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Slopestyle Ski Team Announced

By Tom Kelly
January, 21 2018
Slopestyle Team
Maggie Voisin, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper are heading to PyeongChang, proudly wearing their The North Face team jackets. (Sarah Brunson)

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)
Men's Slopestyle

Nick Goepper, Lawrenceburg, Ind. (03/14/1994) *
Gus Kenworthy, Telluride, Colo. (10/1/1991) *
 
Women's Slopestyle
Maggie Voisin, Whitefish, Mont.  (12/14/1998) *
* Past Olympian

PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

Nick Goepper
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.

Gus Kenworthy
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 .
 
Maggie Voisin
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.

Gus Kenworthy
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.

Nick Goepper
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.

Nick Goepper
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.

Gus Kenworthy
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. 

Maggie Voisin
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.

Gus Kenworthy
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. 

Nick Goepper
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.

Maggie Voisin
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.

Nick Goepper
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.
 
Maggie Voisin
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.

Gus Kenworthy
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.

Maggie Voisin
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.

Nick Goepper
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.  

Gus Kenworthy
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.

Nick Goepper
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.

Gus Kenworthy
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.

Maggie Voisin
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!

Two Olympic Medalists to Return

By Tom Kelly
January, 21 2018
Gus Kenworthy
Gus Kenworthy celebrates his clinching a spot on the Olympic Team with teammate Nick Goepper as qualifying ended Sunday at Mammoth Mountain with the final Toyota U.S. Grand Prix. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Sarah Brunson)

An Olympic selection process that began a full year ago in Mammoth Mountain came full circle Sunday. On the final day of a hotly-contested battle for slopestyle skiing Olympic berths, Olympic silver medalist Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, Colo.) and bronze medalist Nick Goepper (Lawrenceburg, Ind.) finally sealed their spots to return. Gold medalist Joss Christensen (Park City, Utah), who made a valiant effort in returning from a late-season knee injury, came ever so close to vying for a return ticket.

Coming into the final two selection events for the men, none of the three objective spots had been claimed. Goepper and Kenworthy needed only a podium in one of the two men's competitions to clinch outright. After he missed qualifying for the morning World Cup, Kenworthy came back in the afternoon to make a statement on his first run with a 94.8, holding on to finish second and gain a ticket to PyeongChang.

Goepper joined Kenworthy on the podium, finishing third. Alex Hall (Park City, Utah) was fifth as Canada's Evan McEachran took the win with a giant 96.40 on his second run.

In the opening FIS World Cup event Sunday morning, Canada's Teal Harle took the men's win. No Americans cracked the podium, but Goepper clinched his Olympic spot by virtue of two earlier podiums with only one event remaining. Tiril Sjaastad Christiansen of Norway took the women's win with Caroline Claire (Manchester Center, Vt.) finishing third. 

Maggie Voisin (Whitefish, Mont.), who was the only American to clinch a women's Olympic spot by objective criteria, sat out the competition.

The athletes will now head to the X Games in Aspen before winging their way to South Korea in early February for the Olympic Winter Games. The remainder of the Olympic Freeski Team will be announced this coming week.

RESULTS
Men's Slopestyle #1
Women's Slopestyle #1

Men's Slopestyle #2

Chodounsky Grabs Olympic Spot

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
January, 21 2018
Chodounsky Kitz 1-21-18
David Chodounsky finished 15th in Sunday's FIS Ski World Cup slalom in Kitzbuehel, Austria. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Alexis Boichard)

David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, Colo.) led the way for the U.S. Ski Team, finishing 15th in Sunday’s FIS Ski World Cup slalom in Kitzbuehel, Austria, to secure his place on the U.S. Olympic Team for next month’s Games in PyeongChang. Nolan Kasper (Warren, Vt.), who returned to the World Cup circuit after nearly three years battling injuries, also qualified for his third Olympic Team based on his World Cup ranking in slalom.

“After the rough January that I had, I’m really happy,” Chodounsky said about putting together two solid runs Sunday. “I stuck to my game plan and did what I wanted. I definitely could have pushed a little more in that second run. But I had a solid run. Fifteenth place, not bad.”

Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen took the victory over Austria’s Marcel Hirscher. Switzerland’s Daniel Yule was third. Chodounsky was the lone American to qualify for the second run and will lead the U.S. Ski Team into Tuesday’s evening slalom in Schladming, Austria.

