2014 medal projections: Bobsled

Updated Jan. 14 and Feb. 4

No offense to those who give a big push at the start and go through the impeccably choreographed procedure of getting in the sled, but we’ll have to focus on drivers for these rankings. They’re the ones who get ranked, and the brakemen / brakewomen / push athletes will undoubtedly get shuffled before the Games.

Sweeps are theoretically possible. In each event, a couple of countries can bring three sleds. Some countries can even bring four drivers for the two men’s events.

But you can’t take a bunch of backup push athletes, which is why Lolo Jones and Lauryn Williams were somewhat controversial inclusions.

Here we go …

TWO-MAN

Gold: Beat Hefti (Switzerland)
Silver: Francesco Friedrich (Germany)
Bronze: Alexander Zubkov (Russia)

Also: Thomas Florschütz (Germany), Steven Holcomb (USA), Oskars Melbardis (Latvia), Lyndon Rush (Canada)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8: Holcomb, Hefti, Zubkov, Friedrich, Cory Butner (USA), Nick Cunningham (USA), Rush, Florschütz

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Rush, Melbardis, Manuel Machata (Germany), Holcomb, Zubkov, Friedrich, Simone Bertazzo (Italy), Butner … (Hefti and Florschütz missed part of the season.)

2013 World Championship top 8: Friedrich, Hefti, Florschütz, Holcomb, Melbardis, Chris Spring (Canada), Zubkov, Rush

2010 Olympic medalists: Andre Lange (Germany, retired), Florschütz, Zubkov

FOUR-MAN

Gold: Alexander Zubkov (Russia)
Silver: Maximilian Arndt (Germany)
Bronze: Steven Holcomb (USA)

Also: Oskars Melbardis (Latvia)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8: Arndt, Holcomb, Zubkov, Thomas Florschütz (Germany), Chris Spring (Canada), Alexander Kasjanov (Russia), Melbardis, Francesco Friedrich (Germany)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Zubkov, Melbardis, Manuel Machata (Germany), Arndt, John James Jackson (Britain), Holcomb, Lyndon Rush (Canada), Kasnajov

2013 World Championship top 8: Arndt, Zubkov, Holcomb, Hefti, Jackson, Rico Peter (Switzerland), Florschütz, Machata

2010 Olympic medalists: Holcomb, Andre Lange (Germany, retired), Rush

WOMEN

Gold: Kaillie Humphries (Canada)
Silver: Elana Meyers (USA)
Bronze: Sandra Kiriasis (Germany)

Also: Jamie Greubel (USA), Cathleen Martini (Germany), Anja Schneiderheinze (Germany)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8: Humphries, Meyers, Greubel, Kiriasis, Martini, Schneiderheinze, Jazmine Fenlator (USA), Fabienne Meyer (Switzerland)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Humphries, Kiriasis, Martini, Schneiderheinze, Esme Kamphuis (Netherlands), Meyers, Meyer, Christina Hengster (Austria)

2013 World Championship top 8: Humphries, Meyers, Kiriasis, Martini, Schneiderheinze, Kamphuis, Miriam Wagner (Germany), Fenlator

2010 Olympic medalists: Humphries, Helen Upperton (Canada), Erin Pac (USA; retired)

BIOS

Men

Maximilian Arndt (Germany): 2013 four-man world champion (w/Marko Huebenbecker, Alexander Roediger, Martin Putze). Also had two first and two seconds in the last five World Cup four-man races. Silver (four-man) and bronze (two-man) in 2012 worlds.

Cory Butner (USA): Two runner-up finishes on home ice in World Cup two-man races in 2012-13.

Nick Cunningham (USA): Third place on home ice in World Cup four-man race at Lake Placid 2012.

Thomas Florschütz (Germany): 2010 two-man bronze medalist and three-time World Championship two-man runner-up came on strong at the end of 2012-13, with one win and two runner-up finishes in last four two-man races. Also third in World Championship two-man (w/Andreas Bredau).

Francesco Friedrich (Germany): 2013 two-man world champion (w/Jannis Baecker). Reached podium in six of seven two-man World Cup races in 2012-13.

Steven Holcomb (USA): Great story, told in his book But Now I See: My Journey from Blindness to Olympic Gold. Won four-man world title in 2009, four-man Olympic gold in 2010 and BOTH world titles in 2012. In 2012-13: Ran well in the USA and not as well in Europe. Won first three two-man races and finished fourth on the season; finished sixth overall in four-man. The “Night Train” four-man sled (Steve Langton, Justin Olsen, Curt Tomasevicz) gets the publicity, but he’s formidable in two-man as well.

Beat Hefti (Switzerland): Not a big-band leader of the 1940s but a veteran with three Olympic bronze medals (2002 two-man, 2006 both races) and one world title (2007 four-man). Missed part of the 2012-13 World Cup season, then won three two-man and one four-man race. Also second in World Championship two-man (w/Thomas Lamparter).

John James Jackson (Britain): No finish higher than fifth in World Cup 2012-13, but he finished fifth overall in four-man. World Championship four-man? Also fifth. Also a longtime Royal Marine commando. Ruptured Achilles this summer but is already training again.

Alexander Kasjanov (Russia): Had a couple of World Cup four-man podium finishes in 2012-13. Fourth in 2011-12 World Cup four-man.

Manuel Machata (Germany): Huge year in 2010-11: Four-man World Cup champion, two-man World Cup runner-up, two-man and four-man world champion. 2011-12: Third in World Championship four-man. 2012-13: Third in each World Cup discipline. Missed out on Olympics. That’s how tough the German team is.

Oskars Melbardis (Latvia): Good career as push athlete; switched to driver for 2010-11 season and has a few World Cup podium finishes. Second in each discipline in 2012-13 World Cup.

Lyndon Rush (Canada): Two-man World Cup champion 2012-13, with two wins. 2010 bronze medalist in four-man. Second in two-man in 2012 worlds. Longtime two-man partner is former CFL football player Jesse Lumsden.

Alexander Zubkov (Russia): Dominant in four-man 2012-13, winning five of his eight World Cup races and missing the podium only once. World Championship four-man runner-up (with Alexey Negodaylo, Dmitry Trunenkov, Maxim Mokrousov). Not as strong in two-man, but he does have 2010 bronze and 2011 world title.

Women

Jazmine Fenlator (USA): Former brakewoman had two podiums in 2012-13.

Kaillie Humphries (Canada): 2010 gold medalist was overwhelming in 2012-13: Six wins, one second-place finish and two third-place finishes. Plus the World Championship, her second straight. Husband Dan is a push athlete (not on her sled, obviously).

Esme Kamphuis (Netherlands): Fifth in World Cup 2012-13. Sixth in 2010-11 (one podium).

Sandra Kiriasis (Germany): Olympic finishes: 2002 silver, 2006 gold, 2010 fourth. World champion in 2005, 2007 and 2008. In 2012-13: Two wins out of six podiums in nine World Cup races (second overall), third in World Championships.

Cathleen Martini (Germany): One win, three podiums (third overall) in World Cup 2012-13. World champion in 2011; World Cup champion in 2011-12. Fourth in last two World Championships. Crashed in 2010 Olympics.

Fabienne Meyer (Switzerland): Fourth (top non-German) in 2011-12 World Cup, with four podiums. In 2012-13: Seventh with one podium.

Elana Meyers (USA): 2012-13: Not consistent but had four World Cup podiums and runner-up finish in World Championships.

Anja Schneiderheinze (Germany): Sandra Kiriasis’ former brakewoman started World Cup driving career midway through 2010-11 World Cup with three straight runner-up finishes. Second in 2011-12 World Cup (two wins); fourth in 2012-13 World Cup. Fifth in 2013 World Championships.

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2014 medal projections: Biathlon

Updated Jan. 14; minor updates Jan. 21 and Feb. 5

Will the USA finally break through? How many more targets will Ole Einar Bjoerndalen hit? Will Americans finally watch one of the most dramatic sports in the Games?

