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Winter Olympics 2014: 10 Athletes Who Will Win the Most Medals

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10 Athletes Who Will Win the Most Medals In the 2014 Winter Olympics

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The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, are set to kick off on February 7, and this is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing Olympic games we've seen in a long time. What makes the 2014 Winter Olympics so intriguing is the fact the games are slightly devoid of big-name talent. Instead, rising talents will dominate the big stage. Although there may be a lack of noticeable stars right now, a few new young stars could be established by the time these Olympics are over.

The absence of Lindsey Vonn due to her nagging knee injury, coupled with the fact Apolo Ohno won't be appearing in the Olympics anymore due to his retirement really shows how much star power is lost from just those two athletes' absence from the games. With that said, their absence is going to allow some young talent to show what they can do. It's really just a matter of who will step up and who is going to fold under the pressure of performing in front of the entire world.

The 2014 Winter Olympics are, without a doubt, going to be among the best sporting events of the entire year, even without some of the big-name competitors. After all, these are the Olympics, not a popularity contest. These are the best athletes in the world going head to head, and it's a very exciting thing to watch. Although nobody can know for sure who is going to win medals once they reach Sochi, I can make some pretty good guesses.

With that said, ladies and gentlemen, here are the 10 athletes that could earn the most Olympic medals in the 2014 Winter Olympics.

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10. Shaun White

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It's impossible to talk about the Winter Olympics without mentioning Shaun White at some point or another. The two-time gold medalist is the best snowboarder in the world, and there is no doubt he is a heavy favorite to bring home his share of medals during the 2014 Winter Olympics.

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9. Simon Ammann

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Coming out of Sweden, Simon Ammann is quietly one of the one of the best ski jumpers in the world. During the last winter Olympics in Vancouver, Ammann came away with a gold medal. There's no reason to think that, with even more experience heading into his fifth Olympics, Ammann can't come away with a few medals from Sochi.

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8. Bode Miller

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Despite being 36-years old, U.S. skier Bode Miller is easily still at the top of his game. These will be Miller's fifth Olympic games, and combined with his age, they could be Bode Miller's last Olympics as well. Look for Miller to be shooting for his 2010 total of three medals. He might be getting up there in age, but he is in prime position to again dominate these Olympics.

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7. Viktoria Rebensburg

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A 2010 gold medalist in skiing, German skier Viktoria Rebensburg goes into these Sochi games with some good momentum. Rebensburg is a young female skier on the rise, and if everything goes as planned, you can bet she will earn a few medals in Sochi.

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6. Patrick Chan

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Patrick Chan, a figure skater out of Canada, is easily among the best male figure skaters in the world. In the 2010 Winter Olympics, Chan managed to place fifth; however, he has a very good opportunity to really show what he can do in Sochi this year. Throw in the fact that Chan is still just 23 years old, and all of a sudden you realize just how dominant he could become.

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5. Alexandre Bilodeau

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Alexandre Bilodeau, a Canadian freestyle skier, has become one of the best in the world at what he does, and it's no wonder that he is a safe bet to win a few medals. He snagged his first gold in 2010, and it's very possible he adds another medal to a collection that seems to be just getting started.

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4. Charles Hamelin

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Charles Hamelin, the three-time medalist out of Canada, is heading into Sochi with a proven background of being able to perform at the Olympic level. In a Winter Olympics that somewhat lacks in experience, look for Hamelin to take advantage of the inexperience around him.

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3. Christine Nesbitt

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Christine Nesbitt, a speedskater out of Canada, is one of the favorites to come away with some Olympic bling this year -- and for good reason. She won gold in 2010, and you can bet she is determined to capture more medals this time around.

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2. Lizzy Yarnold

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Lizzy Yarnold, a British skeleton racer, is in a great position to give Great Britain a few medals during these Winter Olympics. Yarnold is very consistent, and at age 25, she has an opportunity to mature very quickly in Sochi.

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1. Felix Loch

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German luger Felix Loch is perhaps one of Germany's strongest Olympic medal contenders. The youngest gold medalist in Olympic luge history, Loch has matured and grown since winning the gold in 2010, and it's scary to think what he could be capable of at these Olympics.