“There is another race coming up, so this is just a little confidence boost,” Chodounsky said. “The plan is to get some World Cup points, make sure I stay in the top 30, then I can go hammer.”

RESULTS
Men’s slalom

HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Sunday, Jan. 21
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)

Tuesday, Jan. 23
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)

Olympic Selection Update

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
January, 21 2018
Laurenne Ross
Just 10 months after a serious knee injury, Laurenne Ross earned a return trip to the Olympics. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Christophe Pallot)

Jan. 21, 2018 - On the final day of Olympic selection for most sports, several new spots were clinched based on objective criteria. Olympic medalists Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, Colo.) and Nick Goepper (Lawrenceburg, Ind.) took it right down to the wire on the last day of Olympic selection to claim objective spots in men's slopestyle skiing.

Just 10 months after a significant knee injury, Laurenne Ross (Bend, Ore.) confirmed her Olympic spot after the final event Sunday in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. Ross scored a top-10 finish in Val d'Isere in December that held up to put her on the team. Also qualifying in super-G were Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) and Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.). After the final men’s slalom, David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, Colo.) and Nolan Kasper (Warren, Vt.) qualified based on World Cup ranking in slalom. Kasper returned to the World Cup after nearly three years battling injuries earlier this week to earn his spot in his first World Cup back.

All of the objective qualifiers from snowboarding halfpipe and slopestyle/big air plus freeski halfpipe were honored Saturday night at Mammoth Mountain during the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix.

Team announcements are scheduled for this coming week and will be sequenced whenever final team sizes are known.
 

Jan. 20, 2018 - Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) earned a shot at repeating her 2010 Olympic downhill gold as she clinched an Olympic Team spot with a win in the final downhill at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. Jackie Wiles (Bend, Ore.) was third to make her second Olympic Team. Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.) also qualified with her two downhill podiums this season. A fourth downhill position may be added this week. In Kitzbuehel, Jared Goldberg (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, Calif.) sealed their downhill spots on the Olympic Team.

Jonathan Cheever (Saugus, Mass.) claimed his Olympic spot when no other athletes were able to unseat him in selection events. Cheever scored a podium in the season opener last summer.

At Mammoth Mountain, the day kicked off with the final slopestyle snowboarding contest of the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix. Hailey Langland (San Clemente, Calif.) and Julia Marino (Winchester, Mass.). Kyle Mack (West Bloomfield, Mich.) took the men's win to claim the final remaining objective criteria spot. Closing out the evening, Kelly Clark (Mt. Snow, Vt.) and Maddie Mastro (Wrightwood, Calif.) claimed halfpipe snowboarding nominations.

Jan. 19, 2018 - In a hotly contested Toyota U.S. Grand Prix halfpipe skiing finale, final objective spots for the Olympic Team were claimed. Brita Sigourney (Carmel, Calif.) sealed a return Olympic berth with a win. Devin Logan (W. Dover, Vt.) also sealed a return, but this time in halfpipe. Logan is still in contention for a slopestyle spot. In the men's halfpipe, Alex Ferreira (Aspen, Colo.), who narrowly missed in 2014, earned a spot finishing second. Torin Yater-Wallace (Aspen, Colo.) claimed a return spot. Defending gold medalists David Wise (Reno, Nev.) and Maddie Bowman (S. Lake Tahoe, Calif.) had already clinched spots. Additional fourth spots for men and women may be named next week.

In the final men's super-G of the selection period, Tommy Biesemeyer (Lake Placid, N.Y.) and Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, N.Y.) claimed Olympic spots based on World Cup rankings. Weibrecht has medaled in super-G the last two Olympics.

Jan. 14, 2018 - Olympic selection continued on Sunday, but there were no new athletes achieving objective criteria for selection. In men's slopestyle skiing Sunday in the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Aspen-Snowmass, Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, Colo.) took the men's win over Nick Goepper (Lawrenceburg, Ind.). It was Kenworthy's first podium of the selection period, second for Goepper. But it was not enough for either to mathematically clinch one of the three objective criteria spots. It will now come down to the final two slopestyle contests at Mammoth Mountain.