Here we go …

INDIVIDUAL (the least telegenic one, in which they race the clock and add 1 minutes for every missed shot)

Men (20k)

Gold: Martin Fourcade (France)
Silver: Dominik Landertinger (Austria)
Bronze: Emil Hegle Svendsen (Norway)

Also considered: Andreas Birnbacher (Germany), Tim Burke (USA), Bjorn Ferry (Sweden), Jakob Fak (Slovenia), Simon Fourcade (France), Fredrik Lindstrom (Sweden), Ondrej Moravec (Czech Republic),

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far, only two events): Svendsen, Simon Eder (Austria), Evgeny Ustyugov (Russia), Alexey Volkov (Russia), Christian de Lorenzi (Italy), S. Fourcade, M. Fourcade, Daniel Boehm (Germany)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: M. Fourcade, Birnbacher, Burke, Landertinger, Moravec, Ferry, Lindstrom, Lukas Hofer (Italy)

2013 World Championship top 8: M. Fourcade, Burke, Lindstrom, Moravec, Ferry, S. Fourcade, Hofer, Birnbacher

2010 Olympic medalists: Svendsen, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (Norway), Sergey Novikov (Belarus) — the latter two tied for silver at 48 minutes, 32.0 seconds.

Women (15k)

Gold: Tora Berger (Norway)
Silver: Darya Domracheva (Belarus) 
Bronze: Andrea Henkel (Germany)

Also considered: Anastasiya Kuzmina (Slovakia), Kaisa Makarainen (Finland), Gabriela Soukalova (Czech Republic), Olga Zaitseva (Russia)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Soukalova, Domracheva, Kuzmina, Nadezhka Skardino (Belarus), Franziska Hildebrand (Germany), Marie Laure Brunet (France), Dorothea Wierer (Italy), Valj Semerenko (Ukraine)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Berger, Henkel, Domracheva, Zaitseva, Kuzmina, Makarainen, Gabriela Soukalova (Czech Republic), Selina Gasparin (Switzerland)

2013 World Championship top 8: Berger, Henkel, Valj Semerenko, Kuzmina, Vita Semerenko (Ukraine), Zaitseva, Ekaterina Glazyrina (Russia), Makarainen

2010 Olympic medalists: Berger, Elena Khrustaleva (Kazakhstan), Domracheva

SPRINT (the quick one that also sets up the pursuit)

Men (10k)

Gold: Emil Hegle Svendsen (Norway)
Silver: Martin Fourcade (France)
Bronze: Jakov Fak (Slovenia)

Also considered: Andreas Birnbacher (Germany), Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (Norway), Dominik Landertinger (Austria), Dmitry Malyshko (Russia), Evgeny Ustyugov (Russia)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): M. Fourcade, Arnd Peiffer (Germany), Bjoerndalen, Simon Schempp (Germany), Landertinger, Anton Shipulin (Russia), Lukas Hofer (Italy), Svendsen (Fak missed the first two-thirds of the season so far)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: M. Fourcade, Svendsen, Ustyugov, Fak, Simon Eder (Austria), Birnbacher, Landertinger, Malyshko

2013 World Championship top 8: Svendsen, M. Fourcade, Fak, Bjoerndalen, Malyshko, Alexis Boeuf (France), Shipulin, Fredrik Lindstrom (Sweden)

2010 Olympic medalists: Vincent Jay (France; retired), Svendsen, Fak

Women (7.5k)

Gold: Tora Berger (Norway)
Silver: Darya Domracheva (Belarus)
Bronze: Gabriela Soukalova (Czech Republic)

Also considered: Miriam Goessner (Germany), Andrea Henkel (Germany), Kaisa Makarainen (Finland), Olena Pidhrushna (Ukraine)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Makarainen, Berger, Selina Gasparin (Switzerland), Irina Starykh (Russia, suspended), Domracheva, Veronika Vitkova (Czech Republic), Pidrushna, Anais Bescond (France)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Berger, Domracheva, Goessner, Marie Dorin Habert (France), Makarainen, Soukalova, Henkel, Pidhrushna

2013 World Championship top 8: Pidhrushna, Berger, Vita Semerenko (Ukraine), Olga Zaitseva (Russia), Olga Vilukhina (Russia), Goessner, Krystyna Palka (Poland), Ann Kristin Aafedt Flatland (Norway)

2010 Olympic medalists: Anastasiya Kuzmina (Slovakia), Magdalena Neuner (Germany; retired), Marie Dorin (France; not yet Habert)

PURSUIT (the fun one in which they start in order of sprint times; first across the line wins)

Men (12.5k)

Gold: Martin Fourcade (France)
Silver: Emil Hegle Svendsen (Norway)
Bronze: Anton Shipulin (Russia)

Also considered: Dominik Landertinger (Austria), Fredrik Lindstrom (Sweden), Dmitry Malyshko (Russia), Evgeny Ustyugov (Russia), sprint contenders

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Svendsen, Simon Schempp (Germany), M. Fourcade, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (Norway), Simon Eder (Austria), Shipulin, Landertinger, Johannes Boe (Norway)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: M. Fourcade, Svendsen, Shipulin, Lindstrom, Malyshko, Landertinger, Evgeniy Garanichev (Russia), Ustyugov

2013 World Championship top 8: Svendsen, M. Fourcade, Shipulin, Malyshko, Landertinger, Jakov Fak (Slovenia), Lindstrom, Alexis Boeuf (France)

2010 Olympic medalists: Bjorn Ferry (Sweden), Christoph Sumann (Austria), Vincent Jay (France; retired)

Women (10k)

Gold: Tora Berger (Norway)
Silver: Gabriela Soukalova (Czech Republic)
Bronze: Valj Semerenko (Ukraine)

Also considered: Darya Domracheva (Belarus), Andrea Henkel (Germany), Kaisa Makarainen (Finland), Olena Pidhrushna (Ukraine)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Makarainen, Berger, Tiril Eckhoff (Norway), Soukalova, Valj Semerenko, Irina Starykh (Russia, suspended), Domracheva, Olga Vilukhina (Russia)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Berger, Henkel, Marie Dorin Habert (France), Pidhrushna, Makarainen, Domracheva, Olga Vilukhina (Russia), Gabriela Soukalova (Czech Republic)

2013 World Championship top 8: Berger, Krystyna Palka (Poland), Pidhrushna, Olga Zaitseva (Russia), Ekaterina Glazyrina (Russia), Henkel, Ann Kristin Aafedt Flatland (Norway), Veronika Vitkova (Czech Republic)

2010 Olympic medalists: Magdalena Neuner (Germany; retired), Anastasiya Kuzmina (Slovakia), Marie-Laure Brunet (France)

MASS START (the crazy one in which all 30 skiers start at once)

Men (15k)

Gold: Martin Fourcade (France)
Silver: Tarjei Boe (Norway)
Bronze: Emil Hegle Svendsen (Norway)

Also considered: Andreas Birnbacher (Germany), Tim Burke (USA), Jakov Fak (Slovenia), Dominik Landertinger (Austria), Ondrej Moravec (Czech Republic), Evgeny Ustyugov (Russia),

Only one event in World Cup so far

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: M. Fourcade, Svendsen, Burke, Birnbacher, Moravec, Boe, Landertinger, Fak

2013 World Championship top 8: Boe, Shipulin, Svendsen, Moravec, Erik Lesser (Germany), Landertinger, Jean Guillaume Beatrix (France), Bjorn Ferry (Sweden)

2010 Olympic medalists: Ustyugov, M. Fourcade, Pavol Hurajt (Slovakia)

Women (12.5k)

Gold: Darya Domracheva (Belarus)
Silver: Tora Berger (Norway)
Bronze: Vita Semerenko (Ukraine)

Also considered: Kaisa Makarainen (Finland)

Only one event in World Cup so far

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Berger, Domracheva, Vita Semerenko, Dorin Habert, Makarainen, Teja Gregorin (Slovenia), Gabriela Soukalova (Czech Republic), Miriam Goessner (Germany)

2013 World Championship top 8: Domracheva, Berger, Monika Hojnisz (Poland), Vita Semerenko, Olga Zaitseva (Russia), Goessner, Krystyna Palka (Poland), Teja Gregorin (Slovenia)

2010 Olympic medalists: Magdalena Neuner (Germany; retired), Olga Zaitseva (Russia), Simone Hauswald (Germany; retired)

RELAY (the team one)

Men

Gold: Russia
Silver: Norway
Bronze: France

Also considered: Austria, Germany, Sweden

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Germany, Sweden, Austria, Russia, Norway, France, Czech Republic, Switzerland

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Russia (barely ahead of …), Norway, France, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Sweden, Ukraine

2013 World Championship top 8: Norway, France, Germany, Russia, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Canada

2010 Olympic medalists: Norway, Austria, Russia

Women

Gold: Norway
Silver: Germany
Bronze: Russia

Also considered: France, Italy, Ukraine

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Germany, Ukraine, Russia, Norway, France, Belarus, Canada, Italy

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Norway, Ukraine, Germany, Russia, France, Italy, Poland, Belarus

2013 World Championship top 8: Norway, Ukraine, Italy, Russia, Germany, France, Belarus, Slovakia

2010 Olympic medalists: Russia, France, Germany

Mixed (NEW!)

