Top five U.S. performances this week

Winter sports week in review: The top five performances by U.S. athletes

  • Giant slalom specialist Ted Ligety reconfirmed his coronation as king of that hill by winning world championship gold in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, and is on track for his third World Cup overall title in the discipline with a couple of events yet to go. Dynamic on the slopes, understated off them, Ligety has tasted both ends of the Olympic dream -- a shocker gold in the combined event in 2006 followed by a bust of a Games in 2010. He said he'll keep building his overall alpine skills as Sochi 2014 approaches.

  • Cross-country skier Kikkan Randall had a certain Cheshire cat smile when she previewed the course at Drammen, Norway, last weekend. That confidence was well-placed. The Alaska native won her second straight World Cup sprint and set herself up well for this weekend's World Championships in Oslo.

  • Ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White were ostensibly the favorites at the Four Continents championships in Taipei, but they knew they'd have to skate around the very graceful pair of elephants in the room -– their rivals and training mates Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada, competing for the first time since they won Olympic gold. Virtue and Moir led after the short dance but withdrew during their free dance when Virtue (who's coming off leg surgery last fall) injured herself. The drama didn't distract Davis and White, who tangoed their way to victory. The North American teams are expected to battle for gold at next month's world championships.

  • Bobsledders Shauna Rohbock and Valerie Fleming ended their distinguished careers by sliding to a silver medal at the world championships in Konigssee, Germany. The 2006 Olympic runners-up both say they're too physically battered to continue competing.

  • Katherine Reutter, the irrepressible short-track speed skater from Champaign, Ill., became the first U.S. woman to win a World Cup season title last weekend. In fact, she clinched the championship at two distances, the 1,000- and 1,500-meter events, despite a subpar performance in Dresden, Germany, and finished the season ranked No. 1 overall in the world.