Jan. 13, 2018 - Shaun White (Carlsbad, Calif.) led three Americans to PyeongChang Saturday at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix in Aspen-Snowmass with all three clinching Olympic berths. White will make his fourth Olympic team, first for Ben Ferguson (Bend, Ore.) and Jake Pates (Eagle, Colo.), who won Youth Olympic Games gold two years ago.

Earlier in the day at Aspen, Maggie Voisin (Whitefish, Mont.) nailed a repeat spot in slopestyle skiing.

Cross country ended its World Cup selection with a freestyle sprint in Dresden, Germany. New team qualifiers with a top 50 World Cup sprint ranking included Ida Sargent (Orleans, Vt.), Simi Hamilton (Aspen, Colo.) and Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, Vt.).

Jan. 12, 2018 - Teen Red Gerard (Silverthorne, Colo.) rocketed to his second Olympic qualifying win at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix in Aspen-Snowmass Friday to claim a slopestyle snowboarding spot in PyeongChang. Olympic champions David Wise (Reno, Nev.) and Maddie Bowman (S. Lake Tahoe, Calif.) claimed their halfpipe skiing spots and will defend their Sochi titles. At the Visa Freestyle International in Deer Valley, aerials skier Kiley McKinnon (Madison, Conn.) sealed her first Olympic Team spot.

Jan. 11, 2018 - Jaelin Kauf (Alta, Wyo.) and Morgan Schild (Rochester, N.Y.) clinched Olympic berths with their finishes in the Visa Freestyle International World Cup moguls events in Deer Valley. With just one event remaining in the Olympic selection period, both have achieved two top three World Cup finishes and have mathematically sealed a spot.

Jan. 9, 2018 - Resi Stiegler (Jackson, Wyo.) clinched her spot on a third Olympic team after the final slalom of the selection period. Stiegler qualified based on her World Cup ranking behind slalom leader Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.).

Dec. 31, 2017 - Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) earned a spot on his second Olympic Team with a win in nordic combined. Mike Glasder (Cary, Ill.) clinched his first Olympic berth with a ski jumping victory while Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, Utah) claimed a return trip with her women's ski jumping win.x

Olympic selection continues in most sports through next weekend with full teams being announced the week of January 22.

Selection Notes
This update is as of the noted date and subject to change through the selection period. Update includes only those athletes who have achieved the top levels of objective selection criteria, which does not guarantee a spot on the team. Final team announcements will be made the week of Jan. 22, subject to USOC approval.
 
Alpine (selection period runs through Jan. 22)
Bryce Bennett (top 10 alpine combined; World Cup ranking downhill) ^
Tommy Biesemeyer (World Cup ranking SG) ^
Ryan Cochran-Siegle (World Cup ranking alpine combined) ^
Tommy Ford (World Cup ranking GS) ^
Jared Goldberg (top 10 downhill) ^
Ted Ligety (top 5 giant slalom) ^
Megan McJames (World Cup ranking GS) ^
Laurenne Ross (top 10 super G) *
Mikaela Shiffrin (top 3 downhill, top 5 super G, top 3 giant slalom, top 3 slalom) ^
Resi Stiegler (World Cup ranking SL) ^
Lindsey Vonn (top 3 downhill) ^
Andrew Weibrecht (World Cup ranking SG) ^
Jackie Wiles (top 3 downhill) ^
^ Qualified for U.S. Olympic Team
* Achieved objective qualification criteria

Cross Country (selection period runs through Jan. 15)
Erik Bjornsen (top 50 World Cup ranking in distance, sprint) ^
Sadie Bjornsen (top 8 in designated selection event) ^
Rosie Brennan (top 50 World Cup ranking in distance, sprint) ^
Sophie Caldwell (top 8 in designated selection event) ^
Jessie Diggins (top 8 in designated selection event) ^
Simi Hamilton (top 50 World Cup ranking in sprint) ^
Andy Newell (top 50 World Cup ranking in sprint) ^
Kikkan Randall (top 50 World Cup ranking in sprint, distance) ^
Ida Sargent (top 50 World Cup ranking in sprint) ^
Liz Stephen (top 50 World Cup ranking in distance) ^
^ Qualified for U.S. Olympic Team
* Achieved objective qualification criteria as of rankings on Jan. 6 (rankings subject to change through Jan. 15)
 
