Slopestyle Ski Team Announced
The Toyota U.S. Grand Prix wrapped up Sunday at Mammoth Mountain, Calif. with final objective criteria selections for the Olympic Team announced for slopestyle skiing. Three athletes were recognized as Olympic selections at the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team Nomination Ceremony presented by Visa at the base of Mammoth's Unbound Terrain park. All three achieved their team status through objective selection criteria.
The entire freeski team, including any additional selections based on team quotas, will be announced this coming week.
The team will be headlined by Sochi medalists Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, Colo,) and Nick Goepper (Lawrenceburg, Ind.) It will also be the second Olympics for Maggie Voisin (Whitefish, Mont.), who was injured in the days leading up to the start of the Sochi Olympics four years ago. She was the only objective criteria qualifier for the women.
NBCUniversal will present more than 2,400 hours of coverage across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, USA Network, NBCOlympics.com, and the NBC Sports app - the most ever for a Winter Olympics.
All members of the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team will be confirmed by the United States Olympic Committee when it formally names Team USA this Friday (January 26).
2018 U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM (SLOPESTYLE SKIING)
Nick Goepper, Lawrenceburg, Ind. (03/14/1994) *
Gus Kenworthy, Telluride, Colo. (10/1/1991) *
Maggie Voisin, Whitefish, Mont. (12/14/1998) *
* Past Olympian
PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
Yes, I felt like I was still going to be in my prime and skiing well and going to another games and hopefully another one after this. Nice to meet my goals.
I don’t know if I have another one in the tank. But I felt that at 26 it was still age appropriate. 30 is young in life but old for a freeskier .
I’m just super grateful to make it to another Games. I was injured in Sochi and wasn’t able to compete. But this is nice redemption to be able to show what I can do. There was a lot of emotion when I called my mom. I told myself that day four years ago I would do whatever it took to get back. It’s been a roller coaster four years but I did what I wanted to do.
I haven’t talked to anyone yet. My boyfriend is here and my agent. It was more emotional not making the pipe this time. I definitely cried some tears in my hotel room. It’s nice redemption to make it in slope.
Thanks to social media, before I even knew my phone was blowing up. I was surprised but my mom’s here, a childhood friend and my girlfriend. It’s nice to be able to celebrate it with them.
I’m going to get more sleep - that’s the learning tool I’ll take to Korea. I didn’t get much sleep in Sochi - my heart was racing.
The last Olympics went by in a flash, a whirlwind. This time I want to soak up the experience, really be there for it and make memories that will las t a lifetime.
Last Olympics I was able to soak it up after I got hurt. I stayed to closing ceremony. I’m going in with the same mindset - I’m doing it because I love it.
The biggest advantage of our selection process is it motivates all of the U.S. guys to really be on their game.
Right beforehand, it really incentivizes us to perform well going into the Games.
It’s grueling on the athletes - a lot of stress, sleepless nights. But it’s positive as the U.S. always has the strongest team performing right up to the 11th hour. Hopefully Korea will be a walk in the park.
Choosing the team weeks prior to going to the games really shows who’s best. Yes, it’s stressful. But it shows who’s on top of it just before we go.
To be healthy and stay on top of my game I try to eat healthy meals, spend time with my friends , fly some RC helicopters and play a lot of poker which has kept m y competitive edge sharp.
I have an amazing support system behind me. As much as I wanted to make the team, if God forbid I hadn’t made it, I have family and great p eople in my life. It’s a huge deal but it’s not everything.
Having a strong support system is important. Going home for the holidays and where skiing started for me, mentally gets me ready. Physically it’s not easy getting ready to do what we do - stay strong in the gym and keep the head from going crazy.
I just felt tremendous relief. I had such a roller coaster qualifying process. I had a lot of pressure in pipe. It came down to the last run and I really had to put one down. Just landing a run today and knowing I was through to the finals was a new chapter. It was a sigh of relief.
I came out a little over two years ago. When I did I had no idea what to expect. My close friends and family had been super supportive. But I didn’t know how the industry would react. I painted the worst scenario in my head. It wasn’t like that at all. I had so much encouragement. Last Olympics I had no expectations on me - I had no Olympic sponsors. This time around I’ve signed around 15 Olympic sponsors - partly because of my skiing but also because I’m out. Brands want to get behind someone who is living authentically and I think it’s great.
I think the only way to break down stereotypes and homophobia is to have visibility. Having Adam and I at the Games being out and proud - hopefully if there’s one kid who comes out of the closet it will be a success.
It’s crazy. The sport of free skiing is a family. Gus was there for my last Olympic experience. The last four years we’ve traveled around the world to contests. Just to see Gus and Nick do well - we’re all going through it - its a family.
Switzerland, Norway, Canada - McEacharn, B raaten are all at the top level. I think the competition will be much higher this time around than in Sochi as the depth of the field has increased. the 9th place run compared to Sochi will be much better.
Skiing is at the highest level it’s ever been. The depth of field is so much greater than it’s ever been before. In Sochi our three runs were pretty standout from the field. But now a 90 isn’t a podium run, maybe you make finals.
I’m grateful that my family and friends have the opportunity to go over and experience the Olympics. So I’m looking forward to that and sharing the experience with them.
None of my family was able to be in Sochi. My mom definitely kicks herself for missing that. One of the things I’m most looking forward to is that my family is going. I’m most looking forward to the karaoke.
PyeongChang hosted such a wonderful test event - they were just in awe of what we did. It’s going to be greater this year. I’m excited for my family to be there. Round two - let’s do it!