U.S. Olympic halfpipe team named
MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. -- Shaun White is poised to three-peat.
The two-time defending Olympic halfpipe champion locked up a spot on the U.S. Olympic halfpipe team by winning the final of five qualifiers on Sunday.
In his first run, White posted a score of 96.6, which held throughout the contest and edged Danny Davis' second-run score by 1.6 points. Davis was poised to make the 2010 team before crushing his pelvis in an all-terrain vehicle accident just weeks before Vancouver. At a ceremony following the competition, White, Davis, 2010 Olympian Greg Bretz and U.S. Snowboarding rookie Taylor Gold were named to the U.S. Olympic halfpipe team.
"This has been the craziest journey to get here," said White, "from doing slope and pipe and just the process I go through every single time. I've tried to compare it to the other Olympic qualifications and it just doesn't compare at all. It is its own thing and I really love that about this time around. It's not the same, and for me that's fun."
White qualified for Sochi in slopestyle on Thursday and was joined on the U.S. Olympic team by Sage Kostenberg and Chas Guldemond, who were named to the team on Sunday, as well as Jamie Anderson and Ty Walker on the women's side. Slopestyle is making its Olympic debut in Sochi.
Kaitlyn Farrington posted a 91.4 to win the women's competition, ending 2002 gold medalist Kelly Clark's three-event win streak while earning a spot on the U.S. women's halfpipe team. Clark, who finished second, had already earned her spot with previous qualifier contest wins. Two-time Olympic medalist Hannah Teter finished third. Teter and Arielle Gold, the younger sister of Taylor Gold, were named for the final two spots on the Olympic team following the contest.
Lindsey Jacobellis, Nate Holland, Alex Deibold and Trevor Jacob have also clinched their spots on the U.S. snowboard cross team. Justin Reiter is in good position to be named to the alpine racing team. The remainder of the U.S. Olympic snowboard cross and slalom racer teams, as well as holders of three remaining slopestyle spots, will be named on Tuesday.
Alyssa Roenigk is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.