KIM YU-NA, 23, Korea

Olympic experience: Won gold in 2010

ISU world ranking: 29

Outlook: Kim won her second world championship in 2013 but missed the Grand Prix season this fall because of a foot injury, which is why her world ranking is low. She is a six-time world championship medalist and three-time Grand Prix Final champ. She won the gold in Vancouver with a record score of 228.56.


Olympic experience: First Games

ISU world ranking: 3

Outlook: The hot pick heading into the competition, Lipnitskaya wowed the crowd — and the judges — in January when she became the youngest woman to win the European Championships. Her score of 209.72 points is the highest of any competitor this season. Lipnitskaya won both Grand Prix events she entered this season, was second in the Grand Prix Final and captured the Russian championship.

MAO ASADA, 23, Japan

Olympic experience: Won silver in 2010

ISU world ranking: 2

Outlook: Known for her triple axels, Asada plans to do that challenging jump once in her short program and once in her free skate. She finished third in the short program of the Olympic team event and said she was nervous, but she added Monday that she is feeling confident again. Asada won two Grand Prix events and the Grand Prix Final this season and was third in the 2013 world championships.


Olympic experience: Finished ninth in 2006 and 16th in 2010

ISU world ranking: 1

Outlook: Kostner has been on the podium at the world championship in each of the past three years, winning in 2012 and finishing second to Kim last year. She placed second and third in her two Grand Prix events this season. The five-time European champion is the first Italian woman to win a world title.


Olympic experience: First Games

ISU world ranking: 4

Outlook: Though Wagner fell twice during her free skate at the U.S. championships and finished in fourth place, a selection committee named her to the Olympic team because of her international résumé. She placed fifth at the world championships last year and fourth in 2012; this season, she placed first and second in her two Grand Prix events and was third behind Asada and Lipnitskaya at the Grand Prix Final. She has been working to perfect her combination of two triple jumps, citing that as key to winning a medal.