Gold: Norway
Silver: Russia
Bronze: Czech Republic

Also considered: France, Italy

Only one World Cup race so far

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Norway, Russia, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Slovakia

2013 World Championship top 8: Norway, France, Czech Republic, Italy, Slovenia, Russia, Slovakia, USA

2010 Olympic medalists: None

BIOS

Men

Top five, 2012-13 World Cup overall: Martin Fourcade (France, by more than 400 points), Emil Hegle Svendsen (Norway), Dominik Landertinger (Austria), Jakov Fak (Slovenia), Andreas Birnbacher (Germany)

Lowell Bailey (USA): Best season was 2011-12 — 14th overall, two fifth-place finishes for total of four top 10s.

Carl Johan Bergman (Sweden): Great year in 2011-12 — second (pursuit), third (sprint) and sixth (mass start) at World Championships, two of his three career wins (all in sprints), sixth in overall World Cup. Three-time Olympian. Mysterious dropoff last year.

Tarjei Boe (Norway): Massive breakthrough in 2010-11 — World CUp overall champion, world individual champion, one place away (fourth in mass start) from medaling in all four World Championship events. Eight World Cup/World Championship wins, plus a ton of relay medals including Olympic gold in 2010. Slipped a bit in next two years and only raced half of last season but won mass start world title in 2013.

Andreas Birnbacher (Germany): Found form in 11th and 12th World Cup years — third overall in 2011-12, fifth in 2012-13. Six World Cup wins, World Championship silver (mass start) in 2007, two fourth-place finishes in 2012 worlds.

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (Norway): Five Olympics — six gold medals (including two relay), four silver medals (one relay), one bronze. Won all four golds in 2002. Eighteen World Championships (seven relays). Six World Cup overall titles, finished in the top three 12 straight years. All told, 93 World Cup/World Championships wins. So what if he’ll be 40 in Sochi and hasn’t won a non-relay World Championship medal since 2009?

Tim Burke (USA): Led the World Cup during the 2009-10 season, the first American to do so. Slid to 14th place finish and had a disappointing time in the Olympics. Not as strong the next two years but rebounded in 2012-13 to 10th place overall and a silver medal in the World Championship individual. Five World Cup/World Championship podiums, no wins yet.

Jakov Fak (Slovenia): Fourth in 2012-13 World Cup. Only three wins, but one was the World Championship individual in 2012. Also has Olympic bronze (2010 sprint) and 2013 World Championship bronze (also sprint).

Bjorn Ferry (Sweden): 2010 Olympic pursuit champion and five-time winner didn’t have great results the last two seasons but is always hanging around.

Martin Fourcade (France): Two-time defending World Cup overall champion. Also five World Championships — one in each discipline with two in pursuit — all since last Olympics. Silver in 2010 Olympic mass start. Only five years on World Cup — already has 24 wins.

Simon Fourcade (France): Martin’s older brother. Fifth overall in 2011-12. Silver in 2012 World Champion individual. Also has some relay medals with his brother and several top 10s in World Championships. Seven second-place finishes; no wins yet.

Dominik Landertinger (Austria): Third overall in 2012-13. Only two wins, but one was 2009 World Championship mass start.

Fredrik Lindstrom (Sweden): Career-best seventh overall in 2012-13. One World Cup win. Two World Championship bronze medals — 2012 mass start, 2013 individual.

Jean-Philippe Le Guellec (Canada): He won one! His World Cup sprint win in December 2012 made him the first Canadian man to reach the top five in a World Cup biathlon, let alone the top spot. Two more top 10s through the season en route to 35th overall.

Arnd Peiffer (Germany): Two very good years in 2010-11 and 2011-12, finishing fourth overall each year and winning World Championship sprint in 2011. Six career wins.

Ondrej Moravec (Czech Republic): Little to show for first seven years of World Cup competition, then moved up to 28th overall in 2011-12 and a stunning 12th in 2012-13, where he posted seven of his eight career top 10s, his first three podium finishes, his first win, and fourth-place runs in the World Championship individual and mass start.

Dmitry Malyshko (Russia): Breakout year in 2012-13, his second year on the World Cup circuit, with two wins and two second-place finishes. Eighth overall.

Anton Shipulin (Russia): Ninth in 2012-13 World Cup, down from eighth the year before. Four career wins, all in sprint and pursuit. Two medals in 2013 World Championships: Second in mass start, third in pursuit.

Emil Hegle Svendsen (Norway): Top three in World Cup six years running — first in 2009-10, second the next three years. Thirty-one wins, including five World Championships (all four disciplines, two mass starts, sprint and pursuit double in 2013) and 2010 individual gold. Also took sprint silver and relay gold in 2010 Games.

Evgeny Ustyugov (Russia): Career year in 2009-10 — fourth overall, and he got his only three career wins, including Olympic mass start gold. Also fourth in 2010 individual and second in 2011 World Championship mass start.

Women

Top five, 2012-13 World Cup overall: Tora Berger (Norway), Darya Domracheva (Belarus), Andrea Henkel (Germany), Marie Dorin Habert (France), Kaisa Makarainen (Finland)

Tora Berger (Norway): Turned the corner from good to great in the past Olympic cycle. Perhaps a surprise winner of the 2010 Olympic individual, but now dominant — runaway 2012-13 World Cup champion, four-time world champion (back-to-back individual, 2013 pursuit, 2012 mass start), no finish lower than second at the 2013 World Championships.

Darya Domracheva (Belarus): 2010 bronze individual medal, followed by two world titles (2012 pursuit, 2013 mass start) and two overall World Cup runner-up finishes.

Marie Dorin Habert (France): Had only one World Cup podium before taking bronze in the 2010 Olympic pursuit. Remained more of a top-10 finisher for a couple of years but finished fourth in overall 2012-13 World Cup with a few podium finishes. Still seeking first win. Injured and will miss the Games.

Miriam Goessner (Germany): The next wave of German biathletes, winning three times and finishing ninth overall in 2012-13, her third World Cup season.

Andrea Henkel (Germany): Won 2002 individual gold and spent the next 12 years picking up more hardware: 2005 individual world championship, 2006-07 World Cup championship and mass start world title, 2008 sprint and pursuit world title. Top eight in the overall World Cup for eight straight years, third in 2012-13. World Championship individual runner-up 2013.

Anastasiya Kuzmina (Slovakia): Broke out in 2010 Olympics: sprint gold, pursuit silver. Also reached World Championship podium in 2009 (mass start silver) and 2011 (sprint bronze). Not a consistent World Cup performer — seventh overall (five podiums) in 2012-13 is career best.

Kaisa Makarainen (Finland): Big year in 2010-11: World Cup champion, pursuit world champion, runner-up in World Championship sprint. Fourth and fifth overall in last two World Cups.

Olena Pidhrushna (Ukraine): Sole win is 2013 World Championship sprint. Held on for third in World Championship pursuit and had two other podium finishes through the season, taking eighth overall. Only one top-5 finish through 2011-12, then nine through the 2012-13 season.

Valj Semerenko (Ukraine): Three podiums, one of the 2013 World Championship individual. Career-best World Cup year was 2010-11, placing 11th overall. Vita’s twin.

Vita Semerenko (Ukraine): Oddly, no World Cup wins yet. Three World Championship bronze medals — 2011 individual, 2012 sprint, 2013 sprint. Up to 10th overall in 2012-13 season. Valj’s twin.

Gabriela Soukalova (Czech Republic): First big year in 2012-13 — four wins among six podiums.