Freeski (selection period runs through Jan. 21)
Maddie Bowman (mathematically clinched qualifying series points in halfpipe) ^
Alex Ferreira (mathematically clinched qualifying series points in halfpipe) ^
Nick Goepper (mathematically clinched qualifying series points in slopestyle) ^
Gus Kenworthy (mathematically clinched qualifying series points in slopestyle) ^
Devin Logan (mathematically clinched qualifying series points in halfpipe) ^
Brita Sigourney (mathematically clinched qualifying series points in halfpipe) ^
Maggie Voisin (mathematically clinched qualifying series points in slopestyle) ^
David Wise (mathematically clinched qualifying series points in halfpipe) ^
Torin Yater-Wallace (mathematically clinched qualifying series points in halfpipe) ^
 
Freestyle (selection period runs through Jan. 21)
Jaelin Kauf (2 top 3 moguls) ^
Kiley McKinnon (2 top 3 aerials) ^
Morgan Schild (2 top 3 moguls) ^
* Achieved objective qualification criteria
 
Nordic Combined (selection period runs through Jan. 22)
Bryan Fletcher (winner Olympic Trials) ^
^ Qualified for U.S. Olympic Team
 
Ski Jumping (selection period runs through Jan. 21)
Mike Glasder (winner Olympic Trials) ^
Sarah Hendrickson (winner Olympic Trials) ^
^ Qualified for U.S. Olympic Team
 
Snowboard (qualifying through Jan. 21)
Jamie Anderson (mathematically clinched qualifying series points in slopestyle) ^
Jonathan Cheever (top 3 in designated snowboardcross selection event) ^
Kelly Clark (clinched objective spot in halfpipe in qualifying series) ^
Ben Ferguson (clinched objective spot in halfpipe in qualifying series) ^
Red Gerard (mathematically clinched qualifying series points in slopestyle) ^
Chris Corning (mathematically clinched qualifying series points in slopestyle) ^
Faye Gulini (top 3 in designated snowboardcross selection event) ^
Lindsey Jacobellis (top 3 in designated snowboardcross selection event) ^
Chloe Kim (clinched objective spot in halfpipe in qualifying series) ^
Hailey Langland (mathematically clinched qualifying series points in slopestyle) ^
Maddie Mastro (clinched objective spot in halfpipe in qualifying series) ^
Julia Marino (mathematically clinched qualifying series points in slopestyle) ^
Jake Pates (clinched objective spot in halfpipe in qualifying series) ^
Shaun White (clinched objective spot in halfpipe in qualifying series) ^
^ Qualified for U.S. Olympic Team
* Achieved objective qualification criteria

Vonn Sixth in Cortina Super-G

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
January, 21 2018
Vonn Cortina
Lindsey Vonn finished sixth in Sunday’s FIS Ski World Cup super-G in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. (Getty Images/AFP - Tiziana Fabi)

Battling headwinds, crosswinds and blowing snow, Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) salvaged a sixth-place finish to lead the U.S. Ski Team at the FIS Ski World Cup super-G in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, Sunday.

“I’m not mad, I’m just a little bit frustrated,” Vonn said after her run where midway down the course strong winds blew up clouds of snow, reducing visibility and changing the snow surface. “Sometimes this happens in ski racing, where the races aren’t really fair and the wind comes, the light comes, the clouds come, but I tried my best and I’m happy with my skiing. But unfortunately, I just wasn’t very lucky today.”

Swiss Lara Gut picked up her 24th career World Cup victory, with Italy’s Johanna Schnarf in second and Austria’s Nicole Schmidhofer in third. Jackie Wiles (Aurora, Ore.) was 19th; Laurenne Ross (Bend, Ore.) 21st; and Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, Colo.) was 23rd. Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.) had an uncharacteristic DNF after getting low and late on a gate midway down the course. 

Sunday’s event was the final opportunity for athletes to achieve Olympic Selection Criteria. Based upon results this season, Ross, who suffered a significant knee injury last March, met the criteria after scoring a top-10 super-G finish in Lake Louise. Vonn and Shiffrin also qualified.

Despite Sunday’s super-G results, the weekend was very successful for the U.S. ladies with Vonn and Shiffrin going 2-3 in Friday’s downhill, and Vonn and Wiles going 1-3 in Saturday’s downhill.

“I’m still very happy with the weekend,” Vonn said. “I’m happy with the way I’m skiing and I have a lot of confidence now going into February. We still have some more races before the Olympics, but this is a good place for me to be and yesterday’s win was amazing.”

