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Now playing: Olympic drama! Study the key story lines pre-Vancouver.

Originally Published: December 21, 2009
By Lindsay Berra, Max Klinger, Alyssa Roenigk | ESPN The Magazine
Bruce Bennett/Getty ImagesAngela Ruggiero leads a young U.S. women's hockey team four times against Canada before Vancouver.

This article appears in the Dec. 28 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

POPPIN' OFF: The double cork 1080 is the season's hot new snowboard trick, particularly among U.S. riders duking it out for the four spots on the Olympic halfpipe team. Shaun White first landed the seriously spectacular move -- a triple-spinning, off-axis double backflip -- in March at his secret training halfpipe in Silverton, Colo. Then, in August, Louie Vito became the first to nail it in competition, at the New Zealand Open. Now, fellow Olympic hopefuls Luke Mitrani, Danny Davis, Kevin Pearce and Scotty Lago are perfecting frontside, backside and back-to-back variations. All will go cork-crazy at Grand Prix contests in Mammoth, Calif. (Jan. 8-10), and Park City, Utah (Jan. 22-23).