Olga Zaitseva (Russia): Best overall World Cup finish is fourth in 2004-05, but she has more than 45 World Cup/World Championship podiums and some big accomplishments. 2005 World Championships: sprint silver, pursuit bronze. 2009 World Championships: mass start gold, sprint and pursuit bronze. 2010 Olympics: mass start silver.

2014 medal projections: Alpine skiing

Updated Jan. 14 and Feb. 4

Lindsey Vonn is hurt. Tina Maze (Slovenia) dominated last year but hasn’t been as strong this year.

Here we go …

DOWNHILL

Men

Gold: Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway)
Silver: Erik Guay (Canada)
Bronze: Dominik Paris (Italy)

Also considered: Patrick Küng (Switzerland), Klaus Kröll (Austria), Bode Miller (USA), Christof Innerhofer (Italy), Adrien Theaux (France). Removed Hannes Reichelt (Austria), diagnosed with back injury just after a big win.

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Svindal, Reichelt, Küng, Guay, Theaux, Miller, Johan Clarey (France), Max Franz (Austria)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Svindal, Kroell, Paris, Innerhofer, Reichelt, Guay, Theaux, Georg Streitberger (Austria)

2013 World Championship top 8: Svindal, Paris, David Poisson (France), Kroell, Andreas Romar (Finland), Silvan Zurbriggen (Switzerland), Küng, Didier Defago (Switzerland)

2010 Olympic medalists: Defago, Svindal, Miller

Women

Gold: Maria Hoefl-Riesch (Germany)
Silver: Tina Maze (Slovenia)
Bronze: Tina Weirather (Liechtenstein)

Also considered: Lara Gut (Switzerland), Marianne Kaufmann-Abderhalden (Switzerland), Julia Mancuso (USA)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Hoefl-Riesch, Weirather, Kaufmann-Abderhalden, Anna Fenninger (Austria), Maze, Gut, Elisabeth Goergl (Austria), Elena Fanchini (Italy)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Lindsey Vonn (USA), Maze, Hoefl-Riesch, Stacey Cook (USA), Gut, Weirather, Daniela Merighetti (Italy), Fenninger

2013 World Championship top 8: Marion Rolland (France), Nadia Fanchini (Italy), Hoefl-Riesch, Nadja Kamer (Switzerland), Mancuso, Cook, Maze, Andrea Fischbacher (Austria)

2010 Olympic medalists: Vonn, Mancuso, Goergl

SUPER-G

Men

Gold: Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway)
Silver: Matthias Mayer (Austria)
Bronze: Patrick Küng (Switzerland)

Also considered: Christof Innerhofer (Italy), Ted Ligety (USA), Matteo Marsaglia (Italy), Bode Miller (USA). Removed Hannes Reichelt (Austria), see above.

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Svindal, Didier Defago (Switzerland), Küng, Miller, Georg Streitberger (Austria), Otmar Striedinger (Austria), Jan Hudec (Canada), Kjetil Jansrud (Norway)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8 plus tie: Svindal, Marsaglia, Mayer, Werner Heel (Italy), Adrien Theaux (France), Reichelt, Ligety, Kjetil Jansrud (Norway), Joachim Puchner (Austria)

2013 World Championship top 8: Ligety, Gauthier de Tessieres (France), Svindal, Reichelt, Mayer, Alexis Pinturault (France), Innerhofer, Romed Baumann (Austria)

2010 Olympic medalists: Svindal, Miller, Andrew Weibrecht (USA)

Women

Gold: Anna Fenninger (Austria)
Silver: Tina Maze (Slovenia)
Bronze: Lara Gut (Switzerland)

Also considered: Maria Hoefl-Riesch (Germany), Julia Mancuso (USA), Viktoria Rebensburg (Germany)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Gut, Tina Weirather (Liechtenstein), Fenninger, Elizabeth Goergl (Austria), Hoefl-Riesch, Nicole Hosp (Austria), Kajsa Kling (Sweden), Maze

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Maze, Mancuso, Fenninger, Lindsey Vonn (USA), Hoefl-Riesch, Rebensburg, Fabienne Suter (Switzerland), Nicole Schmidhofer (Austria)

2013 World Championship top 8: Maze, Gut, Mancuso, Sofia Goggia (Italy), Suter, Ilka Stuhec (Slovenia), Daniela Merighetti (Italy), Rebensburg

2010 Olympic medalists: Andrea Fischbacher (Austria), Maze, Vonn

GIANT SLALOM

Men

Gold: Ted Ligety (USA)
Silver: Marcel Hirscher (Austria)
Bronze: Alexis Pinturault (France)

Also considered: Manfred Moelgg (Italy), Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Hirscher, Pinturault, Ligety, Thomas Fanara (France), Felix Neureuther (Germany), Leif Kristian Haugen (Norway), Stefan Luitz (Germany), Fritz Dopfer (Germany)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Ligety, Hirscher, Pinturault, Moelgg, Fanara, Neureuther, Svindal, Marcus Sandell (Finland)

2013 World Championship top 8: Ligety, Hirscher, Moelgg, Svindal, Pinturault, Davide Simoncelli (Italy), Dopfer, Philipp Schoerghofer (Austria)

2010 Olympic medalists: Carlo Janka (Switzerland), Kjetil Jansrud (Norway), Svindal

Women

Gold: Jessica Lindell-Vikarby (Sweden)
Silver: Anna Fenninger (Austria)
Bronze: Lara Gut (Switzerland)

Also considered: Maria Hoefl-Riesch (Germany), Tina Maze (Slovenia), Viktoria Rebensburg (Germany), Mikaela Shiffrin (USA), Kathrin Zettel (Austria). Removed Tessa Worley (France), who is injured

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Lindell-Vikarby, Maria Pietilae-Holmner (Sweden), Tina Weirather (Liechtenstein), Fenninger, Zettel, Shiffrin, Gut, Anemone Marmottan (France)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Maze, Fenninger, Rebensburg, Worley, Zettel, Hoefl-Riesch, Gut, Lindell-Vikarby

2013 World Championship top 8: Worley, Maze, Fenninger, Zettel, Frida Hansdotter (Sweden), Shiffrin, Gut, Marie-Michele Gagnon (Canada)

2010 Olympic medalists: Rebensburg, Maze, Elisabeth Goergl (Austria)

SLALOM

Men

Gold: Marcel Hirscher (Austria)
Silver: Mario Matt (Austria)
Bronze: Felix Neureuther (Germany)

Also considered: Ivica Kostelic (Croatia), Andre Myhrer (Sweden)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Hirscher, Henrik Kristoffersen (Norway), Neureuther, Mattias Hargin (Sweden), Patrick Thaler (Italy), Matt, Myhrer, Jean-Baptiste Grange (France)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Hirscher, Neureuther, Kostelic, Myhrer, Manfred Moelgg (Germany), Matt, Fritz Dopfer (Germany), Jens Byggmark (Sweden)

2013 World Championship top 8: Hirscher, Neureuther, Matt, Myhrer, Kostelic, Alexis Pinturault (France), Dopfer, Byggmark

2010 Olympic medalists: Giuliano Razzoli (Italy), Kostelic, Myhrer

Women

Gold: Mikaela Shiffrin (USA)
Silver: Marlies Schild (Austria)
Bronze: Frida Hansdotter (Sweden)

Also considered: Tina Maze (Slovenia), Tanja Poutiainen (Finland), Kathrin Zettel (Austria). Removed Veronika Velez Zuzulova (Slovakia), who is injured.

