World Cup standings in downhill, Super-G and overall.

GIANT SLALOM

[Gold] Marcel Hirscher, Austria

[Silver] Ted Ligety, U.S.

[Bronze] Alexis Pinturault, France

Part Norwegian, Pinturault has dual citizenship.

SLALOM

[Gold] Marcel Hirscher, Austria

[Silver] Felix Neureuther, Germany

[Bronze] Mario Matt, Austria

Hirscher is a two-time overall World Cup champ.

COMBINED

[Gold] Ted Ligety, U.S.

[Silver] Alexis Pinturault, France

[Bronze] Aksel Lund Svindal, Norway

Ligety started his own ski equipment company.

WOMEN

DOWNHILL

[Gold] Maria Hoefl-Riesch, Germany

[Silver] Marianne Kaufmann-Abderhalden, Switzerland

[Bronze] Tina Maze, Slovenia

Maze is one of six women to have won World Cup races in all five disciplines.

SUPER-G

[Gold] Lara Gut, Switzerland

[Silver] Anna Fenninger, Austria

[Bronze] Tina Weirather, Liechtenstein

All nine of Liechtenstein's medals have come in Alpine skiing.

GIANT SLALOM

[Gold] Jessica Lindell-Vikarby, Sweden

[Silver] Maria Pietilae-Holmner, Sweden

[Bronze] Anna Fenninger, Austria

Lindell-Vikarby will turn 30 on the day the Games open.

SLALOM

[Gold] Mikaela Shiffrin, U.S.

[Silver] Marlies Schild, Austria

[Bronze] Frida Hansdotter, Sweden

Schild, 32, had five knee surgeries by age 19.

COMBINED

[Gold] Nicole Hosp, Austria

[Silver] Marie-Michele Gagnon, Canada

[Bronze] Maria Hoefl-Riesch, Germany

Hoefl-Riesch is also nationally ranked in tennis.

BIATHLON

MEN

10K SPRINT

[Gold] Martin Fourcade, France

[Silver] Emil Hegle Svendsen, Norway

[Bronze] Ole Einar Bj‚äòrndalen, Norway

Martin's older brother, Simon, is a medal threat too.

12.5K PURSUIT

[Gold] Emil Hegle Svendsen, Norway

[Silver] Martin Fourcade, France

[Bronze] Simon Schempp, Germany

Svendsen has at least one world title in each event.

15K MASS START

[Gold] Alexey Volkov, Russia

[Silver] Tarjei B‚äò, Norway

[Bronze] Martin Fourcade, France

B‚äò won this event and two others at the 2013 worlds.

20K INDIVIDUAL

[Gold] Emil Hegle Svendsen, Norway

[Silver] Martin Fourcade, France

[Bronze] Evgeni Ustyugov, Russia

Lake Placid's Tim Burke took silver in this race at the world championships.

4 √ó 7.5K RELAY

[Gold] Norway

[Silver] Germany

[Bronze] France

Team Norway includes 40-year-old legend Ole Einar Bj‚äòrndalen.

WOMEN

7.5K SPRINT

[Gold] Tora Berger, Norway

[Silver] Darya Domracheva, Belarus

[Bronze] Kaisa Makarainen, Finland

Berger was Norway's sportsperson of the year in 2012.

10K PURSUIT

[Gold] Kaisa Makarainen, Finland

[Silver] Tora Berger, Norway

[Bronze] Valj Semerenko, Ukraine

Valj's twin sister, Vita, is also an Olympian.

12.5K MASS START

[Gold] Darya Domracheva, Belarus

[Silver] Tora Berger, Norway

[Bronze] Andrea Henkel, Germany

Henkel is dating U.S. team member Tim Burke.

15K INDIVIDUAL

[Gold] Gabriela Soukalova, Czech Republic

[Silver] Darya Domracheva, Belarus

[Bronze] Tora Berger, Norway

Domracheva once shot 500 hours of material for a biathlon documentary about her.

4 √ó 6K RELAY

[Gold] Norway

[Silver] Germany

[Bronze] Russia

Berger erased a 40-second deficit to lead Norway to world gold in 2013.

