Winter Games Athletes
While many are expecting Northug to clean up at the 2014 Games, it remains to be seen how he'll perform after pushing back his preparations due to a nasty virus at the start of the season. His only World Cup victory of the season came in a 10km stage on the Tour de Ski, but he doesn't expect to be limited. "I'm way ahead of where I should be (fitness wise),'' he said after concluding the Norwegian championships in January. "The plan is to really top my form for Sochi. ... I won't be satisfied unless I get a gold." Northug is hoping to build on a remarkable Olympic debut in Vancouver, where he took home four medals - including gold in the team sprint and 50km mass start. A nine-time world champion, Northug won his second overall World Cup title last season. He's recorded 18 victories and 31 podiums in 89 starts on the circuit over the course of his career. The 28-year-old Northug is currently ranked fourth in the overall FIS standings, ninth in distance and 19th in sprint. As one of Norway’s biggest celebrities, Northug should be one of the more exciting skiers to follow at the games.