Janica Kostelic. Croatia. Gold medal favorite in the women's slalom. At press time, Kostelic was still in the recovery process from the third of three off-season operations.
Magdalena Forsberg. Sweden. The world's dominant women's biathlete.
Ole Einar Bjoerndalen. Norway. The male version of Forsberg.

American newcomers and old-timers who hope to spoil the European party.
Daron Rahlves. Only the third U.S. male skier to win a world championship title (following Billy Kidd and Steve Mahre), Rahlves is one of the favorites in the speed events, including downhill and super-G.
Michelle Kwan. Three world championships, and an Olympic silver medal ('98). America's top figure skater for the past six years.
Cammi Granato. Granato captained the U.S. team that won the inaugural women's Olympic hockey gold. She, and Team USA, hope to repeat.
Todd Eldredge. America's most experienced male figure skater. All that's missing is an Olympic medal.
Timothy Goebel. An explosive jumper and eye-popping performer; the first skater in history to land three quadruple jumps in a single program.
Picabo Street. Flamboyant and fearless, with horrific crashes and an Olympic downhill silver ('94) and super-G gold ('98) to prove it.
Eric Bergoust. Freestyle skiing aerial wonder, and 1998 gold medalist in Nagano.
Apolo Anton Ohno. At age 19, America's best short track speed skater.
Jean Racine and Gea Johnson. Women's bobsled debuts as a medal sport in SLC, and they hope to get the first gold.

The Olympics are a pressure cooker, and athletes respond in interesting fashion. The Japanese ski team came to Nagano armed with a lifetime's preparation and a bowling-ball-size potato, which they believed would bring them good luck. Before each ski event, they held the potato. After the Japanese won a gold medal in the team relay, someone asked if the lucky potato would be preserved for posterity. The team had eaten it.