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Shiffrin, Hansdotter, Schild, Marie-Michele Gagnon (Canada), Maria Hoefl-Riesch (Germany), Maria Pietilae-Holmner (Sweden), Bernadette Schild (Austria), Nina Loeseth (Norway)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Shiffrin, Maze, Zuzulova, Hansdotter, Poutiainen, Wendy Holdener (Switzerland), Maria Pietilae-Holmner (Sweden), Zettel

2013 World Championship top 8: Shiffrin, Michaela Kirchgasser (Austria), Hansdotter, Poutiainen, Maze, Pietilae-Holmner, Velez Zuzulova, Sarka Zahrobska (Czech Republic)

2010 Olympic medalists: Hoefl-Riesch, M. Schild, Zahrobska

COMBINED

Men

Gold: Alexis Pinturault (France)
Silver: Ted Ligety (USA)
Bronze: Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway)

Also considered: Romed Baumann (Austria), Carlo Janka (Switzerland), Ivica Kostelic (Croatia), Bode Miller (USA)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (two events so far): Pinturault and Ligety tie, Thomas Mermillod Blondin (France), Sandro Viletta (Switzerland), Mario Caviezel (Switzerland), Peter Fill (France), Marcel Hirscher (Austria)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8 (limited competition): Kostelic and Pinturault tie, Blondin, Janka, Svindal, Baumann, Andreas Romar (Finland), Benjamin Raich (Austria)

2013 World Championship top 8: Ligety, Kostelic, Baumann, Romar, Villetta, Pinturault, Silvan Zurbriggen (Switzerland), Janka

2010 Olympic medalists: Miller, Kostelic, Zurbriggen

Women

Gold: Tina Maze (Slovenia)
Silver: Nicole Hosp (Austria)
Bronze: Michaela Kirchgasser (Austria)

Also considered: Marie-Michele Gagnon (Canada), Maria Hoefl-Riesch (Germany), Julia Mancuso (USA), Kathrin Zettel (Austria)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (1 event so far): Marie-Michele Gagnon (Canada), Michaela Kirchgasser (Austria), Hoefl-Riesch, Hosp, Sara Hector (Sweden), Maze, Ramona Siebenhofer (Austria), Anna Fenninger (Austria)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Maze, Hosp, Kirchgasser, Lara Gut (Switzerland), Gagnon, Mancuso, Elena Curtoni (Italy), Zettel

2013 World Championship top 8: Hoefl-Riesch, Maze, Hosp, Kirchgasser, Zettel, Elisabeth Goergl (Austria), Sofia Goggia (Italy), Mancuso

2010 Olympic medalists: Hoefl-Riesch, Mancuso, Anja Paerson (Sweden; retired)

BIOS

Men

Top five, 2012-13 World Cup overall: Marcel Hirscher (Austria), Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway), Ted Ligety (USA), Felix Neureuther (Germany), Ivica Kostelic (Croatia)

All-around

Kjetil Jansrud (Norway): Leans toward speed events but took 2010 silver in GS. Lots of DNFs in worlds, lots of injuries.

Ivica Kostelic (Croatia): Perhaps a little more of a slalom specialist — silver medalist in 2010 and world champion in 2003. Also won World Cup slalom title in 2011, the same year he won the overall, and has been in the top five for six straight years. But he does have an overall World Cup to his credit and is the most consistent skier in the combined: silver medalist in 2002 and 2010, and again in 2013 worlds. He also took third place in super-G in both the World Cup and World Championship in 2011.

Bode Miller (USA): 2005 and 2008 overall World Cup champion tossed aside disappointing 2006 Olympics with gold (combined), silver (super-G) and bronze (downhill) in 2010, adding to his GS and combined silvers from 2002. He won three medals (giant slalom and combined gold, super-G silver) in 2003 worlds and swept the speed events in 2005. But he’s 36 and trying to rebound from injuries.

Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway): Why isn’t this guy more famous? Two-time overall World Cup champion (2007, 2009), three Olympic medals in 2010 (super-G gold, downhill silver, GS bronze), five world championships (two combined, two downhill, one GS; in 2013: downhill gold and super-G bronze). Won World Cup super-G title in 2006, 2009, 2012, 2013. Also won downhill World Cup title in 2013. Aside from injury year of 2007-08, he has been in the overall World Cup top four for seven of the past eight years. He even dated American Julia Mancuso for several years, and they broke up gracefully. Learn the name, OK?

Alexis Pinturault (France). One of those jack-of-all-trades guys who is therefore most dangerous in combined, an event that demands versatility. Only 22 – this will be his first time at the Olympics. First and second in the two combined races on the 2012-13 World Cup calendar. Third in 2012-13 World Cup GS. Good in slalom, best in GS, solid all-around.

Speed events

Didier Defago (Switzerland): Defending Olympic downhill champion but missed the next season with a knee injury. He’s now 36 years old and has no World Cup podiums since 2011. Eighth in downhill at 2013 worlds.

Erik Guay (Canada): 2011 world downhill champion and 2009-10 World Cup super-G champion. Sixth in 2012-13 World Cup downhill.

Christof Innerhofer (Italy): Had a career week at the 2011 World Championships: super-G gold, combined silver, downhill bronze. Three World Cup downhill wins in 2012-13.

Klaus Kroell (Austria): 33-year-old speed specialist won 2011-12 World Cup season downhill title and finished second in 2012-13, making it four of five years on the podium. Fourth in 2013 worlds (downhill).

Matteo Marsaglia (Italy): Second in 2012-13 World Cup super-G, mostly on the strength of one win and one runner-up finish. Not much else to report.

Matthias Mayer (Austria): Only 23. Third in 2012-13 World Cup super-G. Fifth in 2013 worlds super-G.

Dominik Paris (Italy): Youngest medalist (silver) in 2013 world championship downhill. Third in 2012-13 World Cup downhill.

David Poisson (France): Surprise bronze medalist at 2013 worlds downhill. Seriously. He was 30, and he had never been on a World Cup podium, though he was fourth at Kitzbuhel in 2013.

Hannes Reichelt (Austria): Fourth in World Cup downhill in 2011-12; fifth (one win) in 2012-13. A little more successful in super-G: World Cup champion in 2008, silver in 2011 worlds.

Super-G/giant slalom

Ted Ligety (USA): Dominant in GS: World Cup champion four of the past six years. 2012-13: Won six of eight World Cup GS races, plus a successful defense of his world championship. Also the 2013 super-G world champion, but that was his only super-G podium of the year. Not great in World Cup combined events, but he comes up big in the big events – 2006 Olympic gold and 2013 world championship. The 2010 Games, though, were a washout for him.

Gauthier de Tessieres (France): Exactly one World Cup podium, and that’s in GS. Then 2013 world super-G runner-up.

Giant slalom/slalom

Marcel Hirscher (Austria): He has won the last two overall World Cups while getting nearly all his points in slalom and giant slalom. In 11 World Cup slaloms and “city events” (slalom-ish races) last season, he finished first five times, second five times and third in the other. And he’s the reigning world champion. He’s just fine at GS, winning the 2011-12 season title, but he’s typically chasing Ligety.

Carlo Janka (Switzerland): 2010 GS gold medalist and 2010 overall World Cup champion. Needed heart surgery in 2011 and still finished third in overall World Cup, but he hasn’t returned to that level since.

Manfred Moelgg (Italy): Third in 2013 worlds GS; fourth in 2012-13 World Cup GS. Best season was 2007-08: Fourth overall, first in slalom, third in GS. Three World Championship medals: 2007 slalom silver, 2011 slalom bronze, 2013 GS bronze.

Felix Neureuther (Germany): Finally hit World Cup stride near age 30, with his overall fourth place in 2013 up 13 places from his previous best of 17th. Second in World Cup slalom and world championship slalom, first podium in each. Only finished one of four Olympic races (slalom/GS, 2006/2010), placing eighth in 2010 GS.

Mostly slalom

Mario Matt (Austria): Top 8 in World Cup 11 of the last 14 years. Missed 2010 Games. 2001 (yes, 2001) and 2007 world champion. Fourth in 2011 worlds, bronze in 2013. Once won a World Cup combined race and once took a world championship medal in the same event, but he’s pretty much all slalom these days.

Andre Myhrer (Sweden): 2010 bronze medalist; fourth in World Cup and World Championship in 2013. World Cup slalom champion in 2012.

Giuliano Razzoli (Italy): 2010 gold medalist. Never finished at worlds. Seven World Cup podiums; two wins.

Women

Top five, 2012-13 World Cup overall: Tina Maze (Slovenia, with a record 2,414 points), Maria Hoefl-Riesch (Germany), Anna Menninger (Austria), Julia Mancuso (USA), Mikaela Shiffrin (USA)

The big 3, all-around

Maria Hoefl-Riesch (Germany): Overall World Cup champion in 2011, dethroning old friend Lindsey Vonn after two years as runner-up. Vonn and Tina Maze passed her in 2012, and Maze ran away in 2013. She still had five podium finishes — three downhill, one super-G and a slalom win — and won the World Championship combined. She won two gold medals (slalom, combined) in 2010. Legit accomplishments in all five disciplines.

