Sport: Giant in the Slalom

He carves the slope with a surgeon's precision, hugging the fall line, darting through slalom gates with eyeblink speed. Down below they call him "the silent Swede," but up here Ingemar Stenmark is eloquent, communicating easily with the mountain. He knows what it will give him and what he must give in return. In his powdery wake, he leaves competitors a curt challenge: "I set the pace, and now you guys beat me."

Unless fate or a dark horse intervenes, Stenmark should leave Lake Placid with one gold medal, and possibly two. In his...

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