FREESTYLE SKIING & SNOWBOARDING
U.S. Ski & Snowboard has contenders that range in age from 17 to 32, with everyone from Olympic newcomers to two-time defending champions. A group of 32 athletes — 16 men, 16 women — has been selected to participate in five competitions, including big air skiing, which will make its Olympic debut. In addition, a new mixed team aerials event has been added for these Games.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced Friday a contingent of 26 snowboarders who will represent the U.S. next month at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. Adding to that medal count is a good bet with both defending champs in halfpipe and slopestyle on the roster, not to mention stars like five-time snowboardcross world champ Lindsey Jacobellis and reigning men’s world champ Mick Dierdorff on the roster.
The slopestyle and big air teams come into the 2022 Games following a dominating qualifying season. Two-time Olympic medalist Nick Goepper and returning Olympians Alex Hall and Maggie Voisin head to Beijing with Olympic tryout event podiums. Caroline Claire enters her second Games as the top-ranked U.S. woman in FIS points, alongside Darian Stevens. First-time Olympians include Colby Stevenson, Mac Forehand, and Marin Hamill.
The figure skating team event will be contested first in Beijing. After winning bronze medals in Sochi and PyeongChang, Team USA is expected to battle Russia and Japan for podium spots in Beijing. Nathan Chen enters Beijing favored for gold, but he is by no means a shoo-in: the American will have to fend off a talented Japanese squad, including two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu. Two ice dance teams, Madison Chock and Evan Bates, and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, have realistic shots at the podium.
The alpine team headed to China to represent Team USA includes 17 athletes—11 women and 6 men—and is headlined by two-time Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin. The Beijing Games will mark Shiffrin’s third Olympic bid, where she’s expected to enter in all five major individual disciplines, including slalom, giant slalom, super-G, downhill, and alpine combined.
Bryce Bennett, Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Tommy Ford, Travis Ganong, Tricia Mangan, and Jacqueline Wiles will also be joining Shiffrin as Olympic veterans. Each has at least one Olympic bid under their belt, though Ganong and Wiles will make their first appearance at a Winter Games since 2010 after missing the selection criteria for the 2018 Games.
First-time Olympians named to the 2022 Olympic Alpine Team include Paula Moltzan, Katie Hensien, AJ Hurt, Maureen Lebel, Nina O’Brien, River Radamus, and Luke Winters. All of these athletes, like the veterans named above, were nominated to this year’s Olympic team after securing one or more top-three, top-five, or top-10 finishes in World Cup races during the 2021-’22 World Cup season.