Tina Maze (Slovenia): Her gradual improvement in the World Cup overall — sixth in 2009, then fourth, third, second and first — makes sense. Racking up 2,414 points, even with Lindsey Vonn absent for much of the season, is unreal. She would have swept all four disciplines if not for those pesky Americans — Vonn held on by one point in downhill, Mikaela Shiffrin took the slalom. She won 11 races (at least one in each discipline) and reached the podium 24 times. She only missed the top five in four races, all early in the season. She has six World Championship medals and two wins. And two Olympic silver medals (super-G, giant slalom) from 2010. All she needs is gold.

Lindsey Vonn (USA): Alternating gruesome crashes and fantastic seasons. Four-time overall World Cup champion, 2008-10 and 2012. Olympic frustration (injury woes in 2006 and 2010) ended in 2010 with downhill gold and super-G bronze. She won both of those events in 2009 worlds and took downhill silver in 2011. In combined, she has been on the podium in 11 of her past 15 World Cup events. She’ll miss the beginning of the World Cup season but should be ready to go in Sochi.

More all-around (super-G/GS)

Anna Fenninger (Austria): Third overall in 2012-13, second in GS, third in super-G. Fifth overall in 2011-12. Combined world champion in 2011; third in GS in 2013.

Elisabeth Goergl (Austria): Top 10 overall five straight years (2007-08 to 2011-12), with season podium finishes in downhill, GS and super-G. Turned it on in Whistler 2010 – bronze in downhill and GS, fifth in super-G, seventh in slalom. Then won 2011 World Championships in downhill and super-G.

Lara Gut (Switzerland): Best season in 2012-13 at age 21: ninth overall, fifth in downhill, sixth in GS. Two World Championships silvers (downhill, combined) at age 17 in 2009. Two fourths in 2011, then second in super-G in 2013. Hasn’t yet raced in Olympics, missing 2010 with injury. Won 2013-14 season opener GS.

Nicole Hosp (Austria): 2006-07 overall World Cup champion, second the next year. Great 2006 Olympics: slalom silver, fourth in GS, fifth combined. Injured in 2010, missed Games. Five World Championship medals, bronze in 2013 combined.

Viktoria Rebensburg (Germany): World Cup giant slalom winner in 2010-11 and 2011-12. Slipped to third in 2012-13 but picked up points elsewhere, many in super-G, to finish sixth overall. GS gold medalist in 2010, but not much success in World Championships.

Speed specialists

Stacey Cook (USA): Breakthrough season in 2012-13, fourth in downhill standings with two podium finishes.

Nadia Fanchini (Italy): Best World Cup year: 2008-09, second in super-G, fifth in downhill. Only one World Cup win, hasn’t been podium since January 2010, when she suffered dual injuries and missed the Olympics. But she’s a classic overachiever at World Championships: 2005 super-G fourth, 2009 downhill bronze and then back in 2013 for downhill silver.

Andrea Fischbacher (Austria): Second in World Cup downhill in 2008-09, bronze in 2009 worlds super-G, then the big one in 2010: gold medalist in downhill and fourth in super-G. No podium finishes since then.

Sofia Goggia (Italy): Had only four World Cup starts, all DNF or failures to qualify in GS, before the 2013 World Championships. Then finished fourth in super-G, seventh in combined at age 20.

Julia Mancuso (USA): Gets plenty of Cup points in GS and slalom, with GS and combined points propelling her to third overall in 2006-07. But she does her best work in speed events — third in super-G and downhill (fifth overall) in 2010-11, then second in super-G (fourth overall) each of the past two seasons. Then she dials it up for big events — a stunning giant slalom gold in the 2006 Olympics, silver in downhill and combined in 2010, plus five World Championship medals (super-G: 2011 silver, 2013 bronze).

Marion Rolland (France): DNF only Olympic race, 2010 downhill. Only two World Cup podiums, on same weekend in March 2012. Stunning World Championship victory in 2013 downhill.

Giant slalom/slalom

Michaela Kirchgasser (Austria): Second in World Cup slalom 2011-12. Second in World Championship slalom 2013.

Tanja Poutiainen (Finland): Slipped from her 2005 peak, when she won the slalom and GS World Cup titles and finished fifth overall. But she finished on the World Cup podium in each event in 2011 and was fifth in slalom in 2013. GS silver medalist in 2006. World Championships: Silver in slalom and GS in 2005, bronze in each event in 2009, fourth in slalom in 2013.

Tessa Worley (France): Essentially a GS specialist: 2013 world champion, 2011 bronze medalist. World Cup: second, third and fourth the last three years. Injured in December 2013; will miss Games.

Kathrin Zettel (Austria): Best World Cup years were 2008-09 (fourth overall, second in GS) and 2009-10 (fifth overall, second in GS and slalom). Solid seventh overall in 2012-13, fifth in GS. Fourth in combined in 2006 and 2010 Olympics. 2009 combined world champion; second in slalom in 2011. Remarkably consistent at worlds: 13 races, seven top-5s, 11 top-10s. Seven podiums in 2012-13: three slalom, three GS, one combined.

Mostly slalom

Frida Hansdotter (Sweden): Fourth in World Cup slalom 2012-13, third in World Championships.

Marlies Schild (Austria): World Cup slalom champ four of five years ending 2011-12. Injured in 2008-09 and 2012-13. Three Olympic medals: combined silver and slalom bronze in 2006, slalom silver in 2010. Five World Championship medals, slalom gold in 2011.

Mikaela Shiffrin (USA): World slalom champion at 17; clinched World Cup slalom title just after 18th birthday. In nine World Cup slaloms last season: Four wins, six podiums. Also picked up some GS points for fifth place overall.

2014 medal projections: Snowboarding

Updated Dec. 31; overhauled, really. Other updates Jan. 21 and Feb. 3. And again when Shaun White withdrew from slopestyle Feb. 5.

Not the easiest sport to predict, given that the top halfpipe and slopestyle folks often don’t bother with FIS World Cup events or even World Championships. We have to compare across the X Games and other events. Thankfully, the World Snowboard Tour computes something like that.

The parallel events at least have a bit more info available, though I’ve yet to find any real trends in which some people are better at “special slalom” (do they eat Big Macs before they start?) or giant slalom.

Down the pipe we go …

HALFPIPE

Men

Gold: Shaun White (USA)
Silver: Iouri Podladtchikov (Switzerland)
Bronze: Greg Bretz (USA)

Also considered: Danny Davis (USA), Taylor Gold (USA), Ayumu Hirano (Japan), Taku Hiroaka (Japan), Markus Malin (Finland), Peetu Piiroinen (Finland)

2013 World Championships top 8: Podladtchikov, Hiroaka, Malin, Christian Haller (Switzerland), Ryo Aono (Japan), Scott James (Australia), Nathan Johnstone (Australia), Piiroinen

2013-14 World Cup standings: Bretz, Hiroaka, Gold, Hirano, Janne Korpi (Finland), Johann Baisamy (France), Haller, Ben Ferguson (USA)

2013 X Games Aspen: White, Hirano, Malin, Scotty Lago (USA), Bretz, Louie Vito (USA)

2013 X Games Tignes: Vito, Arthur Longo (France), Hiroaka

World Snowboard Tour points list (Dec. 26): White, Podladtchikov, Hirano, Hiroaka, Bretz, Vito, Gold, Lago

2010 Olympic medalists: White, Piiroinen, Lago

Women

Gold: Kelly Clark (USA)
Silver: Torah Bright (Australia)
Bronze: Arielle Gold (USA)

Also considered: Queralt Castellet (Spain), Holly Crawford (Australia), Kaitlyn Farrington (USA), Sophie Rodriguez (France), Hannah Teter (USA)

2013 World Championships top 8: Gold, Crawford, Rodriguez, Farrington, Castellet, Li Shuang (China), Mirabelle Thovex (France), Sun Zhifeng (China)

2013-14 World Cup standings: Clark, Li, Bleiler, Cai Xuetong (China), Rebecca Sinclair (New Zealand), Gold, Rodriguez, Clemence Grimal (France)

2013 X Games Aspen: Clark, Hight, Gold, Bright, Teter, Castellet, Farrington

2013 X Games Tignes: Clark, Hight, Gold

World Snowboard Tour points list (Dec. 26): Clark, Bright, Gold, Bleiler, Rodriguez, Hight, Chloe Kim (USA; too young for Olympics), Liu Jiayu (China)

2010 Olympic medalists: Bright, Teter, Clark

SLOPESTYLE (new Olympic event)

Men

Gold: Mark McMorris (Canada)
Silver: Staale Sandbech (Norway)
Bronze: Max Parrot (Canada)

Also considered: Roope Tonteri (Finland), Sebastien Toutant (Canada). Removed bronze medal pick Torstein Horgmo (Norway), who was injured in practice in Sochi, and silver medal pick Shaun White (USA), who was also mildly injured and dropped out.

