"To start, I lean forward and tilt my ankles up to bring my skis almost parallel to my body. Then I move my skis into a V-shape because I'll catch more air in that position. I try to keep my body as still as possible to combat wind resistance and earn style points."
Hendrickson, 19, has already landed almost 10,000 jumps in her life. "People ask if I freak out about flying so high, but I've done it so much, I don't get nervous anymore," says the reigning world ski jumping champion, who started alpine skiing at age 2 and launched herself off a ramp five years later. The 5-foot-4 wunderkind can soar up to 437 feet and, provided she has fully recovered from right knee surgery, is a podium contender in the women's K90 (70-meter) event, which makes its Olympic debut in Sochi. Here's how she takes flight. -- Matt McCue