America’s top alpine skiers will undoubtedly make their mark in Sochi. but based on past performances, their impact may have more to do with off-the-slopes shenanigans than on-the-hill heroics. Here, predictions of the coming drama.
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The Malcontent: Ted Ligety, 29
On the Slopes: Gold medal trifecta! Ligety takes the giant slalom, super-G, and combined.
Off the Slopes: Despite newfound glory, opts to continue his war against the sport’s governing body over ski regulations, composing a novella-length blog post that includes 93 technical footnotes. Immediately after the Games, announces he has signed the entire Austrian team to Shred Optics, his ski-gear brand.
The Maverick: Julia Mancuso, 29
On the Slopes: Beats expectations—again—by medaling in the super-G and downhill.
Off the Slopes: Après hot-tub selfie on Instagram earns her a rebuke from the U.S. Ski Team for showing “too much side boob.” Stays one step ahead of the paparazzi by tweeting that she is back together with ex-boyfriend and Norwegian superskier Aksel Lund Svindal before they actually get back together.
The New Kid: Mikaela Shiffrin, 18
On the Slopes: Wins gold in slalom and bronze in giant slalom, making her the youngest woman to medal in either event in Olympic history.
Off the Slopes: Expands her role as the face of energy candy by landing sponsorship with a new brand of protein-enhanced Skittles called Super Chompers, then abruptly cancels the contract when her pet reindeer, Rudolf, ODs on the things.
The Loose Cannon: Bode Miller, 36
On the Slopes: Charges hard and crashes harder, finishing way out of medal contention.
Off the Slopes: Gives an utterly bizarre (and totally awesome) post-race interview with Bob Costas, in which he confesses that during his GS run he “decided to become a zookeeper.” Later, challenges his wife, pro volleyballer Morgan Beck, to a Chinese downhill, which ends badly when he accidentally jams his pole into her thigh.