2013 World Championships top 8: Tonteri, McMorris, Janne Korpi (Finland), Billy Morgan (Britain), Clemens Schattschneider (Austria), Robby Balharry (Canada), Ryan Stassel (USA), Adrian Krainer (Austria)

2013-14 World Cup standings: Sandbech, Horgmo, White, Emil Andre Ulstetten (Norway), Chas Guldemond (USA), Sven Thorgren (Sweden), Stassel, Brandon Davis (USA)

2013 X Games Aspen: McMorris, Max Parrot (Canada), Seppe Smits (Belgium), Guldemond, White, Peete Piiroinen (Finland)

2013 X Games Tignes: Toutant, McMorris, Piiroinen

World Snowboard Tour points list (Dec. 26): McMorris, Horgmo, Toutant, Sandbech, Parrot, Guldemond, Piiroinen, Thorgren

Ty Walker rides at Worlds. Photo by Oliver Kraus/FIS via USSA
Ty Walker rides at Worlds. Photo by Oliver Kraus/FIS via USSA

Women

Gold: Jamie Anderson (USA)
Silver: Sarko Pancochova (Czech Republic)
Bronze: Spencer O’Brien (Canada)

Also considered: Torah Bright (Australia), Sina Candrian (Switzerland), Silje Norendal (Norway), Enni Rukajarvi (Finland), Ty Walker (USA)

2013 World Championships top 8: O’Brien, Candrian, Bright, Merika Enne (Finland), Walker, Jenny Jones (Britain), Isabel Derungs (Switzerland), Shelly Gotlieb (New Zealand)

2013-14 World Cup standings: Anderson, Pancochova, Cheryl Maas (Netherlands), Derungs, Jones, Rukajarvi, Elena Koenz (Switzerland), Jenna Blasman (Canada)

2013 X Games Aspen: Anderson, Pancochova, O’Brien, Rukajarvi, Candrian, Kjersti Oestgaard Buaas (Norway), Norendal

2013 X Games Tignes: Norendal, Anderson, Buaas

World Snowboard Tour points list (Dec. 26): Anderson, Pancochova, Rukajarvi, Norendal, Derungs, O’Brien, Buass, Walker

SNOWBOARDCROSS

Men

Gold: Alex Pullin (Australia)
Silver: Markus Schairer (Austria)
Bronze: Pierre Vaultier (France)

Also considered: Tony Ramoin (France), Omar Visintin (Italy). Removed Seth Wescott (USA), who didn’t qualify.

2013 World Championships top 8: Pullin, Schairer, Stian Sivertsen (Norway), Vaultier, Andrei Boldykov (Russia), Alessandro Hemmerle (Austria), Nick Baumgartner (USA), Robert Fagan (Canada)

2013-14 World Cup standings: Jarryd Hughes (Australia), Schairer, Konstantin Schad (Germany), Visintin, Kevin Hill (Canada), Alex Deibold (USA), Paul Berg (Norway), Sivertsen

2010 Olympic medalists: Wescott, Mike Robertson (Canada; retired), Tony Ramoin (France)

Women

Gold: Maelle Ricker (Canada)
Silver: Dominique Maltais (Canada)
Bronze: Lindsey Jacobellis (USA)

Also considered: Helene Olafsen (Norway), Chloe Trespeuch (France)

2013 World Championships top 8: Ricker, Maltais, Olafsen, Trespeuch, Michela Moioli (Italy), Raffaella Brutto (Italy), Samkova, Maria Ramberger (Austria)

2013-14 World Cup standings: Maltais, Jacobellis, Olafsen, Samkova, Charlotte Bankes (France), Nelly Moenne Loccoz (France), Zoe Gillings (Britain), Trespeuch

2010 Olympic medalists: Ricker, Deborah Anthonioz (France), Olivia Nobs (Switzerland)

PARALLEL EVENTS

Not many 2013-14 World Cup results yet, so we’re using 2012-13 standings. Abbreviations are PGS for parallel giant slalom and PS for parallel slalom. Parallel slalom is a new Olympic event.

Men’s PGS

Gold: Roland Fischnaller (Italy)
Silver: Andreas Prommegger (Austria)
Bronze: Benjamin Karl (Austria)

Also considered: Zan Kosir (Slovenia), Rok Marguc (Austria), Simon Schoch (Switzerland), Vic Wild (Russia)

2013 World Championships top 8: Karl, Fischnaller, Wild, Kosir, Prommegger, Schoch, Kaspar Fluetsch (Switzerland), Rok Flander (Slovenia)

2012-13 World Cup standings: Prommegger, Fischnaller, Marguc, Ingemar Walder (Austria), Kosir, Lukas Mathies (Austria), Schoch, Sylvain Dufour (France)

2010 Olympic medalists: Jasey-Jay Anderson (Canada), Karl, Mathieu Bozzetto (France; retired)

Men’s PS

Gold: Andreas Prommegger (Austria)
Silver: Roland Fischnaller (Italy)
Bronze: Rok Marguc (Austria)

Also considered: Benjamin Karl (Austria), Zan Kosir (Slovenia), Justin Reiter (USA), Simon Schoch (Switzerland), Vic Wild (Russia)

2013 World Championships top 8: Marguc, Reiter, Fischnaller, Prommegger, Schoch, Karl, Kaspar Fluetsch (Switzerland), Nevin Galmarini (Switzerland)

2012-13 World Cup standings: Fischnaller, Kosir, Aaron March (Italy), Prommegger, Stanislov Detkov (Russia), Reiter, Schoch, Wild

Women’s PGS

Gold: Isabella Laböck (Germany)
Silver: Tomoka Takeuchi (Japan)
Bronze: Marion Kreiner (Austria)

Also considered: Julia Dujmovits (Austria), Ekaterina Ilyukhina (Russia), Amelie Kober (Germany), Patrizia Kummer (Switzerland), Nicolien Sauerbreij (Netherlands), Ekaterina Tudegesheva (Russia)

2013 World Championships top 8: Laböck, Dujmovits, Kober, Engeli, Alena Zavarzina (Russia), Svetlana Boldykova (Russia), Takeuchi (Japan), Kummer

2012-13 World Cup standings: Kreiner, Kummer, Takeuchi, Tudegesheva, Caroline Calve (Canada), Sauerbreij, Anke Karstens (Germany), Claudia Riegler (Austrlia)

2010 Olympic medalists: Sauerbriej, Ilyukhina, Kreiner

Women’s PS

Gold: Ekaterina Tudegesheva (Russia)
Silver: Patrizia Kummer (Switzerland)
Bronze: Hilde-Katrine Engeli (Norway)

Also considered: Caroline Calve (Canada), Isabella Laböck (Germany), Amelie Kober (Germany), Marion Kreiner (Austria)

2013 World Championships top 8: Tudegesheva, Kummer, Kober, Engeli, Kreiner, Laböck, Natalia Soboleva (Russia), Takeuchi

2012-13 World Cup standings: Kummer, Kober, Calve, Kreiner, Tudegesheva, Dujmovits, Svetlana Boldykova (Russia), Laböck

BIOS

Men

Halfpipe and slopestyle

Peetu Piiroinen (Finland): 2010 Oly silver halfpipe. 2013 Worlds eighth halfpipe. 2013 X Games bronze in slopestyle.

Shaun White (USA). Two-time defending champion, six straight X Games Aspen titles … yeah, he’s the favorite in halfpipe. Also has five X Games slopestyle wins. 

Halfpipe

Greg Bretz (USA): Competed in 2010 Olympics at age 19, finishing 12th. Tied with Hiroaka for early World Cup lead in 2013-14.

Ayumu Hirano (Japan): 2013 X Games runner-up at age 14.

