Final Olympic Selections On The Line This Weekend
It’s the final weekend of Olympic qualifying events and athletes will be putting it all on the line to prior next week’s U.S. Ski & Snowboard's team announcements.
FIS Ski Women’s World Cup - Cortina, ITA
Current overall, slalom and giant slalom leader Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.) returns to the World Cup circuit this weekend for a chance to extend her already sizable 800-plus-point lead. Shiffrin joins teammates Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.), Laurenne Ross (Bend, Ore.), Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, Calif.) and more for a pair of downhills and a super-G Jan. 19-21. Vonn has won a staggering 11 times in Cortina, and Shiffrin was just .03 seconds off of the super-G podium under the sunshine in beautiful Cortina in 2017. The first downhill is scheduled for Jan. 19 and is a make-up race from the canceled event in Val d’Isere, France. Vonn won Wednesday’s downhill training run, with Jackie Wiles (Aurora, Ore.) third and Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, Colo.) fourth. Shiffrin was 13th.
FIS Ski Men’s World Cup - Kitzbuehel, AUT
Veterans Steven Nyman (Sundance, Utah) and Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY) return to competition to lead the American Downhillers down the Streif in the ski racing Mecca known as Kitzbuehel, Austria. Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, Calif.) and Jared Goldberg (Holladay, Utah), who have also been showing great consistency, will also compete in the super-G and downhill events on Friday and Saturday, respectively. The weekend will culminate with slalom Sunday, where David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, Colo.) and Nolan Kasper (Warren, VT) will headline the roster for the Americans. Nyman was second in the first downhill training run Tuesday. Wednesday’s training run was canceled due to snow.
Toyota U.S. Grand Prix - Mammoth Mountain, Calif.
The Toyota U.S. Grand Prix moves to Mammoth Mountain, Calif., for the final Grand Prix event of the season with the remaining Olympic Team selections on the line in freeski and snowboard halfpipe and slopestyle. Who’s in the hunt? Check out the Mammoth Mountain preview to find out.
FIS Freeski World Cup - Nakiska, CAN
A pair of World Cup skicross events are on tap for Jan. 19-20 with four athletes representing the U.S., including Tania Prymak (Goshen, N.Y.) Tyler Wallasch (Acton, Calif.), Brant Crossan (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) and Mazie Hayden (Pittsfield, Vt.).
Putnam Investments Freestyle Cup - Lake Placid, New York
The U.S. Ski Team aerialists compete in their final two Olympic qualification contests this week at the Olympic Jumping Complex Jan. 19-20. Kiley McKinnon (Madison, Conn.) is the only U.S. athlete who has clinched her Olympic spot, so all eyes will be on Ashley Caldwell (Ashburn. Va.), Mac Bohonnon (Madison, Conn.), Jon Lillis (Rochester, N.Y.) and others as they look to land those coveted podium spots.
FIS Freestyle World Cup - Mont Tremblant, CAN
The FIS Freestyle moguls World Cup visits Mont Tremblant, Quebec this weekend for its final pre-Olympic event. The U.S. team will be laying it all on the line as athletes including Troy Murphy (Bethel, Maine), Brad Wilson (Butte, Mont.), Keaton McCargo (Telluride, Colo.) and Tess Johnson (Vail, Colo.) look to get themselves in the best position to be named to the Olympic team next week. Jaelin Kauf (Alta, Wyo.) and Morgan Schild (Rochester, N.Y.) clinched their Olympic spots last week with two podium results each at Deer Valley Resort, Utah.
FIS Cross Country World Cup - Planica, SLO
It’s a full-on classic weekend in Planica, Slovenia as the entire U.S. Ski Team comes back together. A host of athletes, including Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) and Sadie Bjornsen (Anchorage, Alaska), took last weekend off but will be back in the lineup for final Olympic preparation. World Cup selection for the Olympics has concluded with the full team announcement to come next week. A classic sprint is set for Saturday, followed by a 15k for men and 10k for women on Sunday. Each event will live streamed on OlympicChannel.com. Diggins is ranked third in the FIS World Cup overall rankings with Bjornsen seventh.