Shiffrin continues to lead the overall World Cup standings heading into Tuesday’s giant slalom in Kronplatz, Italy.

RESULTS
Women’s super-G

HOW TO WATCH
All times EST 
Sunday, Jan. 21
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)

Tuesday, Jan. 23
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)

Strong Classic Weekend for Diggins

By Tom Kelly
January, 21 2018
Jessie Diggins
Jessie Diggins prepares to start on the 10k classic World Cup at Planica.

Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) capped of a strong classic weekend with a top 10 in a 10k classic at Planica, Slovenia. Diggins was 10th behind first time race winner Krista Parmokoski of Finland. A day earlier Diggins was fourth for her best ever classic sprint. The upcoming Olympic sprint will be classic technique.

Caitlin Patterson (Anchorage), who just swept all four titles at the L.L.Bean U.S. Cross Country Championships, was a strong 20th with Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) 23rd.

Scott Patterson (Anchorage) led the U.S. men in 43rd as Alexeyk Poltoranin of Kazakhstan took the win.

The World Cup now heads to Austria for a pre-World Championships visit to Seefeld.

RESULTS
Men's 15k Classic 
Women's 10k Classic 

One More Time for Kelly Clark

By Tom Kelly
January, 20 2018
Kelly Clark
Kelly Clark tops the podium to earn a berth in her fifth Olympic Winter Games. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Sarah Brunson)

One more time! Kelly Clark (Mt. Snow, Vt.), grande dame of the halfpipe, sealed her spot for a fifth Olympic Winter Games nomination with a win over Chloe Kim (Torrance, Calif.) in the finale of the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix Saturday night in Mammoth Mountain. Maddie Mastro (Wrightwood, Calif.) finished third to clinch the final objective criteria spot for the PyeongChang team.

With the men’s three objective criteria spots already clinched, the evening was a showcase for those seeking a possible fourth discretional spot. Chase Josey (Hailey, Ida.) rose to the occasion, winning on his first run and taking a victory lap to close out the evening. Joey put down a 94.50 on his first run, with Ben Ferguson (Bend, Ore.) second with a 92.25 on his second run. Greg Bretz (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) rounded out the podium in third with an 81.50.

Clark hit an 89.0 on her first run but no one was able to match. Kim, who had already clinched a team spot, was second at 87.00 with Mastro third.

The full Olympic team will be announced next week.

The win will send Clark to PyeongChang for her fifth Olympics. In four previous appearances, she's never finished lower than fourth and has collected three medals including her debut gold in 2002 at Salt Lake City. At the age of 34, she remains one of her sport's most relevant and progressive athletes. Twice the age of Kim, Clark has helped mentor the young rising star who she met while riding at Mammoth Mountain years ago.

With the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix and Olympic snowboarding selection complete, athletes will now head to the X Games in Aspen for a final tuneup before winging their way to South Korea for the Olympics, which open February 9.
 

Loughran and Novak Lead USA Aerialists

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
January, 20 2018
loughran1-20
Eric Loughran scopes out his landing during qualifications at the Putnam Investments Freestyle Cup. (Reese Brown/U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

Eric Loughran (Pelham, N.H.) and Nick Novak (Prince William, Va.) led the charge for the U.S. athletes in Saturday night’s aerials finals at the Putnam Investments Freestyle Cup. It was the final World Cup of the 2017-18 season. Loughran posted his best finish of the season so far in eighth place while Novak made his first World Cup finals and finished 10th. Maddie Varmette (Stafford, Va.) was awarded the 2018 FIS Rookie of the Year award.

The men’s finals competition was once against stacked with a group of very talented jumpers. Russia’s Maxim Burov took home the win followed by Belarusian Anton Kushnir in second and Japan’s Naoya Tabara in third. On the women’s side, Mengtao Xu claimed her second victory of the season. Australia’s Lydia Lassila and Laura Peel landed their second round of podiums this week, finishing second and third. None of the U.S. women made it into finals.

The overall World Cup titles were awarded to Burov and Xu. China took home the Nations Cup, awarded to the team with the highest World Cup points across all competitions, followed by Belarus and Australia. Varmette, who made her first super finals at the Visa Freestyle International last week in Deer Valley, received the rookie of the year award based on coach’s nomination and voting. She finished 26th in Saturday’s competition.

