Winter Games Athletes
A veteran of four previous Olympics, Tsuper heads to Sochi with somewhat diminished expectations in a women's aerials field that includes Chinese gold-medal favorite Xu Mengtao and Australian star Lydia Lassila. At the 2010 Vancouver Games, Tsuper competed for Ukraine and finished eighth after winning the qualifying round. She took several years off to have a child before deciding to give it another shot in Sochi with her new nation. Tsuper had been favored to win a medal in her first three Olympics but also fell short in each. Her best finish was a fifth-place result as an 18-year-old at Nagano in 1998. Tsuper's best performances in the world championships were a fourth in 2007 and a fifth two years earlier. She has 27 podiums in World Cup competitions, including eight victories, but her last top-3 finish came in January 2011 due to her extended break. She was the overall World Cup champion in aerials in 2002. Since returning to the circuit this season she has not finished any higher than ninth. Her career got started with victories at the International Youth Championships in 2006 and '07, and she also has four victories among her seven podiums in Europa Cup competitions.