BEST CHOKE (AMATEUR) - 2002
Kristina Koznick, a world-class skier and native of Burnsville, gained international notoriety by making the U.S. Team when she was 17 years old. A few years later she qualified for the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan. But despite coming in as a favorite, she wiped out and failed to win a medal. Heading toward the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake, Koznick was widely recognized as the top slalom skier in the U.S. and gave off the air of a veteran who had seen all that the world of skiing had to offer. She even went so far as to break from the U.S. Team to train on her own, starting a venture she dubbed "Team Koznick," complete with an e-commerce site that sold about $100,000 worth of custom ski gear. She used some of the money to secure a friend's condo outside of Salt Lake City so she could be alone during the games with her boyfriend-coach Dan Stripp, then made the following prediction: "This time, when I win a medal, I'll know how I got here." But she never even came close. She fell at the end of her first run in the event, and again left the Olympics without any hardware.