Winter Olympics: Freestyle skiing capsule outlook
By LISA DILLMAN
Los Angeles Times
FEB. 13, 14
Best of the U.S.: Speedy Patrick Deneen is the reigning world champion, and veteran Hannah Kearney beat defending Olympic gold medalist Jennifer Heil this season at Lake Placid.
Best of the rest: You might say Vancouver-born Dale Begg-Smith, a gold medalist in 2006, hasn't been truly embraced by his adopted country, Australia. One scribe from Sydney wrote about him on Twitter: "As Aussie as maybe syrup or ice hockey. It's like registering your boat in Panama."
Men: 1. Begg-Smith, Australia. 2. Guilbaut Colas, France. 3. Deneen, U.S.
Women: 1. Heil, Canada. 2. Kearney, U.S. 3. Shannon Bahrke, U.S.
Feb. 24, 25
Best of the U.S.: Jeret Peterson, who will be competing in his third Olympics, could push his way on to the men's podium should he land his vaunted "Hurricane" trick.
Best of the rest: Steve Omischl has found success nearly everywhere - except at the Olympics, finishing 11th in 2002 and 20th in 2006. Anton Kushnir has won three of five World Cup events this season.
Men: 1. Omischl, Canada. 2. Kushnir, Belarus. 3. Qi Guangpu, China.
Women: 1. Lydia Lassila, Australia. 2. Li Nina, China. 3. Xu Mengtao, China.
FEB. 21, 23
Best of the U.S.: Bring on another new Olympic sport, and, with the fresh look, comes a couple of familiar faces. The best two hopes happen to be former Alpine stars, Daron Rahlves and Casey Puckett, both men having taken their share of physical punishment, of late, in ski cross.
Best of the rest: Ophelie David, Ashleigh McIvor and Kelsey Serwa went one-two-three at the recent X Games. Colorado-raised Del Bosco won at Aspen on the men's side. Former Alpine skier Tomas Kraus is a two-time world champion in ski cross.
Men: 1. Del Bosco, Canada. 2. Kraus, Czech Republic. 3. Michael Schmid, Switzerland.
Women: 1. McIvor, Canada. 2. David, France. 3. Serwa, Canada.