First Olympic halfpipe and slopestyle athletes announced


2014jan21_4788Freeskiing took another historic step towards its Olympic debut as the USSA announced the nomination of 11 halfpipe and slopestyle skiing athletes Saturday night at the conclusion of the U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix.

The five-event qualifying series took selection down to the wire, with nine of the 11 spots determined in the two-event finale at Park City Mountain Resort this weekend.

Additional athletes are expected to be added on a discretionary basis with the formal naming of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team by the United States Olympic Committee is set for Jan. 27.

2014 OLYMPIC HALFPIPE AND SLOPESTYLE NOMINATIONS
NOTE: Only athletes who achieved objective selection criteria are presently nominated. Additional athletes may be added.

Men’s Halfpipe
David Wise, Reno, NV (6/30/1990)
Aaron Blunck, Crested Butte, CO (4/12/1996)
Lyman Currier, Boulder, CO (8/28/1994)

Women’s Halfpipe
Maddie Bowman, S. Lake Tahoe, CA (1/10/1994)
Brita Sigourney, Carmel, CA (1/17/1990)
Angeli VanLaanen, Bellingham, WA (10/24/1985)

Men’s Slopestyle
Nick Goepper, Lawrenceburg, IN (3/14/1994)
Bobby Brown, Breckenridge, CO (6/5/1991)
Gus Kenworthy, Telluride, CO (10/01/1991)

Women’s Slopestyle
Devin Logan, W. Dover, VT (2/17/1993)
Keri Herman, Bloomington, MN (8/16/1983)

 

Men’s Halfpipe Recap

In the men’s halfpipe, Lyman Currier (Boulder, Colo.) and Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, Colo.) joined David Wise (Reno, NV) on the first-ever Olympic team for halfpipe skiing after taking first and second Saturday at the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix. Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, Colo.) rounded out the all-Colorado podium, taking third in the fifth and final qualifier event.

“I went down and did my run and when it came down to it I ended up in second place, securing my spot for Sochi,” said Blunck. “I could not be more stoked right now. I’m speechless. We have X Games next week so I’m going to go ski there and then we have some training after that. I think we’re going to come back to Park City. We’re going to just keep training and keep going.”

“Making the U.S. team is going to be more difficult than it could be to win a medal in Russia,” said Kenworthy. “It’s so deep. There are so many guys that are so talented in both halfpipe and slopestyle from the U.S. that while earning a spot for Russia, you are competing against all of the best. It feels good to make it in slopestyle, and I tried my best in halfpipe, so we will just see what happens.

FINAL TOP-FIVE OLYMPIC QUALIFICATION STANDINGS
1. David Wise 200
2. Aaron Blunck 180
3. Lyman Currier 180
4. Alex Ferreira 160*
5. Gus Kenworthy 140

*Did not achieve minimum criteria of two top-three finishes against the full field.

 

Women’s Halfpipe Recap

Angeli VanLaanen (Bellingham, Wash.) secured her spot on the first-ever Olympic team for halfpipe skiing Saturday with her win at the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix. Brita Sigourney (Carmel, Calif.) put down another impressive run finishing second with double-threat Devin Logan (West Dove, Vt.) in third.

“I’m on top of the world right now,” said VanLaanen. “I just went out and skied my best and it felt amazing to land my run and it’s a dream come true to be on the team on Sochi. It means the world to me to be a part of this inaugural team going to Sochi for the first Olympics that we’re included in. So many people have put so much into making this sport get to this level where we’re include. So, it’s an honor.”

“There was definitely less pressure going into tonight,” Sigourney. “Last night was just such a relief, such a weight off my shoulders. It’s just so nice to have that 100-percent confirmation that I’m going to Russia. So I just came out tonight and wanted to land my run. That was really my only goal and I know I bobbled a little bit, but I’m definitely happy that I put down a cleaner run.”

FINAL TOP-FIVE OLYMPIC QUALIFICATION STANDINGS
1. Maddie Bowman 200
2. Brita Sigourney 180
3. Angeli VanLaanen 180
4. Annalisa Drew 140*
5. Devin Logan 120*

*Did not achieve minimum criteria of two top-three finishes against the full field.

 

Men’s Slopestyle Recap

“Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, Colo.) claimed a spot on the first-ever U.S. Olympic team for slopestyle skiing Saturday with his second-place finish at the final event of the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix Tour at Park City. Local favorite Joss Christiansen (Park City, Utah) stomped the victory in front of a crowd of family and friends while Bobby Brown (Breckenridge, Colo.) skied into third after clinching his Sochi spot Friday.

“It feels incredible. It’s such an honor,” said Kenworthy. “The Olympics have been a lifelong dream even before it was involved in our sport, and ever since it has been I’ve wanted to go.”

“Even though I didn’t have to compete, I did because I wanted to go skiing,” said Brown. “It was perfect weather out and I would have been bummed if I was just watching at the bottom, so I just decided to go out to have a good time. … It will be so nice to travel to Sochi with someone that I’ve known my whole entire life. I’m looking forward to hanging out with Gus in Russia.”

FINAL TOP-FIVE OLYMPIC QUALIFICATION STANDINGS

1. Nick Goepper 200
2. Bobby Brown 180
3. Gus Kenworthy 140
4. Joss Christiansen 150 *
5. Alex Schlopy 150 *

*Did not achieve minimum criteria of two top-three finishes against the full field.

 

Women’s Slopestyle Recap

Keri Herman (Bloomington, Minn.) clinched her spot on the first-ever U.S. Olympic team for slopestyle skiing with her second-place finish Saturday morning at the fifth and final Olympic qualifier at the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix. Julia Krass (Hanover, N.H.) took the win on the Kings Crown slopestyle course while Canadian Dara Howell slipped into third.

“I just want to be able to ski the best I can ski, and if I do my personal best, no matter where I end up, I’m going to be happy,” said Herman. “I’m just trying to stay focused on myself and how I can be the best person I can be in skiing and in everything. I’ve been doing that so I’m feeling pretty mentally stable. Physically I’m feeling good. I’ve got a few issues I’m working on, but no pain no gain.”

FINAL TOP-FIVE OLYMPIC QUALIFICATION STANDINGS
1. Devin Logan 200
2. Keri Herman 180
3. Julia Krass 160 *
4. Maggie Voisin 160 *
5. Darian Stevens *

*Did not achieve minimum criteria of two top-three finishes against the full field.

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