Next up on the aerials competition calendar is the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PeyongChang, South Korea. With all Olympic selection events in the books, the U.S. team headed to PyeongChang will be announced next week.

RESULTS
Men’s aerials
Women’s aerials

Freeskiers Claim Olympic Spots at Mammoth Mountain

By Tom Kelly
January, 20 2018
Freeski Olympic Team
Halfpipe skiing athletes from the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix were announced at the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team Nomination Ceremony presented by Visa at Mammoth Mountain.

With the finale of the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix this weekend at Mammoth Mountain, Calif., the first freeskiing members of the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team were announced. Three men and three women were recognized as Olympic selections in halfpipe skiing at the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team Nomination Ceremony presented by Visa in front of a packed house at the base of Mammoth's Unbound Terrain Park. All six achieved their team status through objective selection criteria.

The slopestyle skiing team will be announced Sunday at Mammoth Mountain. The entire freeski team, including any additional selections based on team quotas, will be announced this coming week.

The team will be headlined by 2014 Olympic gold medalists David Wise (Reno, Nev.) and Maddie Bowman (S. Lake Tahoe, Calif.). Five of the six were on the 2014 team. The only newcomer is Alex Ferreira (Aspen, Colo.).

The final selection events in slopestyle are set for Sunday at Mammoth Mountain including one event for women and two for men.
 
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 (FREESKI)
Men's Halfpipe

Alex Ferreira, Aspen, Colo. (08/14/1994) 
David Wise, Reno, Nev. (06/30/1990) *
Torin Yater-Wallace, Basalt, Colo. (12/02/1995) *
 
Women's Halfpipe
Maddie Bowman, S. Lake Tahoe, Calif. (01/10/1994) *
Devin Logan, W. Dover, Vt. (02/17/1993) *
Brita Sigourney, Carmel, Calif. (01/17/1990) *
 
* Competed in past Olympics
 

ATHLETE PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
Brita Sigourney

I think Sochi was a pretty unpredictable Olympics, especially being my first Olympics ever, but also when we got there things were not exactly as they were promised. I guess it prepared me to not have expectations and to go in just trying to have a good time and enjoy the experience.

Devin Logan
The courses here at Mammoth have always been spectacular, being the last Olympic qualifier, you always want to give it your all and show your best runs. I feel the pipe was on point, especially under the lights, we don’t get to do that often. It was a really cool experience to come down to the corral with a crowd under the lights. As for slopestyle, Mammoth is known for their insane jumps and creative rail lines. This course with the shark fin feature, the first jump I would say, it really let us be creative in the slopestyle course. It was great and prepared us leading into the curved jumps we will see in Korea next month that we also saw a Snowmass.

Alex Ferreira 
Mammoth did a great job getting the event together and organized. It was a tough year with snow for all of the west, so they did a great job. The pipe was pretty icey, that will happen at night, but it was still amazing to be skiing under the lights and it got the people fired up. Thank you Mammoth!

Maddie Bowman 
It’s super cool to come to Mammoth and ski under the lights. It creates a really special atmosphere. Being from Tahoe and coming down here to ski halfpipe growing up, I never thought I would be skiing under the lights at Mammoth at the last Olympic Qualifier, so It was pretty special and brought me back to growing up in California.

Maggie Voisin 
Doing what we do there is obviously going to be a lot of ups and downs. At a young age, I happen to go through a lot, especially with the last Olympics and breaking my ankle, then my first event back from the Olympics I tore my ACL, I mean I was 15 and 16 when I went through those injuries. However, I don’t think I would change anything, they really shaped me as an athlete and a person, I was able to build off those injuries. It’s crazy to sit here today going to my second Olympics. I’m feeling a little bit of redemption and fire from the last games. There’s a lot of ups and downs, but for me I have always believed you need to take the positive out of every situation. Through my ankle and knee injury I learned how to take care of my body mentally and physically, I’m not going to say it was all easy, there was definitely tough times, but it’s made me who I am today. I have had the support of my fellow athletes, family, friends, and the whole U.S. Team and wouldn’t be here today without it.

