3 Feb 2010

Top US team named for Winter Olympics

6:26 am on 3 February 2010

Snowboarder Shaun White and downhill skier Lindsey Vonn will spearhead the American medal assault at this month's Winter Olympics after the United States Olympic Committee named their team for Vancouver.

Short track speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno joined Vonn and White as the featured names on the 216-member team... there are 31 returning medallists.

White, known as the Flying Tomato, will be the man to beat in the halfpipe where he defends his Turin gold, with Vonn a likely medal threat in every alpine discipline after nine World Cup wins this season.

Ohno returns as the most decorated member of the U.S. squad with five medals (two gold, one silver and two bronze) leaving him tied with long track speedskating great Eric Heiden for the most medals won by an American man at a Winter Games.

If Ohno can add one more to his total in Vancouver he will join speedskater Bonnie Blair as the most successful American Winter Olympic athlete with six medals.

Three Olympians will take part in their fifth Winter Games; Luger Mark Grimmette, Nordic combined skier Todd Lodwick and Casey Puckett, who competed in four straight Games as an alpine skier and returns as a member of the ski-cross team.

The U.S. finished second in the overall medal count at the 2006 Turin Olympics with 25, behind Germany with 29.