There's no question EVAN LYSACEK can skate. But can he stay healthy? In 2006 Lysacek, suffering from a bacterial infection, needed an IV to treat dehydration after his Olympic short program. (He finished 10th.) A month later he won bronze at the world championships despite still battling the infection. Last year he won at worlds with a stress fracture in his left foot. This year? Lysacek, 24, is a healthy bet to win his first Olympic medal, perhaps alongside teammate Jeremy Abbott.
NOELLE PIKUS-PACE was the Olympic favorite when a rogue bobsled ran into her and broke her right leg four months before the '06 Games. She missed Turin but came back to win the 2007 worlds by the largest margin in history. After taking a year off to have her first child, she's ready, at 27, to finally chase the gold medal.
On the eve of the 2006 Games, ZACH LUND, then the world's top-ranked slider, was suspended for a year for using a banned hair-replacement drug. (It was later removed from the WADA prohibited list.) He returned to win the World Cup title in '07. Now 30 (and bald), Lund will finally make his Olympic debut in Vancouver.
Driving blind? It wasn't just an expression for STEVE HOLCOMB, who as recently as 2008 was competing despite barely being able to see because of a degenerative eye disorder. Surgery improved his 20-500 vision to 20-20, and last year Holcomb drove the men's four to Team USA's first world championship in half a century.
Since finishing sixth in Turin, KATIE UHLAENDER has won two overall World Cup titles; if not for a snowmobile accident that shattered her left kneecap last year, she might be the favorite in Vancouver. Uhlaender is still regaining her form after three operations, but inspiration won't be a problem: She wears around her neck the 1972 World Series ring earned by her late father, Ted, a former Reds outfielder.