MIXED RELAY

[Gold] Norway

[Silver] Czech Republic

[Bronze] France

Twenty-one nations have won biathlon medals, but not the U.S.

BOBSLED

MEN

TWO-MAN

[Gold] Switzerland (driver: Beat Hefti)

[Silver] U.S (driver: Steve Holcomb)

[Bronze] Germany (driver: Francesco Friedrich)

The last U.S. medal in this event came in 1952, in Oslo.

FOUR-MAN

[Gold] U.S. (driver Steve Holcomb)

[Silver] Russia (driver Alexander Zubkov)

[Bronze] Germany (driver: Maximilian Arndt)

The U.S. took gold in Vancouver, its first since 1948 in St. Moritz.

WOMEN

TWO-WOMAN

[Gold] Canada (driver: Kaillie Humphries)

[Silver] U.S. (driver: Elana Meyers)

[Bronze] U.S. (driver: Jamie Greubel)

Humphries's husband, Dan, was an Olympic sledder for Great Britain and for Canada.

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING

MEN

1.4K SPRINT (FREE)

[Gold] Nikita Kriukov, Russia

[Silver] Federico Pellegrino, Italy

[Bronze] Alex Harvey, Canada

Harvey's dad, Pierre, was a ski and cycling Olympian.

TEAM SPRINT (CLASSIC)

[Gold] Russia

[Silver] Norway

[Bronze] Sweden

Just 1.5 seconds separated the top three teams in Vancouver.

15K CLASSIC

[Gold] Alexey Poltoranin, Kazakhstan

[Silver] Johan Olsson, Sweden

[Bronze] Hannes Dotzler, Germany

Kazakhstan's one Winter gold came in cross-country skiing, in 1994.

30K SKIATHLON

[Gold] Alexander Legkov, Russia

[Silver] Martin Johnsrud Sundby, Norway

[Bronze] Dario Cologna, Switzerland

Sundby is coached by his younger brother Sondre.

50K MASS START (FREE)

[Gold] Martin Johnsrud Sundby, Norway

[Silver] Alexander Legkov, Russia

[Bronze] Petter Northug, Norway

Northug, winner of four Olympic medals, has been battling a virus for months.

4 √ó 10K RELAY

[Gold] Russia

[Silver] Sweden

[Bronze] Norway

Russia took third at 2013 worlds but has never won an Olympic medal in this event.

WOMEN

1.2K SPRINT (FREE)

[Gold] Kikkan Randall, U.S.

[Silver] Marit Bj‚äòrgen, Norway

[Bronze] Denise Herrmann, Germany

Randall was an Alaska champ in speed skiing (going straight downhill) and cross-country running.

TEAM SPRINT (CLASSIC)

[Gold] Norway

[Silver] Sweden

[Bronze] U.S.

The U.S. won this event at the 2013 worlds.

10K CLASSIC

[Gold] Justyna Kowalczyk, Poland

[Silver] Yulia Chekaleva, Russia

[Bronze] Therese Johaug, Norway

Like teammate Bj‚äòrgen, Johaug grew up on a farm.

15K SKIATHLON

[Gold] Justyna Kowalczyk, Poland

[Silver] Anne Kyllönen, Finland

[Bronze] Kristin St‚äòrmer Steira, Norway

Kowalczyk won three medals in 2010.

30K MASS START (FREE)

[Gold] Therese Johaug, Norway

[Silver] Marit Bj‚äòrgen, Norway

[Bronze] Justyna Kowalczyk, Poland

Bj‚äòrgen has won 19 world championship medals, including 12 golds.

4 √ó 5K RELAY

[Gold] Norway

[Silver] Russia

[Bronze] Sweden

Norway leads the alltime cross-country table in Olympic medals (96) and golds (35).

CURLING

MEN

[Gold] Canada

[Silver] Sweden

[Bronze] Great Britain

Canada has won gold or silver at nine straight world championships.

WOMEN

[Gold] Great Britain

[Silver] Sweden

[Bronze] Canada

British skip Eve Muirhead, 23, also toiled at the world bagpiping championships as a teenager.

