TODAY | January 08, 2014
>> to our countdown to sochi , the winter olympic games just 29 days away. and news of lindsey vonn 's withdrawal has made headlines. it doesn't mean the u.s. team is out of the race. with lindsey vonn out of competition, all eyes on the rest of team usa to see who will rule the mountains in sochi .
>> make no mistake, the united states ski team won 21 of 37 medals in vancouver and lindsey vonn won two. where does that leave us? with a lot of talent and even newer talent that will bust out in sochi .
>> athletes reach speeds of up to 90 miles an hour, competition is always surprising. julia mancuso who came up in the sport alongside vonn has often been the underdog. who wins fans with an incredible ability to perform under pressure. and it's paid off with gold.
>> julia's not had the best start to this season. that said, no one in the world has proven herself better on the big stage.
>> youngest american ever to win a world cup ! yeah, it's you.
>> mykala shiffer's rise has been meteoric.
>> she's a fantastic skiing prodigy. and if she doesn't win gold or at least medal, it would be a huge surprise.
>> just don't call her the next lindsey vonn .
>> how about i'm mikaela shiffer and she can be lindsey vonn because she has plenty more races she's going to win.
>> for the men, ted ligety will make his third appearance in sochi .
>> he's capable of winning pretty much every event.
>> and that's a look of pure joy on the face of bodey miller.
>> he will become the first skier to compete in five olympic games .
>> he has come back in a big way.
>> at 36, he's the elder statesman of the group, but not to be counted out.
>> bodey miller took 2008 off. and now he's back, and there's nothing better for ski racing when he's back. he's so much fun to watch. awesome.
>> there's a lot to be excited about.
>> a lot of great contenders there, absolutely.
>> julia mancuso has lived in lindsey vonn 's shadow a little bit, she's going to shine. it's her time.
>> and mikaela shiffer as well.
>> sometimes when the big tree falls, it shines light on that underneath.
>> it has that in the textbook.
>> from 1907 .
>> there it is.
>>> by the way, we're going to talk about the state of the u.s. ski team with bode miller when he joins us live tomorrow on "today." and the olympic competition begins on nbc thursday, february 6th with the opening ceremony friday, february 7th . looking forward