Sochi 2014: Ranking the 20 Most Underrated Athletes

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Sochi 2014: Ranking the 20 Most Underrated Athletes
Marco Tacca/Associated Press
Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather

The Winter Olympic Games kick off when the torch is lit Feb. 7 in Sochi, Russia.

If you plan on watching the games, it can be tough to get a firm handle on the fields. Once a person wades through all the stories about security and local infrastructure and safety and security and security again, one often finds only the usual athletic suspects. You know who I mean: the Germans, the Canadians, a few Americans named Lindsey and we're done.

Well, I'm here to help you navigate through those layers. In that spirit, I've uncovered a few of Sochi's more underrated athletes. These aren't complete unknowns or also-rans in their respective fields (no Olympian is), and many have chances to medal. But they are below the radar and certainly worth keeping an eye out for when the cameras turn to the sports.

Athletes are ranked based on their ability to succeed and ability to surprise fans and pundits.

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