The slopes of La Parva, Chile are playing host to the first downhill races of the season as teams from Germany, Italy, France and the USA are competing during prep cams. Tommy Biesemeyer led the USA with a fifth and ninth Tuesday in South American Cup races. Wednesday Biesemeyer was ninth in a super G.
New Zealand Winter Games
Alpine racing closed out last week at the New Zealand Winter Games with Hig Roberts seventh in giant slalom in Coronet Peak.
CROSS COUNTRY – New Zealand Winter Games
Merino Muster, Snow Farm
Simi Hamilton and Jessie Diggins picked up their first wins of the season last weekend, taking titles in the 42k Merino Muster, part of the global Worldloppet series of ski marathons. U.S. Ski Team athletes Jessie Diggins, Simi Hamilton, Sophie Caldwell, Ida Sargent and Julia Kern are at the camp in New Zealand. Course conditions were ideal but visibility was very limited as clouds parked over the ridge line.
Action continued Thursday with Ben Lustgarten and Jessie Diggins taking victories in 10k and 5k freestyle events, with Brian Gregg third for the men and Sophie Caldwell third for the women. In Friday’s classic sprint, Sophie Caldwell led a podium sweep ahead of Ida Sargent and Caitlin Patterson. Lustgarten was second with Ben Saxton third for the men. Lustgarten wrapped up with a win Saturday in a 10k classic mass start ahead of Adam Martin. Diggins won the women’s 5k ahead of Patterson and Sargent.
Snow Farm has become a summer ritual for the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team with outstanding training conditions.
FREESKIING – FIS World Cup
The halfpipe World Cup season kicked off last week with Alex Ferreira taking the win – his second straight after wrapping the season with a victory in Tignes last March. Aaron Blunck was just off the podium in fourth and Birk Irving eighth. The U.S. women were just off the podium led by Annalisa Drew fourth, Carly Margulies fifth and Olympic champion Maddie Bowman sixth.
Next up will be Olympic qualifying when the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix opens at Copper Mountain Dec. 6-8.
NORDIC COMBINED – FIS Grand Prix
Training, Park City
After completion of the first period of the Summer Grand Prix in Europe, the team is back training in Park City, Utah. Two events remain on the summer tour – Sept. 30-Oct. 1 in Planica, Slovenia. Olympic selection events begin with the Nov. 24-26 World Cups in Ruka, Finland. An Olympic Trials will be held at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah Dec. 30 with the winner being nominated to Team USA.
SKI JUMPING – FIS Grand Prix
Men’s HS131m, Hakuba
Abby Ringquist continued what has been a strong series of summer comps leading the U.S. women both days in a Grand Prix at Chaikovsky, Russia. She was 16th Saturday and 18th Sunday. Sarah Hendrickson, who had a pair of top tens earlier, was 18th and 22nd to wrap up the Summer Grand Prix tour.
Olympic selection events begin with the start of the World Cup tour Nov. 17-19 for the men in Wisla, Poland, with the women kicking off Nov 30-Dec. 3 in Lillehammer, Norway. An Olympic Trials event is set for the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah on New Year’s Eve day Dec. 31 with the men’s and women’s winners gaining a nomination to the team.
SNOWBOARDING – FIS World Cup
Olympic qualifying won’t begin until this December, but the American women showcased what is expected to be a strong battle for Team USA spots Saturday, sweeping the podium in the opening World Cup at Cardrona, New Zealand. Chloe Kim led the way with a win over Kelly Clark. Maddie Mastro, who led qualifying, was third. While the World Cup was not a part of Team USA selection, it did tick the box for a host of athletes achieving the single top-30 World Cup result required to compete in the Olympics.
Olympic qualifying begins with the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colo. Dec. 7-9, continuing with the Dew Tour at Breckenridge, Colo. Dec. 15.
Snowboardcross, Cerro Catedral
Olympic selection for snowboardcross began Saturday with stunning results. As expected, five-time World Champion Lindsey Jacobellis took a giant step towards making her fourth Olympic team, finishing second in Cerro Catedral, Argentina. 2014 Olympian Faye Gulini was fifth. The men’s finish was a shocker with veteran Jonathan Cheever taking giant strides towards making his first Olympic team, finishing third. Hagen Kearney was fourth. Four U.S. men were in the top 10 including Nick Baumgartner eighth and Nate Holland 10th.
The opening World Cup was the first Olympic selection event. Both Jacobellis and Cheever earned the top criteria level of one top three World Cup finish. Up to three men and three women will be selected based on that criteria. That will leave one of the deepest U.S. men’s teams ever chasing Cheever when selection events resume.The final World Cup list will be determined at the early October FIS meetings in Zurich.
Sunday, Jacobellis picked up the win in a second World Cup that was not a part of the Olympic Team selection criteria. Faye Gulini was seventh. Mick Dierdorf scored a career first podium in third for the men with Hagen Kearney ninth. The next World Cup is mid-December in Val Thorens, France.
Aerials, Park City
The U.S. Freestyle Ski Team put the Olympic format to test at the Utah Olympic Park Sunday with a test event to give athletes a sense of the qualifying and finals process they will face at the Olympics. Kiley McKinnon was the top women’s finisher in third. Morgan Northrop also made the finals, finishing fifth. Chris Lillis went up against a strong Chinese men’s team to finish fourth.
Olympic selection to determine nominations to Team USA for PyeongChang 2018 are now underway. Around 100 U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes will be nominated during the week of Jan. 22, 2018. Click below for Olympic selection criteria for each sport.
2018 Olympic Selection Criteria