FIGURE SKATING

MEN

[Gold] Yuzuru Hanyu, Japan

[Silver] Patrick Chan, Canada

[Bronze] Javier Fernandez, Spain

Hanyu's house was damaged by the tsunami in 2011.

WOMEN

[Gold] Kim Yu-na, South Korea

[Silver] Julia Lipnitskaia, Russia

[Bronze] Mao Asada, Japan

Kim has sung with several recording artists in South Korea.

PAIRS

[Gold] Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, Russia

[Silver] Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, Germany

[Bronze] Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov, Russia

Trankov writes lyrics for his favorite music genre: hip-hop.

ICE DANCING

[Gold] Meryl Davis and Charlie White, U.S.

[Silver] Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, Canada

[Bronze] Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat, France

Multilingual Péchalat earned a business degree in Moscow.

TEAM

[Gold] Canada

[Silver] Russia

[Bronze] U.S.

Three-time Olympic medalist Evgeni Plushenko, Russia's men's entrant, is the wild card.

FREESTYLE SKIING

MEN

AERIALS

[Gold] Qi Guangpu, China

[Silver] Liu Zhongqing, China

[Bronze] Anton Kushnir, Belarus

The five Olympic winners have hailed from five different countries.

MOGULS

[Gold] Mikael Kingsbury, Canada

[Silver] Alex Bilodeau, Canada

[Bronze] Patrick Deneen, U.S.

As a teenager Deneen was a champion in the equestrian sport of reining.

SKI CROSS

[Gold] David Duncan, Canada

[Silver] Andreas Matt, Austria

[Bronze] Victor Oehling Norberg, Sweden

With Brady Leman and Chris del Bosco, a Canadian sweep is possible

HALFPIPE

[Gold] David Wise, U.S.

[Silver] Aaron Blunck, U.S.

[Bronze] Justin Dorey, Canada

Married at 20 and a youth pastor, Wise is known as "the Undude."

SLOPESTYLE

[Gold] Nick Goepper, U.S.

[Silver] Bobby Brown, U.S.

[Bronze] Jesper Tjader, Sweden

The last two world champs, Tom Wallisch and Alex Schlopy, didn't make the U.S. team.

WOMEN

AERIALS

[Gold] Zhang Xin, China

[Silver] Li Nina, China

[Bronze] Lydia Lassila, Australia

Olympic champ Lassila took two years off to have a baby.

MOGULS

[Gold] Hannah Kearney, U.S.

[Silver] Justine Dufour-Lapointe, Canada

[Bronze] Chloe Dufour-Lapointe, Canada

A third Dufour-Lapointe sister, Maxime, is also on Canada's team.

SKI CROSS

[Gold] Marielle Thompson, Canada

[Silver] Fanny Smith, Switzerland

[Bronze] Katrin Mueller, Switzerland

For the second straight Olympics, U.S. women failed to qualify in this event.

HALFPIPE

[Gold] Maddie Bowman, U.S.

[Silver] Devin Logan, U.S.

[Bronze] Amy Sheehan, Australia

Angeli Vanlaanen overcame Lyme disease to make the U.S. team.

SLOPESTYLE

[Gold] Dara Howell, Canada

[Silver] Keri Herman, U.S.

[Bronze] Lisa Zimmermann, Germany

Maggie Voisin, 15, is the youngest U.S. Olympian since 1972.

HOCKEY

MEN

[Gold] Sweden

[Silver] Russia

[Bronze] Canada

U.S. men last won an Olympic hockey medal in Europe in 1956.

WOMEN

[Gold] U.S.

[Silver] Canada

[Bronze] Finland

The U.S. and Canada have met for gold in all 15 world championships.

LUGE

MEN

SINGLES

[Gold] Felix Loch, Germany

[Silver] Armin Zöggeler, Italy

[Bronze] David Möller, Germany

Zöggeler, 40, could become the first athlete to win six medals in an individual event.

DOUBLES

[Gold] Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt, Germany

[Silver] Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken, Germany

[Bronze] Peter Penz and Georg Fischler, Austria

Wendl and Arlt have won three of the last four overall World Cup titles.

