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Winter Olympics 2014: USA Profile

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Winter Olympics 2014: USA Profile

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A sign for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

The United States has competed in every Winter Olympics since its inception in 1924.

It has hosted the Winter Olympics four times, more than any other nation, and is the only competitor with a gold medal in every Games.

Population: 317 million

Capital: Washington D.C

Language: English

Currency: U.S. dollar

Head of State: President Barack Obama

All-Time Medal Count: 253 -- 87 gold, 97 silver, and 71 bronze. Second overall.

Strongest Sports: Skating, snowboarding, freestyle skiing, and skeleton.

Brief Olympic History:

At the 1932 Lake Placid Games, American Eddie Eagan became only athlete to win gold in both the Summer and Winter Olympics (boxing and bobsled). Americans Jack Shea and Irving Jaffee were the first to win two golds in a single Games. Shea's grandson, Jimmy Shea, would later take a skeleton gold at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

U.S. speed skater Eric Heiden is the only athlete to win five golds in a single Games. Despite sweeping speed skating in Lake Placid in 1980, he was overshadowed by U.S. hockey upsetting the Soviet Union in the "Miracle on Ice."

Top Winter Olympics Medal Winners:

Apolo Anton Ohno (speed skating, 9)

Bonnie Blair (speed skating, 6)

Bode Miller (alpine skiing, 5)

Chad Hedrick (speed skating, 5)

Eric Heiden (speed skating, 5)

Athletes to Watch in Sochi:

J.R. Celski - Celski sliced open his left leg before the 2010 Vancouver Games, but bounced back to win two speed skating bronze medals. He is coming off a 500m world record at the 2012 World Cup.

Shani Davis - Davis is the first black individual medalist in Winter Games history. He is trying to become the first male to win the speed skating 1,000m in three consecutive Olympics.

Julie Chu and the women's ice hockey team - Chu is the face of a team looking for its first gold since 1998. After a gold in the 2012 Four Nations Cup, the team is a strong contender in Sochi.

Sarah Hendrickson - The 2013 ski jumping world champion is four months out of knee surgery. Only 19 years old, she could be the comeback story of the Games.

Patrick Kane and the men's ice hockey team - The two-time Stanley Cup winner will try to lead his team to its first gold since the "Miracle" in 1980.

Venkat Motupalli follows sports for the Yahoo Contributor Network. Follow @vmots on Twitter.

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