The 2012 Halfpipe Skiing Team is Announced During the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix. (USSA/Sarah Ely)
COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO (Dec. 9) – With a host of new action sports events on the docket for the 2014 Olympics just two years away, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) formally announced 2011-12 U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing teams Friday from its training facility at the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix at Copper.
The announcement includes first year teams in slopestyle snowboarding and skiing, as well as halfpipe skiing – all the result of decisions by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) earlier this year to bring the events into the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The USSA named 21 athletes to U.S. Snowboarding halfpipe and slopestyle teams, and 17 to U.S. Freeskiing.
Halfpipe athletes have had outstanding training in Copper's early-opening 22-foot pipe preparing for the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix opener this weekend at the Colorado resort.
U.S. Freeskiing Teams Confirmed The USSA also confirmed the halfpipe and slopestyle skiing teams it nominated earlier this year as a result of the IOC decision.
Nine athletes were confirmed on the U.S. Freeskiing Halfpipe Pro Team including X Games champions Jen Hudak (Salt Lake City) and Simon Dumont (Bethel, ME). The IOC gave the green light to halfpipe skiing last April.
In slopestyle, 10 athletes were confirmed to the U.S. Freeskiing Slopestyle Pro Team. The inaugural team is headlined by AFP Slopestyle Tour Champion Bobby Brown (Denver, CO), World Championship gold medalist Alex Schlopy (Park City, UT), World Championship bronze medalist Keri Herman (Breckenridge, CO), X Games gold medalist Sammy Carlson (Hood River, OR) Dew Tour winner Tom Wallisch (Salt Lake City) and reigning U.S. halfpipe champ Devin Logan (West Dover, VT).
Slopestyle skiing was incorporated as an Olympic sport this past July. Athletes are judged on runs in which they perform tricks on a series of jumps, rails, boxes and other features of a manmade slopestyle course.
Former pro freeskiing athletes Andy Woods and Evan Raps have been named coaches. Woods will head the Halfpipe Pro Team with X Games medalist Evan Raps leading slopestyle.
The Halfpipe Pro Team kicked off its season at the Visa U.S. Halfpipe Grand Prix in Copper this weekend, with the Slopestyle Pro Team on course next week at the opening Dew Tour in Breckenridge.
The North Face, a charter partner of the U.S. Freeskiing program, will also outfit U.S. Freeskiing's halfpipe and slopestyle teams for their 2014 Olympic debut.
U.S. FREESKIING ROSTERS Mike Jankowski, Head U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing Coach
2012 U.S. Freeskiing Halfpipe Pro Team - Andy Woods, Coach Men Simon Dumont (07/09/1986; Bethel, ME) David Wise (06/30/1990; Reno, NV) Torin Yater-Wallace (12/02/1995; Snowmass, CO) Tucker Perkins (01/05/1991; North Hampton, NH) Gus Kenworthy (10/01/1991; Telluride, CO)
Women Devin Logan (02/17/1993; West Dover, VT) Jen Hudak (09/07/1986; Park City, UT) Jess Reedy (06/04/1983; Avon, CO) Brita Sigourney (01/17/1990; Carmel, CA)
2012 U.S. Freeskiing Slopestyle Pro Team - Evan Raps, Coach (birthdate; hometown) Men Bobby Brown (06/05/1991; Denver, CO) Sammy Carlson (01/11/1989; Hood River, OR) Gus Kenworthy (10/01/1991; Telluride, CO) Alex Schlopy (07/25/1992; Park City, UT) Tom Wallisch (07/22/1987; Salt Lake City, UT)
Women Ashley Battersby (01/27/1988; Park City, UT) Grete Eliassen (09/19/1986; Salt Lake City, UT) Keri Herman (08/16/1982; Breckenridge, CO) Devin Logan (02/17/1993; West Dover, VT) Meg Olenick (12/30/1987 Aspen, CO)