FIS Ski Jumping World Cup - Oberstdorf, GER and Zao, JPN
The men’s ski jumping team heads to Oberstdorf, Germany for the World Ski Flying Championships where Kevin Bickner will look to challenge the U.S. record of 244.5 meters he set last season. Olympic selection via the World Cup has concluded. The women’s World Cup heads to Zao, Japan for two events. Olympic selection is tight with only Sarah Hendrickson, the Olympic Trials winner, having secured a spot. Abby Ringquist’s 23rd-place finish boosted her to become the U.S. leader in World Cup rankings. Both the men’s and women’s Olympic Teams will be announced next week.
FIS Nordic Combined World Cup - Chaux-Neuve, FRA
The Olympic selection process for nordic combined will come right down to the wire. There is just one individual World Cup event remaining, this Saturday in Chaux-Neuve, France. Olympic Trials champion Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat, Colo.), the only athlete to secure a spot so far, has headed home to prepare for the Olympics in Utah. Brother Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) is skipping the World Cup to challenge for an Olympic spot through the Continental Cup with a pair of events in Rena, Norway. The final Olympic Team lineup will be announced next week. The World Cup team this weekend will include Ben Loomis, Jasper Good, Ben Berend and Stephen Schumann. The Continental Cup lineup will include Taylor Fletcher, Grant Andrews, Adam Loomis and Jared Schumate.
FIS Snowboardcross World Cup - Erzurum, TUR
With just one individual World Cup remaining, competition for spots on the men’s Olympic Team will be intense as the first races of the New Year will take place in Erzurum, which therefore becomes the first ever Turkish ski resort to host a SBX World Cup. Only one U.S. man, Jonathan Cheever, has achieved a podium in an Olympic selection event. A half dozen American men will be vying for one of the team spots in Saturday’s World Cup in Turkey. The women’s top spots have already been claimed by Lindsey Jacobellis and Faye Gulini. The snowboardcross squad will be announced with the full snowboard team next week.
HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
*subject to change
4:00 a.m. - Women’s downhill; Cortina – Olympic Channel TV
5:30 a.m. - Men’s super-G; Kitzbuehel – Olympic Channel TV
4:00 p.m. - Men’s super-G; Kitzbuehel – NBCSN Encore (same day broadcast)
4:00 a.m. - Women’s downhill; Cortina – Olympic Channel TV
5:30 a.m. - Men’s downhill; Kitzbuehel – Olympic Channel TV
3:00 p.m. - Men’s downhill; Kitzbuehel – NBC (same day broadcast)
11:00 p.m. - Women’s downhill; Cortina – NBCSN Encore (same day broadcast)
12:00 a.m. - Men’s downhill; Kitzbuehel – NBCSN Encore (same day broadcast)
5:30 a.m. - Women’s super-G; Cortina – Olympic Channel TV
7:00 a.m. - Men’s slalom; Kitzbuehel – Olympic Channel TV
9:00 p.m. - Women’s super-G; Cortina – NBCSN Encore (same day broadcast)
10:00 p.m. - Men’s slalom; Kitzbuehel – NBCSN Encore (same day broadcast)
6:30 a.m. - Women’s giant slalom; Kronplatz – Olympic Channel TV
2:30 p.m. - Men’s slalom; Schladming – Olympic Channel TV
12:00 a.m. - Men’s slalom; Schladming – NBCSN Encore (same day broadcast)
4:00 p.m. Men and women’s slopestyle; Snowmass - NBCSN (re-broadcast)
3:30 p.m. - Men and women’s moguls; Mont Tremblant - Olympic Channel TV
8:00 p.m. - Men and women’s aerials; Lake Placid - Olympic Channel TV (Next day delay)
FREESKI & SNOWBOARD
Toyota U.S. Grand Prix
12:15 p.m – Halfpipe skiing finals; Mammoth – nbcsports.com
5:00 p.m. – Halfpipe skiing finals; Mammoth – NBCSN (same day coverage)
1:00 a.m. – Halfpipe skiing finals; Mammoth – NBCSN (next day coverage)
4:00 p.m. – Slopestyle skiing + snowboarding finals; Mammoth – NBC (same day coverage)
5:00 p.m. – Halfpipe snowboarding finals, Mammoth – NBC (next day coverage)
5:30 a.m. - Men and women’s sprint; Planica - Olympic Channel TV
3:30 a.m. - Women’s 10k; Planica - Olympic Channel TV
9:30 a.m. - Women's Individual; Zao - Olympic Channel TV