David Wise 
I have been saying this since the beginning of the year, It started out as a prediction and has come true. This is the strongest team we have ever put together for any sport, any discipline, the U.S. Halfpipe guys will be one of the strongest teams ever. The hardest part of our job this year is done now. We’ve made the team, it certainly wasn’t easy and took a lot of dedication, but we’re here and now we do get to enjoy the ride to Korea. 

Maddie Bowman 
Everyone here can speak to how hard and stressful this process can be, even in the years leading up. My hat just goes off to all the athletes up here. The pressure we go through, the selection process, and there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that everyone has done an amazing job dealing with. 

Alex Ferreira 
I went to a lot of training camps, went to the gym a lot, took care of my body both mentally and physically. Took some time off, but also enjoyed the ride. I am just happy to be here. 

David Wise
I think we as action sports athletes have a bad wrap for being lazy humans, we are just out there for the ride having a good time, but the reality is it takes an insane amount of dedication. At least for myself, I honestly spend more time doing my job in the summer then I do in the winter whether in the gym, riding my mountain bike, trying to get as fit as I possibly can. I was either blessed or cursed with a larger frame then most of the guys up here, so I outweigh them by out 30 pounds or so and that’s not by choice, but rather the body God gave me so I have to spend a little extra time staying in shape so I can take those deep landings when I have a bad take off. That’s my journey, but I bet every athlete up here has a different version of that. Some people are super into Yoga, some are into meditation, it’s different for all of us, each person has their own way of making this work and it's incredibly fascinating to look at it from that side. 

Torin Yater-Wallace 
I tend to be hurt a lot haha, so I try to stay as healthy as I can, but probably spend a quarter of the amount of time in the gym as Dave does, for me it’s all about skiing as much as I can and with that comes getting hurt sometimes. This year has been stressful, I felt a lot of pressure with the lack of snow and a lot of the halfpipes we are dealing with were just being finished the day before, so its been quite the ride. To be here and get it done has been an amazing ride. I’m happy to be feeling good and healthy and go into this next Olympics without having my lungs collapse. I was trying to do my best out there, we have had a different qualifying process this year where we are competing against the whole field and not just each other, so every event you basically had to podium, that added another level of pressure as opposed to the last time just trying to rank yourself against the Americans. I won last year’s Mammoth Grand Prix which was great, but it added a lot of pressure. It took me a lot of tries, but finally at this last one, I was able to put it down on my last run. I was dealing with a pretty verty wall, as David said they did an amazing job putting it together, but with a little bit of new snow, the cut gave the right wall a lot of vert and you are kind of struggling trying to adapt to the pipe. I fell the first two runs because of that and on my last, I took a slightly safer run, but it was good enough to get me on the podium and that’s what I needed. I’m really grateful 

Brita Sigourney
it is really stressful, I really try not to think about that aspect of it. Last night I definitely had an inner battle, I had a really bad warm up, I wasn’t really landing any of my tricks that I never struggle with and it kind of got to my head. I had a moment with my coaches and myself and thought I know how to do these things, I can do it in my sleep, and there’s no reason why I can’t do it when it matters. I had to put those negative thoughts behind me and just put my game face on for the contest. So much about skiing is the mental aspect, if you are able to overcome those hurdles, you can do anything you can set your mind to. For those looking to get into freesking, I would say follow their heart and if she’s having fun to keep doing it, never put pressure on yourself ever, and to do what feels good. 

Snowboarders Claim Olympic Spots at Mammoth

By Tom Kelly
January, 20 2018
Burton Olympic Uniforms
Olympic snowboarders were introduced at Mammoth Mountain during the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team Olympic Nomination Ceremony presented by Visa.

With the finale of the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix this weekend at Mammoth Mountain, Calif., the first snowboarding members of the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team were announced. A dozen athletes were recognized as Olympic selections in halfpipe and slopestyle at the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team Nomination Ceremony presented by Visa in front of a packed house at the base of Mammoth's Unbound Terrain park. All 12 achieved their team status through objective selection criteria.

The entire snowboard team, including any additional selections based on team quotas, plus teams in snowboardcross and parallel giant slalom, will be announced this coming week.

The team will be headlined by two-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White (Carlsbad, Calif.), veteran three-time medalist Kelly Clark (Mt. Snow, Vt.) and rising star Chloe Kim (Torrance, Calif.). The slopestyle athletes will also compete in big air to close out the Olympics, a new addition to the event program.
 
