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Ones to watch in the Winter Olympics

Published 1148 GMT (1948 HKT) February 8, 2018
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Mikaela Shiffrin (United States): Shiffrin comes into the Winter Olympics as the most dominant female skier in the world. The 22-year-old is the defending World Cup champion, and she is already out to a big lead this season. In 2014 she became the youngest woman to ever win Olympic gold in the slalom, and she'll be looking to defend that title in PyeongChang -- and also add gold in the giant slalom. JURE MAKOVEC/AFP/Getty Images
Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga (Nigeria): Nigeria has never had an athlete compete in the Winter Olympics, but that will change in PyeongChang. In November, these three made history when they became the first African bobsled team to qualify for the Olympic Games. All three are former track-and-field stars. Shannon Stapleton/Reuters/Newscom
Sven Kramer (Netherlands): The Dutch are renowned for their speedskating, and Kramer is one of the most decorated athletes in the sport's history. He has won seven Olympic medals since 2006, and in PyeongChang he will be looking to win the 5,000 meters for the third straight Games. On the women's side, look out for Ireen Wüst. No Dutch athlete has won more Olympic medals than Wüst, who has four golds to go with three silvers and a bronze. Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images
Choi Min-jeong and Shim Suk-hee (South Korea): This year's host nation has won 53 medals in its Winter Olympics history -- and 42 of them were in short-track speedskating. No country in the world has won more Olympic medals in the sport. Two of its big favorites this year are Choi, right, and Shim, center. Choi was world champion in 2016 and 2015. Shim was world champion in 2014, when she also won three Olympic medals in Sochi. Matt Roberts/Getty Images
Marit Bjørgen (Norway): If she wins one medal in PyeongChang, Bjørgen will have more medals than any other woman in the history of the Winter Olympics. The cross-country skier, 37, has 10 medals right now, including six golds. CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images
Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan): Hanyu comes into PyeongChang as the man to beat in figure skating. The 2014 Olympic champion also won gold at the World Championships last year, and he holds several world-record scores. He was just 19 at the Sochi Games, where he became figure skating's youngest Olympic champion in 66 years. ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images
Nathan Chen (United States): Chen is among a group of talented figure skaters looking to dethrone Hanyu in South Korea. He might hold the trump card, however, in that he's the only skater ever to land five quadruple jumps in a routine. He did that at the US Championships in January. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Marie-Philip Poulin (Canada): Canada has defeated the United States in the last two Olympic finals, and both times it was Poulin scoring the game-winning goal. She is also the reigning MVP of the Canadian Women's Hockey League, which includes teams in Canada, China and the United States. She's been called the "female Sidney Crosby," the best player in her sport, but Crosby and the world's best male players won't be in PyeongChang -- Poulin and the best female players will. ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images
Martins Dukurs (Latvia): Dukurs has been the dominant force in skeleton for much of the past decade. He has won the last three world titles and the last eight World Cup titles. But the one thing that has eluded him is Olympic gold. He won silver in both 2010 and 2014. Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images
Chloe Kim (United States): Kim had the scores to qualify for the Olympic halfpipe team in 2014, but she wasn't old enough to compete. Now, at 17, the snowboarder is regarded by many to be the gold-medal favorite. She finished first at the Winter X Games last month. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
Marcel Hirscher (Austria): Hirscher has won a record six straight World Cup titles, and he's the defending world champion in the slalom and giant slalom. But despite his domination, he's still looking for his first Olympic gold medal. At the 2014 Sochi Games, he finished second in the slalom. Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom/Getty Images
Martin Fourcade (France): Since 2012, Fourcade has been the world's best in the biathlon -- a discipline that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. He won two golds and a silver at the 2014 Olympic Games. Along with a silver in 2010, that made him France's most decorated Winter Olympian. Stanko Gruden/Agence Zoom/Getty Images
Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik (North Korea): After a recent thawing of tensions with its neighbor to the south, North Korea is sending 22 athletes to compete in the Olympics. Its best hope for a medal might be Ryom and Kim, a figure-skating pair who finished 15th at last year's World Championships and qualified for the Olympics in September. They skate their short program to The Beatles song "A Day in the Life." Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images
Felix Loch (Germany): Loch will be looking for his third straight Olympic gold in the luge. The Germans have owned the sport in recent years. On the women's side, the favorites include Germans Natalie Geisenberger (the 2014 gold medalist) and Tatjana Hüfner (the 2010 gold medalist). PETER KNEFFEL/DPA/AFP/Getty Images
Kamil Stoch (Poland): Stoch won ski-jumping gold on both the normal hill and the large hill at the 2014 Winter Olympics, and after his recent performance at the Four Hills Tournament, it's hard to see many who can top him in PyeongChang. Last month, Stoch became only the second man in history to finish first at each of the tournament's "four hills" across Germany and Austria. Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images
Ester Ledecka (Czech Republic): Ledecka is expected to become the first athlete in Olympic history to compete in both snowboarding and Alpine skiing. She already did both last year at the World Championships. Ledecka is one of the world's best snowboarders in the parallel disciplines. She won the World Cup title last year and a gold and a silver at the World Championships. On the skiing side, she finished among the world's top 30 in the downhill, the super-G and the combined. Laurent Salino/Agence Zoom/Getty Images
Evgenia Medvedeva (Olympic athlete from Russia): Because of allegations of state-sponsored doping in 2014, the International Olympic Committee has barred athletes from competing under the Russian flag in PyeongChang. But more than 160 Russian athletes have been cleared by the IOC to compete as neutral athletes. One of them is Medvedeva, an 18-year-old figure skater who has won the last two world titles and holds several world-record scores. She could be vulnerable in South Korea, however, as she recently recovered from a broken foot and finished second last month at the European Championships. It was her first loss in two years. DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images