A knee injury denied Vonn the chance to come to Russia to defend her downhill title. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer, File)
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The absence of injured skier Lindsey Vonn and the shock dethroning of snowboarder Shaun White have created a gaping hole for a new American sporting superstar to fill and grab sponsors' gold from Sochi.The Olympics give huge exposure to athletes from beyond America's staple sports of basketball, football and baseball, but that window is open only briefly and failure means a swift return to relative obscurity. White, once nicknamed "The Flying Tomato" because of his long ginger locks, has used success in the Olympics to become an iconic figure for rebellious teenagers around the world, building a fortune estimated at around $20 million.For White, Sochi has been a humbling experience.Olympic gold looked set to elude Jansen before he clinched victory in the 1,000-meters in Lillehammer in 1994 .
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