WOMEN

SINGLES

[Gold] Natalie Geisenberger, Germany

[Silver] Tatjana Hufner, Germany

[Bronze] Alex Gough, Canada

German women have won 10 of the last 12 Olympic medals.

MIXED

RELAY

[Gold] Germany

[Silver] Italy

[Bronze] Austria

Sliders from German- or Italian-speaking nations have won 39 of 40 Olympic luge golds.

NORDIC COMBINED

NORMAL HILL

[Gold] Jason Lamy Chappuis, France

[Silver] Haavard Klemetsen, Norway

[Bronze] Eric Frenzel, Germany

A French border patrol officer, Lamy-Chappuis was born in Montana.

LARGE HILL

[Gold] Eric Frenzel, Germany

[Silver] Magnus Krog, Norway

[Bronze] Mikko Kokslein, Norway

Todd Lodwick and Bill Demong of the U.S. have combined to make 11 Olympic teams.

TEAM

[Gold] Germany

[Silver] Austria

[Bronze] Norway

Norway has won 11 Nordic combined golds. No other country has more than four.

SKELETON

MEN

[Gold] Martins Dukurs, Latvia

[Silver] Alexander Tretiakov, Russia

[Bronze] Tomass Dukurs, Latvia

Younger brother Martins is a three-time Latvian sportsman of the year.

WOMEN

[Gold] Elizabeth Yarnold, Great Britain

[Silver] Noelle Pikus-Pace, U.S.

[Bronze] Shelley Rudman, Great Britain

Pikus-Pace nearly lost her leg when she was struck by a bobsled in 2005.

SKI JUMPING

MEN

NORMAL HILL

[Gold] Anders Bardal, Norway

[Silver] Peter Prevc, Slovenia

[Bronze] Thomas Diethart, Germany

Prevc is nicknamed Muscle for his trademark fist pumps.

LARGE HILL

[Gold] Peter Prevc, Slovenia

[Silver] Gregor Schlierenzauer, Austria

[Bronze] Kamil Stoch, Poland

Schlierenzauer's uncle is Austrian luge great Markus Prock.

TEAM

[Gold] Austria

[Silver] Germany

[Bronze] Norway

Japan's Noriaki Kasai is in his seventh Olympics.

WOMEN

NORMAL HILL

[Gold] Sara Takanashi, Japan

[Silver] Sarah Hendrickson, U.S.

[Bronze] Carina Vogt, Germany

Takanashi, 17, has eight victories in nine events this season.

SNOWBOARDING

MEN

HALFPIPE

[Gold] Shaun White, U.S.

[Silver] Ayumu Hirano, Japan

[Bronze] Yuri Podladchikov, Switzerland

Podladchikov, whose nickname is iPod, competed for his native Russia in 2006.

PARALLEL GIANT SLALOM

[Gold] Žan Košir, Slovenia

[Silver] Lukas Mathies, Austria

[Bronze] Vic Wild, Russia

Slovenia is looking for its first Winter gold.

PARALLEL SLALOM

[Gold] Sylvain Dufour, France

[Silver] Andreas Prommegger, Austria

[Bronze] Žan Košir, Slovenia

U.S. 'boarder Justin Reiter has been living in his truck to defray costs.

SLOPESTYLE

[Gold] Mark McMorris, Canada

[Silver] Torstein Horgmo, Norway

[Bronze] Sebastien Toutant, Canada

McMorris and his brother, Craig, are the subjects of an MTV series.

SNOWBOARDCROSS

[Gold] Markus Schairer, Austria

[Silver] Omar Visintin, Italy

[Bronze] Jarryd Hughes, Australia

Australia's two-time world champ, Alex (Chumpy) Pullin, has struggled this season.

WOMEN

HALFPIPE

[Gold] Torah Bright, Australia

[Silver] Kelly Clark, U.S.

[Bronze] Arielle Gold, U.S.

Arielle is one of three Golds on the U.S. team.

PARALLEL GIANT SLALOM

[Gold] Isabella Labock, Germany

[Silver] Julia Dujmovits, Austria

[Bronze] Tomoka Takeuchi, Japan

U.S. women did not qualify for PS or for PGS.

