competition begins today with men's snowboard cross. At the 2006 Torino Games, American Seth Wescott
made the Olympic debut of snowboard cross a memorable one when he narrowly edged Slovakia's Radoslav Zidek to win gold. A Maine native who spends his offseason dropping out of a helicopter to complete various first descents of mountains on his snowboard, Wescott won silver at the 2007 World Championships and is a legitimate threat for gold in Vancouver. In addition to Wescott, the U.S. roster boasts several other medal contenders. Idaho native Nate Holland
won his fifth consecutive X Games title in 2010 and took bronze at the 2007 World Championships. Rounding out the American contingent, arguably one of the deepest at the 2010 Games, are Graham Watanabe
and Nick Baumgartner
. This will be the second Games for Watanabe, who was the most unlikely U.S. Olympian in Torino. He had failed to make the cut for the men's team, but nonetheless traveled to Italy as a wax technician. When a teammate injured his ACL in training, Watanabe stepped was tapped to compete. Surprisingly, Watanabe has had the best season of the Americans thus far and he could emerge as a darkhorse candidate. Baumgartner benefited from a breakout season last year, winning a bronze medal at the 2009 World Championships. In the offeason, the Upper Peninsula native likes to do a different kind of racing - demolition derbies. Last car running wins. The same can said for Baumgartner, one of the strongest riders in Vancouver. All four Americans are capable of winning a medal.