Athlete Profile

Mélanie Turgeon, 24, of Lac Beauport, Que., made her Olympic debut at the 1994 Lillehammer Games where she competed in both technical events but failed to finish either one. However, she followed up the disappointment by winning five medals - including golds in the giant slalom and combined events - at the 1994 world junior championships in Lake Placid, N.Y.

At Nagano, in 1998, she finished 20th in the Super-G and 22nd in the downhill. Since then, she's performed well in the World Cup, finishing the 1999-2000 season with twelve top-10 finishes and an overall ranking of second in the Super-G. She dropped to fourth the following season.

Turgeon has a chronic back problem, a degenerative disc that flares up occasionally. However, she doesn't wear a brace when racing, saying it would be like skiing with a cane.