Athletes to Watch: Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics

Click through to meet the athletes who are likely to steal the show at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. If you want to get a head start on all of the heart-pounding Olympic action, sign up now for our Olympic newsletters.

24 photos
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AFP/Getty Images
Gracie Gold of the US performs in the women's free skating at the World Team Trophy figure skating competition in Tokyo on April 13, 2013.
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AFP/Getty Images
<b>Gracie Gold-</b> Despite her name, Gracie Gold has yet to take home one of those prized medals. The figure skater has earned silvers at both the 2013 U.S. Championships and the 2012 Junior Championships. Sochi will be her first Olympics.
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AP
<b>Ted Ligety-</b> Ligety won combined gold at the 2006 Games in Italy, but was unable to repeat his success in 2010 in Vancouver. Since then, however, the American has been on a tear and is considered by many to be the best men's skier in the world. He's expected to win multiple medals in Sochi.
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Getty Images
<b>Mikaela Shiffrin-</b> Shiffrin specializes in the Slalom and Giant Slalom Alpine skiing events. At 18, this will be her first Olympics but the skier has gained notoriety for her fast rise in the sport. She took home gold at the World Championships this year.
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<b>Ashley Wagner-</b> U.S. champion Ashley Wagner is expected to make her Olympic debut in Sochi.
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<b>Arielle Gold-</b> Though she is only a teenager, Arielle Gold won the halfpipe gold medal at this year's FIS Junior Snowboarding World Championship. She also took home the superpipe bronze at the 2013 X Games.
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Multi-Bits via Getty Images
<b>Yuna Kim-</b> South Korean Figure Skater Yuna Kim is an Olympic and World Champion. She has broken world record scores 11 times. Known as the, "Queen on Ice," Kim is considered a celebrity in her home country and is often followed by paparazzi. Her popularity is sure spread worldwide with Sochi.
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Getty Images for Chobani
<b>Hannah Kearney-</b> Moguls expert Hannah Kearney took home the gold in her freestyle skiiing event in Vancouver. The reigning world champion, she is a favorite to win again in Sochi.
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<b>Meryl Davis and Charlie White-</b> Davis and White, ice dancing partners since 1997, will enter Sochi as gold medal favorites. The two won the silver medal at the 2010 Olympics. They are two-time gold medal winners at the World Championships, three-time gold winners at the Four Continents Championships, and five-time gold winners at the United States National Championships.
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Bongarts/Getty Images
<b>Shani Davis-</b> Speedskater Davis won his first Olympic gold in Turin in 2006, becoming the first black athlete ever to win an individual event in the Winter Olympic Games. He took home the same medal (for the 1000m) in 2010.
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<b>Shaun White-</b> Sochi will be Shaun White's third Olympic Winter Games and, perhaps his third snowboarding halfpipe gold medal for Team USA. He is also expected to compete in a new event, snowboarding slopestyle.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS
<b>Bode Miller-</b> Miller has been competing in Alpine skiing at the Olympics since 2002 in Salt Lake City. The 2010 Games proved to be unexpectedly successful as he won a medal of every color. He could surprise again in Sochi.
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AP
<b>Julia Mancuso-</b> Mancuso competes in three different ski events: slalom, downhill and super combined. In 2006, she took home the Olympic gold in giant slalom and in 2010 she got silver in both downhill and combined events.
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<b>Torin Yater-Wallace-</b> This will be the first Olympics for Torin Yater-Wallace but the freeskier is no rookie to the sport. He has competed in three X-games, taking home gold, silver and bronze medals.
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AP
<b>Kelly Clark-</b> Kelly Clark is no stranger to the Winter Olympics. The snowboarder first competed in Salt Lake City in 2002, where she took home the gold in halfpipe. She also earned an Olympic bronze in 2010 in the same event.
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AP
<b>Elena Hight-</b> Snowboarder Hight competed in the Turin and Vancouver Olympics, but returned home without medals. However she has taken home medals at four X Games.
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AP
<b>Seth Wescott-</b> Wescott won the gold in snowboard cross at both the 2006 and 2010 Olympic Games. A threepeat could be in store for Sochi.
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<b>Jamie Anderson-</b> Jamie Anderson will be making her debut performance at the Olympics in Sochi. She has four X Games golds, one silver, and two bronze, all in the Slopestyle event.
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<b>Hannah Teter</b> Though Teter took home the gold in snowboarding halfpipe at Turin in 2006, she got a silver at the 2010 Olympics. Now, Teter is looking to reprise her gold in Sochi.
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NBCUniversal
<b>J.R. Celski-</b> Short Track Speed Skater Celski won two bronze medals in Vancouver in 2010 in the 1500m and the 5000m events.
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Bongarts/Getty Images
<b>Bill Demong-</b> Demong will be defending his Nordic Combined title at Sochi for Team USA. During his first Olympics in Vancouver, he took home both gold and silver medals in the sport's two events. Nordic Combined is a sport in which athletes compete in both cross-country skiing and ski jumping.
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WireImage
<b>Steven Holcomb-</b> Holcomb took home the gold medal for 4-man bobsleigh in 2010, the first gold medal for the U.S. in that event since 1948. He continues to drive the sled known as Night TraIn.
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AFP/Getty Images
<b>Tim Burke-</b> Burke has competed in biathalon at the Winter Games of both 2006 and 2010. While he has never won a medal at the Olympics, Burke became the first ever American to lead the overall Biathalon World Cup. Biathalon combines cross country skiing and rifle shooting.
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<b>Noelle Pikus-Pace-</b>Pikus-Pace competes in skeleton, an individual sport where athletes lie face down on a sled. In Vancouver, she finished in what is generally considered the most painful position for Olympians: fourth place.
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