Lindsey Vonn returns as the face of a talent-rich U.S. ski team

Nathan Fenno, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Olympics

But Ted Ligety -- nicknamed "Ted Shred" and "Mr. GS" -- returns. The giant slalom champion in Sochi hasn't had an easy path back. He underwent back surgery 13 months ago and returned from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in 2016.

Ligety finished third in the giant slalom last month in the final World Cup tune-up before the Olympics, his first podium since 2015.

"It was kind of a relief to be back in a spot where I feel like I can challenge for wins," Ligety said. "It's been a long time."

Though teammate Andrew Weibrecht won super-G medals in Sochi and Vancouver, he hasn't finished better than 14th in a World Cup race this year.

But the attention in Pyeongchang, most of it, at least, will focus on Vonn. She's already eyeing the long, sweeping turns and big jumps in the downhill course at Jeongseon Alpine Center.

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"I feel like I'm coming into these Olympics on a hot streak," Vonn said. "Last weekend was really the icing on the cake, exactly what I needed to build my confidence and get ready."

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