Errol Kerr, who will represent Jamaica at the Vancouver Olympics, finishes a practice run in Alpine Meadows, Calif. Kerr, a Jamaican-American dual citizen, could win Jamaica’s first Winter Olympic medal.
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Downhill skier Manuel Osborne-Paradis of Canada soars en route to a silver medal at a World Cup in Wengen, Switzerland, in January. Downhillers regularly reach speeds of 90 m.p.h. or more.
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Alessandro Della Bella/Keystone/AP
With a gold medal from the 2006 Torino Games and America’s only medal at the 2009 World Championships, Ted Ligety is a key medal contender in Vancouver. He'll be joined by four-time world champion Bode Miller.
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Lindsey Vonn of Vail, Colo., counts three victories in three days on the 2010 Alpine Skiing World Cup – a feat no other US skier has ever achieved, and no woman from any country has done in 13 years. Chalk up one more first for the Minnesota native whose renowned work ethic has helped her become America’s most decorated female skier.
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Rising star Carlo Janka of Switzerland, whose dominant performances internationally have fueled an intense rivalry with the Austrians, clears a gate on his way to take second place in a recent World Cup.
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Bode Miller, the renegade American cowboy of alpine skiing, got off to a good start on the World Cup after announcing a last-minute comeback this fall. The two-time overall World Cup champion is planning to race all five events at the 2010 Olympic Games, which could redeem his underwhelming performance at the 2006 Games that were more memorable for his lack of sportsmanship.
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Maria Riesch of Germany, competing here in Maribor, Slovenia, has cut her way to the top of the international field – with one exception: her good friend Lindsey Vonn relegated her to the No. 2 ranking with strong performances just ahead of the Vancouver Olympics.
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Manuel Osborne-Paradis of Canada celebrates 2nd place in the 2010 World Cup downhill race in Wengen, Switzerland. A beneficiary of Canada's Own the Podium program, he is the No. 3 downhiller in international rankings going into Vancouver.
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Carlo Janka of Switzerland, shown here after winning a recent World Cup, enters the Vancouver Olympics ranked No. 1.
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In Flachau, Austria, earlier this season, Maria Riesch of Germany shows off the slalom skills that have earned her the No. 1 World Cup ranking in the event.
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American Bode Miller cruises to his gold-medal World Cup finish in the Super Combined in Wengen, Switzerland. Despite recently coming off a long break, Miller is beginning to show the form that enabled him in 2005 to become the first American in two decades to win the overall World Cup title.
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Top American skier Lindsey Vonn recoups after skiing out of bounds during a World Cup slalom race earlier this season. She demonstrated her grit at the 2006 Torino Games by returning to competition after being hospitalized for an injury during a training run on the Olympic course.
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Bode Miller, shown here tuning up with a World Cup race, will compete on his fourth Olympic team in Vancouver. He won two silver medals at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City but got shut out four years later in Torino.