"By 2010 we were more than ready," says current world champ Sarah Hendrickson of team USA. "But it's a men's sport, governed by European men, and they didn't want the girls there." Men's ski jumping is a 90-year-old event.

What to watch for: Women are lighter and less aerodynamic than men, so they can start 15 feet higher to gain the necessary speed – around 60 miles per hour – to hit the same 90-plus-meter distances. The U.S. is the team to beat, but Hendrickson says Japan is a threat: "I've been battling it out with Sara Takanashi for years."