Winter Olympics 2014: Early USA Gold-Medal Hopefuls for Sochi Games

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IAugust 12, 2012

WHISTLER, BC - FEBRUARY 20:  Lindsey Vonn of the United States receives the bronze medal during the medal ceremony for the women's super-g alpine skiing held at the Whistler Medals Plaza on day 9 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Whistler Medals Plaza on February 20, 2010 in Whistler, Canada. Vonn also holds up her gold medal won earlier in the week in the ladies downhill.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Let's turn in the track spikes and swim goggles for skis and ice skates, as we take a look at a few athletes ready to keep Team USA's winning Olympic ways rolling in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. 

Just like the recently concluded Summer Games, the USA led all countries in medals at the 2010 Winter Olympics. They checked in with 37 total, which was seven more than second-place Germany. 

However, they were tied for third place in gold medals won. Undoubtedly, they would like to improve on that number. Here are three athletes who should help them do that. 


Lindsey Vonn, Alpine Skiing 

Lindsey Vonn's two career Olympic medals do not do justice to just how dominant she has been in the world of alpine skiing. 

In the 2010 Games, she won a gold in the downhill and a bronze in the super-G. While this is an excellent showing, it would be fair to expect more from one of only two female skiers to have won four World Cup overall titles—this includes the 2012 title. 

Vonn, 27, is still at the top of her game, and there is nothing to suggest she won't be in two more years. It is not expecting too much to say she could bring back multiple golds. 


Shaun White, Snowboarding 

White is the face of snowboarding, and for good reason. His ability on a half-pipe is on a completely different level than anyone else on the planet. 

He is the two-time defending gold medalist in this event, and if anyone other than White wins in 2014, it will be a major upset. 

White may not come back with just one gold from Sochi, as slopestyle is set to make its Olympic debut in 2014, and White is eyeing this event to add a little variety to his Olympic hardware. 

White has had tremendous success in this event, and I'm certainly not going to bet against him in Sochi. 


Bode Miller, Alpine Skiing 

Bode Miller won two medals in 2002 and added three more in 2010, and that included his first gold, which came in the super combined. 

Miller is now 34, but he is still going strong. Earlier this year, he placed fourth by just .02 seconds in the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup test of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games downhill.

In his career, he has Olympic medals in the downhill, giant slalom, super-G and combined. There is no reason to think he can't add to his medal total and even bring back a gold from Sochi.