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Picabo on U.S. ski team

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PARK CITY ? Picabo Street will ski in the Olympics, but she may not be there to defend her gold medal in the super-G.

At noon on Monday, the U.S. Ski Team released the names of the 11 men and 11 women who will ski in the alpine events for the Olympics starting in two weeks.

Street was among those on the list.

Named to the men's team were Jake Fiala, Chip Knight, Scot Macartney, Bode Miller, Casey Puckett, Daron Rahlves, Tom Rothrock, Erik Schlopy, Dane Spencer, Marco Sullivan and Thomas Vonn.

Named to the women's team were Kristen Clark, Kristina Koznick, Katie Monahan, Caroline Lalive, Lindsey Kildow, Julia Mancuso, Jonna Mendes, Sarah Schleper, Alex Shaffer, Tasha Nelson and Street.

How the skiers will come out of the starting gates is yet another question. Under team rules, the top two performers in each event will receive guaranteed starts. The second two may not be known until race time.

"We intend to start the best qualifiers," said Tom Kelly, vice president of public relations for the team. "Picabo has had the best results in downhill. We feel Picabo is a great opportunity to medal in the downhill. But, in the super-G, there are five skiers ahead of her in results. The intention of the coaches has been and is to enter the best qualifiers."

Street herself raised questions after what is said to be her final World Cup race of the season on Friday. After finishing 33rd, she said this would be "my last super-G."

Street won a gold in the super-G in Nagano in 1998. A few months after the win, she ripper her right knee and shattered her left thigh. Since then the Park City racer has been on the road to recovery.

Another racer expected to medal in the Olympics is Miller. He has won four World Cup races this season. Currently, he is considered the fastest technical skier in the world.

Schlopy, also from Park City, was one of the first to be placed on the team despite what has been to this point a disappointing season. Schlopy won a Gold Cup race in late December that earned him $10,000 and a spot on the team

Koznick, of Burnsville, Minn., was the first skier named to the team. Like Schlopy, she won a women's Gold Cup race in November in Colorado.

"With the exception of the women's giant slalom and slalom, the skiers selected were all top qualifiers. What this means is that we have a very competitive team," added Kelly.

E-MAIL: grass@desnews.com