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VANCOUVER 2010 44OLYMPIC REVIEW BRITT JANYK Have you had a chance to ski on the 2010 courses in Whistler? With alpine skiing, the course is not set. Every race is different on every hill. So the course will be set up for the Games, and prior to that there'll be no training on the race hill. But, of course, I grew up skiing at Whistler, came out of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, and the women's track will run down all the runs that I grew up skiing on. How are you preparing for the 2010 Games? The intensity's definitely a little bit different with it being an Olympic year but we've been doing a lot of the same things that we do every season, fitness training and on- snow training camps. I definitely feel connected to my training compared to other years. Yours is definitely a skiing family, isn't it? My mum raced with the National Ski Team. My maternal grandfather was a skier, raced, and actually coached the University of British Columbia ski team. What do you think your first Olympic Games experience will be like? I think we'll get there as a family and just enjoy the moment, and be proud and be happy that my brother and I can compete together and have our parents right there. At the same time, my focus is to win a medal. It would just be absolutely incredible to have my best run on that day and win gold. ALPINE SKIING 29- YEAR- OLD BRITT JANYKWILL BE RACING FOR GOLD ON THE WOMEN'S DOWNHILL COURSE, WHICH FINISHES JUST A FEW HUNDRED METRES FROM HER PARENTS' HOME IN WHISTLER ANETTENORBERG When did you start preparing for the Vancouver Games? We started to prepare as early as May 2006 - just three months after winning gold in Turin when we decided to go for another Olympic gold. But after the World Championships last spring we continued to train until the end of May and we started again in the beginning of August. That meant we had just two months off over the summer instead of the usual four months. Do you use the same methods of practice as you did for 2006 or are there any changes? Pretty much the same but we are always trying to improve everything also the way we practice. Since 2006, Canada has won the World Championship gold twice, however, China won last year. Was the Chinese success a surprise for you? Not really, we have seen the Asians' perfect techniques for a while now and you knew that once they had fully mastered the tactics of the sport they would be very difficult opponents. Besides Canada and China, which other teams do you fear for the Olympic medals? Switzerland, Great Britain and Denmark. CURLING IN THE FINAL OF THE WOMEN'S CURLING IN TURIN, SWEDISH SKIP ANETTE NORBERGMEMORABLY WON THE GOLD MEDAL FOR HER COUNTRY WITH THE VERY FINAL SHOT: A PERFECT DOUBLE TAKE- OUT OF TWO SWISS STONES. SHE WILL LEAD HER COUNTRY'S DEFENCE OF THEIR OLYMPIC TITLE IN VANCOUVER Interviews: Tanja Flade, Tom Pountney, Hakan Sundstrom, Thore- Erik Thoresen, Fred Varcoe, Kate Zimmerman

VANCOUVER 2010 OLYMPIC REVIEW45 THRILLS'NSPILLS After Turin, even casual Olympic fans could name the men's snowboard halfpipe gold medalist. Shaun White's personality, flair and hair attracted unprecedented attention to his sport - and younger viewers to the Olympic Winter Games. The 23- year- old American was far and away the best rider in the world and proved he deserved the high profile afforded him by winning every contest he entered that year, the only rider ever to log a perfect season. This year, that could change. In the past six months, men's snowboarding has experienced unbelievable progression, and while White is still the red- hot gold medal favourite, a very talented group of athletes from around the world are set to challenge him in Whistler. Since Turin, White has been training on a private halfpipe built exclusively for him by one of his sponsors. There, he perfected several never- before-done tricks, including the double cork 1080, which made its debut at the New Zealand Open in mid- August. " I'm really competitive, and I get bored doing the same tricks," White says. " I get a great feeling out of learning a brand new trick. I feel alive. This year, no one can say I didn't go for it, and that's what it's all about. Doing something new." But it wasn't White who had the privilege of first nailing the new trick in competition. Fellow Americans Luke Mitrani, Louie Vito, Danny Davis, Scotty Lago and Kevin Pearce have all landed variations of the double cork, and all are legitimate contenders for the US team. At training sessions in New Zealand this summer, riders from Australia and China were also attempting the trick, which is the most progressive move since the back- to- back 1080 ( aka, the Talk of Torino). Pearce, 21, is still the only rider to beat White in a contest in which White did not fall, break his board or injure himself. And Pearce's sponsor built him his own private halfpipe in California, where he went to work on perfecting a few new tricks of his own this summer. " Halfpipe riding is going to be stepped up to a whole new level in Vancouver," Pearce says. " The level of riding in the States alone is unreal." Leading the challenge to the Americans will be 2006 Olympic bronze medalist Markku Koski and fellow Finns including Antti Autti, Peetu Piiroinen and Risto Mattila. Koski is the anithesis of some of the more flamboyant boarders with his " less talk, more action" style but will be a leading contender on Cypress Mountain. Other names deserving a mention are Switzerland's Louri Podladtchikov, second to White in the season- opening FIS World Cup event in New Zealand in August, and Australia's Nathan Johnstone. On the women's side, 16- year- old Chinese sensation Jiayu Liu looks to have a golden chance to end the US grip on the Olympic title. The 2009 FIS World Cup winner won the first event of the season ahead of American pair Kelly Clark, 2002 Olympic gold medalist and Gretchen Bleiler, 28, the 2006 Olympic silver medalist. They, along with compatriot Hannah Teter, 22, gold medalist from Turin and Australian technical queen Torah Bright are the women Jiayu will have to beat in Vancouver as she bids to make history. HALFPIPE ALYSSA ROENIGK, SENIOR WRITER, AT ESPN THE MAGAZINE, LOOKS AHEAD TO THE EAGERLY ANTICIPATED HALFPIPE EVENTS IN VANCOUVER AboveThe halfpipe has established a firm following among younger Olympic enthusiasts in particular