Tanith Belbin, ice dance

Winter sports

Winter sports are more than itchy long johns, dripping snot, and women so bundled up you don't know whether it's a dude or dudette.

Winter sports are sexy, and the United States has one of the hottest winter sports teams in the world with stars such as Julia Mancuso, Lindsey Vonn, and Allison Baver.

Our gallery of the hottest winter sports stars opens with skater Tanith Belbin.

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Tanith Belbin: born July 11, 1984 in Kingston, Ontario. She is a citizen of Canada and the United States, competing for the U.S. in ice dance.

Career facts: With ice dance partner Benjamin Agosto she is ranked 4th in the world. Won silver with Agosto in the ice dance competition 2006 Turin Olympics.

Unable to find a good dance partner in Canada, Belbin moved to Detroit in 1998, where she was partnered with Benjamin Agosto by their coach Igor Shpilband.

They won bronze at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships in their first competitive season. Belbin and Agosto qualified for the 2002 Olympics by placing second at U.S. championships, but were not able to take part because Belbin was not an American citizen.

The couple did not win a medal at the Vancouver Olympics.

Tanith Belbin

Tanith Belbin. [More sports stars]

Did you know? Belbin was fast-tracked to U.S. citizenship by a special act of Congress sponsored by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI). It passed on December 28, 2005, and was signed by President George W. Bush on December 31, 2005. As a naturalized citizen, Belbin was able to compete for the United States at the 2006 Winter Olympics.

Quotes: 2010 starts off with a bang with the U.S. Nationals in Spokane. Then we just have time to catch our breath and launch right into the Winter Games in Vancouver in February, followed by the World Championships in March. Whew, what a schedule! But we're ready for it - we're feeling fit, strong and prepared to compete for gold.

Website: Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto.

GO TO the Julia Mancuso gallery