PARALLEL SLALOM

[Gold] Patrizia Kummer, Switzerland

[Silver] Ester Ledecka, Czech Republic

[Bronze] Amelia Kober, Germany

Kober was pregnant when she competed in 2010.

SLOPESTYLE

[Gold] Jamie Anderson, U.S.

[Silver] Spencer O'Brien, Canada

[Bronze] Sarko Pancochova, Czech Republic

Anderson was 16 when she won an X Games title in 2007.

SNOWBOARDCROSS

[Gold] Maelle Ricker, Canada

[Silver] Helene Olafsen, Norway

[Bronze] Dominique Maltais, Canada

Ricker doesn't recall the crash that knocked her out at the 2006 Games.

SPEEDSKATING (LONG-TRACK)

MEN

500 METERS

[Gold] Michel Mulder, Netherlands

[Silver] Mo Tae-bum, South Korea

[Bronze] Joji Kato, Japan

Mulder's twin brother, Ronald, could also medal.

1,000 METERS

[Gold] Shani Davis, U.S.

[Silver] Kjeld Nuis, Netherlands

[Bronze] Denis Kuzin, Kazakhstan

Kuzin nearly quit the sport after a shoulder injury in 2012.

1,500 METERS

[Gold] Denis Yuskov, Russia

[Silver] Koen Verweij, Netherlands

[Bronze] Shani Davis, U.S.

Davis has two Olympic silvers and the world record in this event.

5,000 METERS

[Gold] Sven Kramer, Netherlands

[Silver] Jorrit Bergsma, Netherlands

[Bronze] Lee Seung-hoon, South Korea

Bergsma abandoned a plan to skate for Kazakhstan in 2010 after learning he'd have to give up his Dutch citizenship.

10,000 METERS

[Gold] Jorrit Bergsma, Netherlands

[Silver] Sven Kramer, Netherlands

[Bronze] Bob de Jong, Netherlands

Kramer lost gold in Vancouver after being DQ'd for committing a lane violation.

TEAM PURSUIT

[Gold] Netherlands

[Silver] South Korea

[Bronze] U.S.

The Dutch have the most Olympic oval medals (82), but the U.S. has the most golds (29).

WOMEN

500 Meters

[Gold] Lee Sang-hwa, South Korea

[Silver] Yu Jing, China

[Bronze] Heather Richardson, U.S.

Lee has a fascination with Lego.

1,000 METERS

[Gold] Olga Fatkulina, Russia

[Silver] Heather Richardson, U.S.

[Bronze] Zhang Hong, China

Richardson is engaged to Bergsma.

1,500 METERS

[Gold] Ireen Wüst, Netherlands

[Silver] Brittany Bowe, U.S.

[Bronze] Yuliya Skokova, Russia

Wüst was just 19 when she won the 3,000 in Turin.

3,000 METERS

[Gold] Ireen Wüst, Netherlands

[Silver] Martina Sàblikovà, Czech Republic

[Bronze] Claudia Pechstein, Germany

Pechstein is a sergeant in the German Federal Police.

5,000 METERS

[Gold] Martina Sàblikovà, Czech Republic

[Silver] Claudia Pechstein, Germany

[Bronze] Yvonne Nauta, Netherlands

There are no speedskating ovals in Sàblikovà's home country.

TEAM PURSUIT

[Gold] Netherlands

[Silver] Poland

[Bronze] Canada

The Dutch women have never won an Olympic medal in team pursuit.

SPEEDSKATING (SHORT-TRACK)

MEN

500 METERS

[Gold] Viktor Ahn, Russia

[Silver] Charles Hamelin, Canada

[Bronze] Wu Dajing, China

Korean-born Ahn Hyun-soo, now Viktor Ahn, became a Russian citizen in 2011.

1,000 METERS

[Gold] Charles Hamelin, Canada

[Silver] Viktor Ahn, Russia

[Bronze] Wu Dajing, China

Hamelin's father, Yves, runs Canada's national team.

