The Team for Sochi
The U.S. slopestyle and halfpipe Olympic teams were named this weekend after a series of Grand Prix and other qualifying events. The following names, among a few others, will represent the U.S. at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, in February.
Slopestyle skier Nick Goepper became the first American freeskier to cement his Olympic standings after the Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colo., last month.
David Wise will be a front-runner on Team USA's halfpipe team. "I've been saying all along that just qualifying for this super-strong American team is almost the harder challenge than actually competing in the Olympics is going to be, so this is a tremendous relief," Wise said after qualifying.
Maddie Bowman secured her Olympic halfpipe spot last week at Breckenridge, Colo. Next, she'll be defending her X Games Aspen 2013 gold medal. "[X Games] is my favorite event, and it's going to be the perfect place to perfect everything before Sochi," Bowman said.
Brita Sigourney has been dealing with injuries in previous years, but she's strong and healthy heading into her first Olympic Games. She'll be competing in ski halfpipe.
Bobby Brown earned his spot on the slopestyle team after a win in Breckenridge, Colo., last weekend and a silver medal on Friday in Park City, Utah. "It's really getting to where you have to bring your A-game even to qualify at these events," Brown said.
Aaron Blunck, 17, is one of the youngest on the U.S. halfpipe team. "I can tell you, from being involved with the U.S. Freeskiing team, that we're all coming in to win," he says. "We want every step of that podium in Sochi."
Gus Kenworthy is one of few athletes who compete in both slopestyle and halfpipe. On Saturday, he confirmed his slopestyle position on the U.S. Freeskiing team.
After a silver medal on Saturday at the Park City Grand Prix, Keri Herman locked in her place on the slopestyle team. "I'm going to Sochi!!!!!" she tweeted afterward.
Lyman Currier, who will be a rookie at X Games Aspen this week, competes in both slopestyle and halfpipe but made the U.S. halfpipe team for Sochi. "The field is so deep and the U.S. team is so talented, and there are definitely more than four of us who deserve to be in Sochi," Currier said.
Double threat Devin Logan, who skis both slopestyle and halfpipe, earned her spot on the slopestyle Olympic team after a victory in Park City over Canadians Dara Howell and Kaya Turski.
Angeli VanLaanen took three years off from the halfpipe while she battled Lyme disease. Back this season, she now has a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
A few days after the initial team announcement, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association added five additional halfpipe and slopestyle ski athletes to the official Olympic Team, including Joss Christensen for slopestyle, who won the second slopestyle finals at last weekend's Grand Prix in his hometown of Park City, Utah.
Despite missing the U.S. Grand Prix selection events due to injury, Torin Yater-Wallace, the X Games Tignes 2013 gold medalist and X Games Aspen 2013 silver medalist, was added to the U.S. Ski Halfpipe Team. "Those moments when the lights are all bright and you're looking down the halfpipe and intimidated and thinking -- that's the hardest part of it all," says Yater-Wallace.
Annalisa Drew, 20, from Andover, N.H., was named to the women's halfpipe team.
Julia Krass, 16, won the second slopestyle qualifier at the most recent Grand Prix at Park City, Utah, cementing her spot on the U.S. Slopestyle team.
"I never thought it would happen this quick, that's for sure," said Maggie Voisin, the youngest of the athletes U.S. Freeskiing is sending to compete in Sochi. Voisin was added on Tuesday to become part of the Olympic women's slopestyle team.