Norway, cross-country skiing
The 30-year-old Nordic veteran led athletes across all sports with five Olympic medals in Vancouver.
South Korea, figure skating
Kim won the ladies title at the Vancouver Winter Games, capturing Korea's first Olympic figure skating medal.
Mustafina handily won the all-around title at the World Championships in Rotterdam, besting the field by more than a point. She also took gold in the team event and silver medals in the vault, uneven bars and floor.
Czech Republic, long-track speedskating
The 23-year old was the year's most dominant distance skater, winning gold medals in the 3,000- and 5,000-meter races at the Vancouver Games, where she also took bronze in the 1,500. Sablikova won the allround title at the European Championships in Hamar, Norway and at the World Championships in Heerenveen, Netherlands, bringing her total of world titles to nine.
Soni, 23, had a dominant year in the breaststroke. She won national titles at both 100- and 200-meters, taking the second event by nearly a full five seconds. She then captured three gold medals — two individual and a relay — at the Pan Pacific Championships in Irvine, Calif., setting a championship record each time despite the change to less dynamic swimsuits that the sport required in 2010.
Croatia, track and field
In February, Vlasic set a personal-best (2.06 meters) to win the high jump at the World Indoor Championships in Arnstadt, Germany. Indoors, she recorded the three best jumps in the world and five of the top six.
USA, alpine skiing
Vonn became the first American woman to win the Olympic downhill and later took bronze in the Super-G despite a severely bruised shin that hampered her training. She later suffered a broken finger during a crash in the fog on the giant slalom run, but still won the overall World Cup title for the third straight season and also placed first in the downhill, super-G and combined events.
China, short-track speedskating
Wang became the most decorated Chinese Winter Olympian in history by winning gold medals in the 500-meters, 1,000-meters and 3,000-meter relay at the Vancouver Games. She had also won gold, silver and bronze in 2006 and has 14 world titles to her credit after taking the 500 and 1,000 in Sofia, Bulgaria this year.