Fifty-one of 88 countries that will be represented in Sochi have never won a medal at the Winter Games. Seventeen of those countries will have only one shot in one sport with one athlete to change that history. These are the Games' real underdogs.

The map above shows the 18 countries the athletes represent. Most are from countries that you probably wouldn't immediately associate with winter: Bermuda, the Virgin Islands, Venezuela. Nor is it likely that you've heard of any of the athletes, unless you attended an Ivy League school in the past eight years. All times below are Eastern; unless otherwise indicated, photos are from the Olympics website.

Bermuda

AP

Athlete: Tucker Murphy
Event: Men's 15 km classic downhill
Gold medal competition: February 9, 5:00 a.m.
Likelihood he'll make it on the podium: Low

Murphy competed at the 2010 Games, coming in 88th in his event, but attracted the most attention when he walked out into the opening ceremony wearing Bermuda shorts. He attended Dartmouth College, if you're into New Hampshire.

British Virgin Islands

Athlete: Peter Adam Crook
Event: Men's half-pipe snowboard
Gold medal competition: February 11, 12:30 p.m.
Likelihood he'll make it on the podium: Low

According to BVIOlympics,org, Crook is "currently ranked No. 27 in the world by the Association of Freeski Professionals," which sounds pretty decent. His coach is called "Luke 'OCHO' Allen," which sounds even better.

Cayman Islands

Athlete: Dow Tavers
Event: Giant slalom
Gold medal competition: February 19, 5:30 a.m.
Likelihood he'll make it on the podium: Low

Tavers, who studied at Brown, came in 69th in the event in the 2010 Games in Vancouver. He also broke his collarbone in 2009 playing cricket, so he's kind of a double-threat.

Hong Kong

Athlete: Pan-To Barton Lui
Event: 1500m speedskating
Gold medal competition: February 15, 8:30 p.m.
Likelihood he'll make it on the podium: Medium

Lui's experience in international competition is more robust than other contenders on this list. He placed as high as 26th in World Cup competition last year — not great, but decent.

Kyrgyzstan

Athlete: Dmitry Trelevski
Event: Giant slalom
Gold medal competition: February 9, 2:00 a.m.
Likelihood he'll make it on the podium: Low

Trelevski, a native of Bishkek, is an architect in his day job. He competed in 2010 at Vancouver, failing to finish in the slalom and placing 76th in giant slalom. He competed in the two events in the world championship last year, failing to finish or qualify in both.

Malta

Athlete: Elise Pellegrin
Event: Giant slalom
Gold medal competition: February 18, 5:30 a.m.
Likelihood she'll make it on the podium: Low

Pellegrin will be the first Maltan to compete in the Winter Games (though she is a native of France). In two international competitions last year, she failed to qualify in her events. But that shouldn't hurt her career ambitions: "To become a skiing coach in order to teach French and Maltese children how to ski."

Mexico

AP

Athlete: Hubertus von Hohenlohe
Event: Slalom
Gold medal competition: February 22, 11:15 a.m.
Likelihood he'll make it on the podium: Low

Obviously we already covered von Hohenlohe, given that he is wearing a faux mariachi outfit in competition. Also: "He is a descendent of the royal family of Wurttemberg, a principality of Germany. His father is Prince Alfonso Hohenlohe." In case you were wondering if he was related to those Hohenlohes. He's been in the Olympics since 1984, which was, sadly his best finish.

Nepal

Wikipedia

Athlete: Dachhiri Sherpa
Event: Men's 15km cross country
Gold medal competition: February 14, 5:00 a.m.
Likelihood he'll make it on the podium: Zero

The 2014 Games will be Sherpa's third shot at the Olympics — assuming he is actually competing. (The website for the Games doesn't seem to think he is.) Not that Sherpa was particularly optimistic about his chances. In an interview last month, he predicted that he'd come in dead last. In 2006 he came in 92nd; in 2010, 94th.

