The two most accomplished Alpine skiers in U.S. history, Lindsey Vonn and Bode Miller, have found great success at these Olympics under completely different circumstances.
Vonn entered the Vancouver Games as the two-time reigning overall World Cup champion, the owner 31 World Cup victories, and the athlete selected to grace the cover of Sport Illustrated.
An injured shin announced just days before the Opening Ceremony clouded expectations for the Minnesota native. Nonetheless, with the Olympic world watching, Vonn earned gold in her first event, the downhill. She then backed up that performance with a bronze in the super-G . Regardless of what happens in her final two races, Vonn's Vancouver campaign will be considered a success.
Miller, on the other hand, has flipped the script written for him in the last Olympics.
Four years ago, Miller entered Torino as a heavy favorite to win multiple medals, performing under the same microscope that eyes Vonn this year. Miller, though, famously left those Games empty-handed.
This year, Bode has skied under the radar, mainly because the expectations have tempered. With the headlines reserved for Vonn, Miller has been able to focus on his own skiing and block the few outside pressures that surround him, resulting in unmatched success. In three races, Miller has earned a medal of each color, culminating in a spectacular come-from-behind gold in the super combined.
What we want to know is this: what effect do high expectations have on skiers?
Miller has seemed to perform better when no one burdens him, but is that claim legitimate or is it coincidence?
Vonn has won a gold and bronze in her three best races, but could she have performed better without the outside pressures?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.