The new Lindsey Vonn
Credit: Mitchell Gunn / Getty Images

In Vancouver: Lindsey Vonn

Four years ago, Lindsey Vonn wasn't just the marquee ski and snowboarding star, but the headliner for the entire U.S. Olympic delegation. Vonn became the first American to win gold in the downhill and added a bronze in Super-G for fun. Unfortunately, knee injuries have sidelined Vonn for Sochi. The only question is whether she'll turn up as a commentator.

In Sochi: Mikaela Shiffrin

Mikaela Shiffrin is precocious. In 2011, she won her first U.S. slalom championship at age 16. She repeated a year later after bagging her first World Cup win. In 2013, she won a world title in slalom. Now 18, Shiffrin has spent a season laying waste to all comers, piling up three World Cup wins and six podiums, including two in Giant Slalom. Shiffrin is only the third woman in history to win seven World Cup races before turning 19. She is a prodigy. She is a phenom. She now lives on your TV screen.

Also, she loves her mother.