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 (SNOWBOARDING)
Men's Halfpipe

Ben Ferguson, Bend, Ore. (01/21/1995)
Jake Pates, Eagle, Colo. (07/30/1998)
Shaun White, Carlsbad, Calif. (09/03/1986) *
 
Women's Halfpipe
Chloe Kim, Torrance, Calif. (4/23/2000)
Kelly Clark, Mt. Snow, Vt. (07/26/1983) *
Maddie Mastro, Wrightwood, Calif. (02/22/2000)

Men's Slopestyle
Chris Corning, Silverthorne, Colo. (09/07/1999) 
Red Gerard, Silverthorne, Colo. (06/29/2000)
Kyle Mack, West Bloomfield, Mich. (07/06/1997)

Women's Slopestyle
Jamie Anderson, S. Lake Tahoe, Calif. (09/13/1990) *
Julia Marino, Westport, Conn. (09/11/1997)
Hailey Langland, San Clemente, Calif. (08/02/2000)
* Competed in past Olympics
 

PRESS CONFERENCE COMMENTS

Chloe Kim
It’s nice to know you have all these people who have been through it all before to help you. I called Kelly the other day and she helped me through it. It’s really nice of these guys to help - they just really look out for us.

Shaun White
It’s fun for me because I’ve been through it all. To see these guys in the back be so excited - yah, it’s an experience of a lifetime to be an Olympian. You don’t really know that, that is until you go. You become a part of this bigger thing. It’s fun for me to We’re all going together.

Kelly Clark
I love the Olympics - I’ve given my life to pursuing this dream. But it’s easy to get caught up in a lot of things. You should not treat the Olympics as a destination or something that defines you. It should be a part of your snowboarding career. We wouldn’t be here unless we loved what we did.

Shaun White
You get to these goals in life and it’s not always what it seems. You can be the Olympic champion but you sacrifice things along the way. It’s all about your moral compass - is it something you want to pursue, these dreams. Sitting here today, I’m much more of a happier person and comfortable with who I am and what I’ve accomplished than ever before. Growing up in this limelight is a difficult thing to have your words get extended across the world - ‘did I mean to say that?’ You’re wearing your flag and representing your family. I’m proud to be in a sport that’s ever-changing.

Hailey Langland
I didn’t think it was possible to go to the Olympics until last year. I had invitations to these big contests like X Games and that was cool. But my coaches told me the Olympics were a possibility and here I am.

Julia Marino
The Olympics was a possibility in my head when I was 17. I started thinking about it when I was on the Rookie Team when I was 16. To be here now and to finally have that dream come true is pretty special. To be with a bunch of my friends up here is pretty fun.

Chris Corning
We’ve all trained very hard and we’ll have fun. I’ve always wanted to go to the Olympics but it only became a reality a year ago. We had been working so long for it and all of a sudden in a snap we’re here.

Red Gerard
Most of it is we do these contests all year long. It’s an Olympic year so it’s a bonus when you make it.

Maddie Mastro
I was a contest snowboarder and it only hit me this year. It’s unreal and a dream come true.

Chloe Kim
When I went through the Olympic qualifying process when I was 13 I thought more about it. I’m just so stoked to be going with these guys.

Jake Pates
It’s super crazy. For so many years I’ve been idolizing the other people on this team. It’s a super cool journey and nice to see all the hard work pay off. To represent the USA is a dream come true.

Ben Ferguson
Four years ago I almost made it but I was just a kid. I thought maybe in another four years I could possibly make it.

Shaun White
I would love to feel like an underdog, but I don’t. Ever since I can remember I’ve been expected to do well. I’m going in to do my best. Getting the 100 was just the best - all the hard work I had put in was paying off. The coaches just said ‘do the hard stuff.’ What an amazing turn for me to win the event, solidify my spot on the team and get the perfect 100. The Olympics will be awesome but that day will forever be a highlight for me. Maybe I’ll be an underdog in skateboarding.

Chris Corning
Big air will be a totally new aspect of snowboarding. Now having just one jump in such a crazy stadium with people wondering how the judges will score - maybe even a trick that’s never been done before.

Julia Marino
It’s going to be new for everyone to experience big air. It’s great to get a new aspect of snowboarding out there for people to see. The progression of women’s snowboarding has been insane the last few years.