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Winter Olympics Preview: Lindsey Vonn Leads Strong U.S. Ski Team

Posted on January 24, 2010 by Rojo Grande
AUDI FIS World Cup - Womens Super Giant Slalom

Lindsey Vonn could be one of the darlings of the upcoming Winter Olympics.

Get used to this face.

The tarnished images of Tiger Woods, Mark McGwire, and Gilbert Arenas are about to be replaced with the wholesome beauty of Lindsey Vonn.

Television and Internet viewers across the world will soon be inundated with endorsements and ads featuring the refreshing new face of the Winter Games.

While the rest of the sporting world has been obsessed recently with American football, MMA, and an assortment of scandalous revelations, the American winter sports teams have been quietly gaining momentum heading into next month’s Winter Olympics.

To those who are not avid followers of Nordic sports, this may come as a surprise, as the Americans have typically been viewed as being on the outer fringe of the ski world’s elite.

For example, in the 35 previous World Championships since 1925, America had claimed only three podium finishes. Last year, they claimed four golds, a silver and a bronzesecond only to perennial powerhouse Norway in total medals!

And Ms. Vonn has led the charge. The reigning World Cup ski champion has enjoyed an exceptional year in defending her cup in this year’s ongoing series.

She just completed a rare triple win in three days in Austria, giving her a total of 28 all-time World Cup victories. Only the famous Bode Miller has more U.S. wins with 31.

Vonn’s disciplines include the Downhill, the Super-G, the Giant Slalom, Slalom, and Combined, giving her a chance at five medals in Vancouver.

With the World Cup series still in progress and team nominations and selections yet to follow, a guarded optimism buoys the U.S. hopes. Barring injury, America should field one of the deepest teams at the Olympics.

Here is a list of probable team members:

Tim Burke, Biathlon – Points leader in current World Cup series. Three podium finishes in two months, in three different disciplines. He could be the first American biathlete to medal in an Olympics.

Billy Demong and Todd Lodwick, Nordic combined – Recent 1-2 finish in Italy.

Shaun White is the defending Olympic halfpipe champion.

Shaun White is the defending Olympic halfpipe champion.

Shaun White, Snowboarding – Defending Olympic halfpipe champion. Recently won the U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix (2).

Kikkan Randall, Cross Country – Won the 2010 U.S. Cross Country 1.4k classic sprint race.

Andy Newall, Cross Country – promising classic sprint skier.

Lindsey Jacobellis and Nate Holland, Snowboardcross – Both won World Cup races in Austria.

Erin Hamlin, Steve Holcomb and John Napier, Luge and Bobsled.

After a four-year investment of $58.2 million into winter sports, the U.S. Olympic Committee is understandably giddy to witness such a profitable return going into the 2010 Games.

The timing is perfect.

The American athletes are peaking at the optimum moment…

The American public is tired of Beltway politics and needs a diversion…

American football fans will be needing a lift after the Super Bowl hangover…

And…America is certainly ready (after Tiger, Mark, and Gilbert) to feast its eyes on Lindsey!


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