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Winter Olympics 2014: Stars to look out for in Sochi

February 05, 2014 14:20 IST

Winter Olympics 2014: Stars to look out for in Sochi

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Rediff Sports Desk

The Olympics are a breeding ground for superstars. Rediff.com picks out some of the star names to watch at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Kim Yuna (Figure Skating)

The ladies figure skating captures the eye of TV viewers in the Winter Games and this year the spectators will be captivated by the defending women's champion Yuna Kim, of South Korea.

A superstar in her own country, she is looking to end her glittering career at the age of 23 by retaining the Olympic figure skating title.

She wowed her fans at the 2010 Olympics with a record-breaking score on the way to the gold medal. The current World Champion is aiming for a repeat at Sochi.


Image: Kim Yuna
Photographs: Dave Sandford/Getty Images

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Maria Hoefl-Riesch (Alpine Skiing)

Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany is one of the top skiers in the world.

Hofl-Riesch enters the Sochi Games hoping to defend her two gold medals from the 2010 Olympics in the slalom and combined events. The 29-year-old German leads the overall standings.


Image: Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany celebrates
Photographs: Clive Rose/Getty Images

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Bode Miller (Alpine Skiing)

American Bode Miller will emerge as the big star of the Games.

He is the most decorated Olympic skier in American history with five medals including one of every colour at the 2010 Games. There will be many outstanding skiers in Sochi but Miller is still the one to watch.

At the age of 36 he is called the old man of skiing but he remains one of the most exciting competitors.


Image: Bode Miller of the USA
Photographs: Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images
Tags: Miller , Sochi

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Noriaki Kasai (Ski Jumping)

When Japan's Noriaki Kosai is about to take flight there will be a lot of global audience who will be glued to their seats.

At 41, he's the world's oldest competitive ski jumper, appearing in his seventh Olympics. For his crazy style he is called ‘Kamikaze.’ (Kamikaze was used in the Second World War by the Japanese. It is an aircraft loaded with explosives and making a deliberate suicidal crash on an enemy target.)


Image: Noriaki Kasai of japan
Photographs: Agence Zoom/Getty Images

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Mikaela Shiffrin (Alpine Skiing)

The 18-year-old American  is called the ‘The Next Lindsey Vonn.’ Shiffrin, will attract plenty of attention as she is favorite to win the slalom.

Still only a teenager but already a world champion, Shiffrin could be one of the stars of Sochi 2014.


Image: Mikaela Shiffrin of the USA
Photographs: Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

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Tina Maze (Alpine Skiing)

She once flashed her bra in protest after winning a race and has recorded a hit song in her native Slovenia. She's earned a record 24 World Cup podium finishes in one season, earned more points in a season than any skier male or female (2,000) and is one of just three women to win all five events in a season.

What the 30-year-old is still searching for, however, is an Olympic gold medal.


Image: Tina Maze of Slovenia
Photographs: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

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Shaun White (Snowboarding)

Shaun White is bidding for a third consecutive gold.

The 27-year-old American made quite the impression with his unforgettable winning halfpipe performance at the Vancouver Games 2010.

Apart from snowboarding h is known for his skateboarding, endorsements and media persona.


Image: Shaun White
Photographs: Harry How/Getty Images

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Gregor Schlierenzauer (Ski Jumping)

Schlierenzauer has been winning World Cup events since he was 16, and eight years later he has more than 50 victories to his name.

After finishing a disappointing third in both the individual large and short hill events at the 2010 Vancouver Games, ‘Schlieri’ will be looking to find the one award missing from his trophy cabinet -- an Olympic gold medal.


Image: Gregor Schlierenzauer of Austria
Photographs: Stanko Gruden/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

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Felix Loch (Luge)

The 24-year-old Loch is undoubtedly the king of the luge. Loch became the youngest ever Olympic luge champion as a 20-year-old in 2010.

A four-time world champion is the favorite to repeat in Sochi.

The German is the son of a Winter Olympian and will be the man to beat in Sochi.


Image: Felix Loch of Germany celebrates
Photographs: Clive Mason/Getty Images

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Sven Kramer (Speed Skating)

Its redemption time for Kramer. The Dutchman was expected to leave Vancouver with three gold medals but fell two short.

With the lessons of 2010 behind this 27 year-old, gold should follow.


Image: Sven Kramer of the Netherlands skates
Photographs: Clive Mason/Getty Images

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Marit Bjorgen (Cross-Country Skiing)

Bjorgen is par excellent in the sport of cross-country skiing. The 33-year-old is a 12-time world champion and won five Olympic medals in 2010.

The Norwegian collected five gold medals, including three golds, at the Vancouver Olympics, more than any other athlete. She is still a contender to medal in what could be her last Olympics Games.


Image: Marit Bjoergen of Norway
Photographs: Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

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Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin (Hockey)

Canada's Crosby and Russia's Ovechkin are two of the biggest stars in one of the Olympics' most start-studded competitions -- ice hockey.

Ovechkin, 28, is an NHL superstar famed for partying as hard as he plays, the Russian hopes to inspire his country to ice hockey gold.

Crosby, 26, who scored the golden goal in Vancouver, is looking to repeat.


Image: Sidney Crosby (left) and Alexander Ovechkin
Photographs: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

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Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (Biathlon)

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, the Norwegian biathlete, has 11 Olympic medals stretching back to 1994 and needs just one more in his last Olympic Games to join compatriot Bjorn Daehlie as the most decorated winter Olympian of all time.


Image: Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway
Photographs: Boris Streubel/Getty Images

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