Taku Hiroaka (Japan): Competing in World Cup since 2011, when he was 16. Second in 2013 Worlds. Winner at World Cup stop in Sochi.

Iouri Podladtchikov (Switzerland): World halfpipe champion. Fourth in 2010 Olympics. Landed the first-ever Cab double-cork 1440 at X Games Tignes 2013 (then crashed on his next trick). Nicknamed I-Pod.

Markus Malin (Finland): Hat trick of impressive third-place finishes: 2011 Worlds, 2013, Worlds, 2013 X Games.

Scotty Lago (USA): 2010 Olympic bronze medalist, with a couple of X Games medals as well. Left 2010 Games early after controversial party photos popped up. Did not qualify for Games.

Louie Vito (USA): Fifth in 2010 Olympics. Won a couple of X Games Europe (Tignes) competitions and many Dew Tour and Grand Prix stops. Did not qualify for Games.

Slopestyle

Chas Guldemond (USA): Has a World Cup win. Fourth in 2013 X Games.

Max Parrot (Canada): Teen finished second to McMorris at 2013 X Games.

Mark McMorris (Canada): X Games 2012 and 2013 champion (the latter with a record score of 98); 2013 Worlds runner-up. Just turned 20.

Seppe Smits (Belgium): 2011 world champion at age 19. Third in 2013 X Games.

Roope Tonteri (Finland): 2013 world champion in slopestyle and big air.

Snowboardcross

Alex Pullin (Australia): Two-time defending world champion. Also plays in a reggae band. (No, I couldn’t find any video.) Nicknamed “Chumpy.”

Tony Ramoin (France): 2010 bronze medalist. Ninth at 2013 Worlds.

Markus Schairer (Austria): 2009 world champion. Second in 2013 Worlds.

Pierre Vaultier (France): Three-time World Cup champion (2008, 2010, 2012). Fourth in 2013 Worlds.

Omar Visintin (Italy): Third in 2013 World Cup.

Seth Wescott (USA): Two-time defending Olympic champion. Second at 2011 Worlds. Recovering from multiple injuries suffered in a freeriding accident and in some doubt for Sochi.

Parallel events

Roland Fischnaller (Italy): 2013 Worlds PGS runner-up; also third in PS. Third in 2011 Worlds PGS. Disappointing in three Olympics (best finish: 13th). Five World Cup PS wins.

Benjamin Karl (Austria): 2013 world PGS champion; sixth in PS. Swept world titles in 2011. 2010 PGS silver medalist.

Zan Kosir (Slovenia): Sixth in 2010 Oly PGS. Fourth in 2013 Worlds PGS. Early leader in overall parallel events in 2013-14 World Cup.

Rok Marguc (Austria): 2013 PS world champion, finishing medal collection from 2011 (2nd PGS, 3rd PS).

Andreas Prommegger (Austria): 2012 and 2013 World Cup parallel events champion; no worse than fourth in Cup standings since 2008. 2013 Worlds: 4th PS, 5th PGS. Ninth in 2006 and 2010 Games.

Justin Reiter (USA): 2013 PS Worlds runner-up, a stunning result for the 31-year-old with only one World Cup podium. Prepping for the Games while living in his truck.

Simon Schoch (Switzerland): 2006 silver medalist, losing in the final to his older brother, Philipp. 2011 world PS runner-up. 2007 world PS champion. Two podiums at 2003 Worlds: 2nd PGS, 3rd PS. In 2013: 5th PS, 6th PGS.

Vic Wild (Russia): Third in 2013 Worlds PGS. As you can guess from the name, he grew up in the USA but changed his nationality after marriage. Only one World Cup podium.

WOMEN

Halfpipe/slopestyle

Torah Bright (Australia): 2010 Olympic champion and two-time X Games champion in halfpipe. Fourth in Aspen 2013. In slopestyle: third in 2013 World Championships. Possibly competing in halfpipe, slopestyle and snowboardcross? Or boycotting because of safety concerns.

Halfpipe

Gretchen Bleiler (USA): 2006 silver medalist. Four-time X Games winner. Did not compete due to injury rehab at 2013 X Games but reached the podium in first two World Cup events of 2013-14. Did not qualify for Games.

Queralt Castellet (Spain): Frequent X Games invitee. Injured in 2010 Olympics after good qualifying runs. Fifth in 2013 Worlds.

Kelly Clark (USA): 2002 gold medalist also has 2010 bronze and the last three X Games Aspen wins.

Holly Crawford (Australia): 2011 world champion; runner-up in 2009 and 2013. Eighth in 2010 Olympics.

Arielle Gold (USA): World champion at age 16. Third in 2013 X Games.

Elena Hight (USA): Two-time Olympian is still in early 20s. X Games runner-up 2012 and 2013. Did not qualify for Games.

Sophie Rodriguez (France): Fifth in 2010 Olympics. Third in 2013 Worlds.

Hannah Teter (USA): 2006 gold medalist, 2010 silver medalist. Third in 2012 X Games; fifth in 2013. Active in humanitarian work.

Slopestyle

Jamie Anderson (USA): Four-time X Games winner; seven X Games podiums in eight years. Solid favorite.

Sina Candrian (Switzerland): 2013 Worlds runner-up. Fifth at 2013 X Games.

Spencer O’Brien (Canada): World champion. Third at 2013 X Games, her third X Games poidum.

Sarko Pancochova (Czech Republic): 2013 X Games runner-up; 2011 Worlds runner-up. Competed in 2010 Olympic halfpipe.

Enni Rukajarvi (Finland): 2011 world and X Games champion. 2012 X Games runner-up; fourth in 2013.

Ty Walker (USA): Fifth in 2013 Worlds at age 15.

Snowboardcross

Lindsey Jacobellis (USA): Three-time world champion (2005, 2007, 2011); seven-time X Games champion. 2006 silver medalist. Yes, she fell on the board grab, blah blah blah. Still the sport’s all-time best, winning 26 of the 48 World Cup events in her career through December, when she capped her comeback from a knee injury with yet another win.

Dominique Maltais (Canada): 2012 X Games winner, 2013 Worlds runner-up. 2006 bronze medalist. Four-time World Cup champion, including 2011-2013.

Helene Olafsen (Norway): Fourth in 2010 Olympics. 2009 world champion. Third in first two races of 2013-14.

Maelle Ricker (Canada): Defending Olympic and world champion. Also took a couple of X Games wins when the X Games still considered snowboardcross (or “Snowboarder X”) worthwhile.

Eva Samkova (Czech Republic): 2013 world junior champion has a couple of World Cup wins as well, including one in December 2013.

Chloe Trespeuch (France): 2013 world junior runner-up; fourth in 2013 World Championships.

Parallel events

Caroline Calve (Canada): Getting better in her mid-30s. First World Cup win was in 2011; third was in December 2013.

Julia Dujmovits (Austria): 2013 Worlds PGS runner-up; 10th in PS. Two World Cup wins; 11 podiums (through December 2013).

Hilde-Katrine Engeli (Norway): Fourth in both 2013 Worlds events. 2011 PS world champion. Got first World Cup win in March 2013.

Ekaterina Ilyukhina (Russia): 2010 Oly PGS silver medalist. World Championship best: 11th. World Cup best: 3rd.

Isabella Laböck (Germany): 2013 world PGS champion; sixth in PS. Five World Cup podiums. Police officer spurred on by memory of her late brother.

Amelie Kober (Germany): 2006 Oly PGS silver medalist. 2010 Oly PGS quarterfinalist while pregnant. Third in 2013 Worlds in both parallel events. Twelve World Cup wins, seven in PGS.

Marion Kreiner (Austria): 2010 Oly PGS bronze medalist. 2009 world PGS champion. 2007 world PS runner-up. Also works as a graphic designer.

Patrizia Kummer (Switzerland): 2013 Worlds PS runner-up. Third in 2009 Worlds PGS. Eight World Cup wins. 2012 and 2013 World Cup overall parallel events champion; early leader in 2014.

Nicolien Sauerbreij (Netherlands): 2010 Oly PGS gold medalist. 2011 world PS runner-up. Three-time Olympian — flag-bearer for Netherlands in 2002 opening ceremony.

Ekaterina Tudegesheva (Russia): 2013 world PS champion. 2007 world PGS champion. Fifth in 2006 Oly PGS; 10th in 2010. World Cup parallel events champion in 2011.