1,500 METERS

[Gold] Charles Hamelin, Canada

[Silver] Lee Han-bin, South Korea

[Bronze] Viktor Ahn, Russia

Look for 2010 bronze medalist J.R. Celski of the U.S. to challenge.

5,000-METER RELAY

[Gold] Canada

[Silver] Russia

[Bronze] U.S.

The U.S. has taken third in this event at the last two Games.

WOMEN

500 METERS

[Gold] Fan Kexin, China

[Silver] Shim Suk-hee, South Korea

[Bronze] Park Seung-hi, South Korea

Favorite Wang Meng of China is out with a broken ankle.

1,000 METERS

[Gold] Shim Suk-hee, South Korea

[Silver] Arianna Fontana, Italy

[Bronze] Kim A-lang, South Korea

A season ago, Shim won her first World Cup race, at age 15.

1,500 METERS

[Gold] Shim Suk-hee, South Korea

[Silver] Kim A-lang, South Korea

[Bronze] Valerie Maltais, Canada

South Koreans have won two medals in this event at each Olympics.

3,000-METER RELAY

[Gold] South Korea

[Silver] China

[Bronze] Italy

The U.S. got bronze in 2010 but didn't qualify in 2014.

PROJECTED MEDAL COUNT

THE U.S. WON'T QUITE MATCH ITS RECORD PERFORMANCE IN VANCOUVER, BUT NORWAY AND RUSSIA—ON HOME ICE AND SNOW—WILL SOAR

NORWAY'S

AKSEL LUND SVINDAL

View this article in the original magazine

COUNTRYGOLDSILVERBRONZETOTAL2010 TOTAL(RANK)
NORWAY1312103523 (4)
U.S.131293437 (1)
CANADA128113126 (3)
GERMANY88143030 (2)
RUSSIA91062515 (6)
AUSTRIA5951916 (5)
THE NETHERLANDS742138 (12)
SOUTH KOREA5531314 (7)
SWEDEN2651311 (T-8)
FRANCE3351111 (T-8)
CHINA3431011 (T-8)
SWITZERLAND33399 (11)
CZECH REPUBLIC23166 (T-13)

FIGURE SKATING

JULIA LIPNITSKAIA

After two decades of middling results since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia—which slumped to 15 medals, just three of them gold, in Vancouver—is under pressure to win big in Sochi. Two thirds of its young team (average age: 22.5) are first-time Olympians. Most prominent among them is Lipnitskaia, 15, who in January became the youngest-ever European champion. On the same ice where she'll try for gold, however, veteran Viktor Ahn, 28, could be Russia's true medal machine. He has a shot to win four in short-track speedskating.

LUGE

FELIX LOCH

Loch became his sport's youngest gold medalist when he won in Vancouver at age 20. A four-time world singles champion, he enters Sochi as the strong favorite on a team of dominant German sliders, who have clinched World Cup titles this season in every discipline. At 6' 3" Loch is one of the sport's tallest competitors. He is coached by his father, Norbert, a 1984 Olympic luger for East Germany. In Sochi, Team Germany will count on its lugers, bobsledders and Alpine skiers to keep it in the medal race.

SPEEDSKATING

HEATHER RICHARDSON

With no ice ovals in her native North Carolina, Richardson (whose parents grew up competing on old-fashioned four-wheel roller skates) started in-line skating as a child. She switched to the ice at age 18, and three years later raced in a trio of events at the 2010 Olympics, where she finished as high as sixth. She won the 2013 world sprint championship and last month fended off teammate and friend Brittany Bowe, a former point guard at Florida Atlantic and a fellow in-line convert, to win the 500, 1,000 and 1,500 meters at the U.S. trials. Between Richardson, 24, and Bowe, 25, the U.S. hopes to end a 12-year medal drought for its female long-track skaters.

PHOTOSOCHI2014 (MEDALS)PHOTORALPH LAUER/ZUMAPRESS.COM (SVINDAL)PHOTOARTYOM KOROTAYEV/ITAR-TASS/LANDOVPHOTOTOBIAS HASE/EPAPHOTORICK BOWMER/APFIVE ILLUSTRATIONS