Pierre Vaultier, FRA

Pierre Vaultier. © FIS – Oliver Kraus
Pierre Vaultier. © FIS – Oliver Kraus

Age: 22 (June 24, 1987)
Hometown: Briançon, Hautes-Alpes, France
Stance: Goofy
Recent results: Won four of the five Snowboardcross 2009-2010 World cup events. Placed 2nd at Bad Gastein World Cup. Holds two World Cup titles.

Olympic outlook: Pierre competed at the 2006 Olympics coming in at 35th place (out of a field of 35), but he was a young 18 and had only been competing in boardercross for a season at that point. Pierre came back this winter from a nasty spine injury. It doesn't seem to have interfered with his riding. With four wins this season and a career nine, as well as previous Olympic experience, the odds are in favor of Pierre. He wins competitions every which way—he starts in front and stays in front, or he can push from the back to the front with a willingness to pass in the tightest turns. Nate Holland is the only rider to have beat him in any of the World Cup stops this winter, which proves that he's not unbeatable … but it won't be easy.