Pakistan

Athlete: Muhammad Karim
Event: Giant slalom
Gold medal competition: February 19, 5:30 a.m.
Likelihood he'll make it on the podium: Low

Karim first learned to ski on skis his uncle made. Eventually, the Pakistani Air Force organized a skiing competition that he entered; the military branch still runs the country's ski federation. His goal is a top-50 finish.

Paraguay

Instagram

Athlete: Julia Marino
Event: Women's ski halfpipe
Gold medal competition: February 20, 12:30 p.m.
Likelihood she'll make it on the podium: Medium

Marino is a triple underdog, also competing in the new ski halfpipe competitions introduced in Sochi. She's got deep ties to the United States, having grown up here but holding dual citizenship. Despite being Paraguay's only athlete, she's got some customized gear with her.

Philippines

Athlete: Michael Christian Martinez
Event: Figure skating
Gold medal competition: February 14, 10:00 p.m.
Likelihood he'll make it on the podium: Medium

Martinez is ranked 30th in the world as of February 4. He placed 7th in the Youth Olympic Games in 2012, which he competed in because he is only 17 years old. Can you imagine? 17! I know that's a very old-man sort of thing to say but, jeez. He was not alive during the Atlanta Games in 1996. How is that possible?

Tajikistan

Odnoklassniki

Athlete: Alisher Qudratov
Event: Super-G
Gold medal competition: February 16, 2:00 p.m.
Likelihood he'll make it on the podium: Low

Qudratov was one of the top ten Asian alpine skiiers in 2010 according to a Tajik news site. But I prefer to mention this tidbit from his bio: "He holds the title of Master of Sport." That is a great title. If you like Qudratov, you can hear more from him via his Odnoklassniki.

Timor-Leste

Instagram

Athlete: Yohan Goncalves Goutt
Event: Giant slalom
Gold medal competition: February 19, 5:30 a.m.
Likelihood he'll make it on the podium: Low

Goutt's Facebook page lays out his interests clear as day: "SKINNNNNNNGG." He is also interested in fashion. He's the first Winter Games athlete from East Timor, and helped found the country's ski association.

Tonga

Banani crashes in 2010 (AP)

Athlete: Bruno Banani
Event: Luge
Gold medal competition: February 9, 11:40 p.m.
Likelihood he'll make it on the podium: Low

Banani failed to qualify in the world championships each of the last three years. But that's not interesting. What's interesting is that he gave up his birth name, Fuahea Semi, to take the name of a men's underwear line as part of a marketing stunt. Yes.

Also: "He responded to a call from Princess Salote Mafile'o Pilolevu Tuita, who was looking for an athlete to represent Tonga at the Olympic Winter Games. At the time, he was a computer science student and a member of the Tongan military, and had never sat on a luge before." This guy.

Venezuela

Athlete: Antonio Jose Pardo Andretta
Event: Giant slalom
Gold medal competition: February 19, 5:30 a.m.
Likelihood he'll make it on the podium: Low

Pardo Andretta is something of a mystery. His track record is spotty in competition, so he's probably not much of a threat to the estimated 200,000 other people competing in giant slalom. But we couldn't even find a picture of him. So maybe he is a secret agent super spy or something, who knows.

U.S. Virgin Islands

Athlete: Jasmine Campbell
Event: Giant slalom
Gold medal competition: February 18, 5:30 a.m.
Likelihood she'll make it on the podium: Low

Her mother was skiing in a World Cup race while she was pregnant, Campbell claims, which is either an indication of serendipity or insanity. Her father competed in the Olympics in 1992.

Zimbabwe

Steyn is at left (Twitter)

Athlete: Luke Steyn
Event: Giant slalom
Gold medal competition: February 19, 5:30 p.m.
Likelihood he'll make it on the podium: Low

Steyn, who lived in Zimbabwe the first two years of his life, is the best place to end this list, and not only because, you know, Z. Giant slalom, studied in the United States, etc. Checks a lot of boxes. "He might not get a gold, but there's plenty of time," says the head of the country's Snow Sports Association. Since records began being kept, snow has fallen in Zimbabwe once.