SALT LAKE CITY – The U.S. team has gotten off to a fast start in the Winter Olympics, winning a pair of silver medals on the first day of competition.
The Americans appear intent on exceeding the previous highest U.S. winter medals haul of 13 as action resumes Sunday.
"We want to win medals on everything we can," freestyle coach Jeff Wintersteen said.
While Austria's Stephan Eberharter may be favored to win the downhill gold on Sunday, American Daron Rahlves said he has "a good feeling" about the steep, twisting course, called Grizzly, on which they will ski.
"I've gotten good results. The toughest thing about Grizzly is it changes with every turn. It's technical, with lots of banked turns, and really steep," he said.
The event is just part of the outdoor action on Sunday, when ski jumper Alan Alborn soars above Utah Olympic Park and snowboarder Shannon Dunn zips across the halfpipe. Other events include men's singles luge and Nordic combined.
IF Rahlves does manage to beat the Austrians, it won't be the first time. He did that to win last year's super-G world title.
Even without injured teammate Hermann Maier, the Austrians are expected to dominate skiing's speed events. Though Eberharter is also favored for gold in the super-G, Rahlves isn't conceding anything.
"Both races, the super-G and downhill, are great races for me on that kind of hill," he said.
Last month, Alborn became the first U.S. jumper in 10 years with three Top 10 finishes in World Cup events. He's a longshot to win a medal, though, behind favorites Adam Malysz of Poland and Sven Hannawald of Germany.
Dunn won a bronze medal at the 1998 Nagano Olympics and won the halfpipe at last year's X-Games. Teammates Kelly Clark and Tricia Byrnes also give the United States a good shot at a medal.
Speedskater Derek Parra set a world record Saturday in the 5,000-meter speedskating, then saw the Netherlands' Jochem Uytdehaage smash his mark by about 3½ seconds to take the gold medal and leave the American with a silver.
Earlier Saturday, Shannon Bahrke won the first American medal with a silver in the women's freestyle moguls.
On the first day of competition, 10 countries won medals. Austria and the United States were the only countries with two.