Event: Women's Alpine skiing downhill
When: Begins 2 p.m. ET. Vonn will ski 16th out of 45 competitors. NBC will air tape-delayed coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
Analysis: This is Vonn's event. She was the top World Cup downhill skier in 2008 and 2009 and has a commanding lead in the discipline again this season. At one point she won five straight downhill races on the circuit.
She got an excellent draw in her 2010 Olympic debut that will put her on the course before all of her main rivals, including her best friend and No. 2 skier in the World Cup standings, Riesch. The course at Whistler also plays to her strengths because it's flat in parts, which is advantageous to those who excel in gliding. Indeed, in the timed training run Monday, Vonn finished the difficult part of the course 0.39 seconds faster than any other competitor. To put that into perspective, 0.36 seconds separated first place from sixth place in the men's downhill, and that was a much longer course.
Vonn's injured shin is a concern, but neither she nor her husband, Thomas, has suggested that the ailment will slow her down. The pain is more of a concern. With Olympic glory on the line, expect Vonn to push through it for two minutes en route to a gold medal. If she doesn't, the shin will probably be the scapegoat, though other reasons (a bad run, different course conditions) are more likely to derail Vonn's 2010 debut.
Prediction: Gold for Vonn, silver for Paerson, bronze for Riesch