Who can qualify for the U.S. Olympic freeski team this week at Mammoth?


Last week, the U.S. Olympic freeski team added its first three members.

This week, at least three more skiers will qualify for PyeongChang.

The final set of Olympic selection events for freeski halfpipe and slopestyle are happening this week at Mammoth Mountain, part of the U.S. Grand Prix series. The results will help determine who the U.S. sends to next month’s Winter Olympics in these disciplines.

The U.S. can send no more than four men and four women in each discipline. Up to three of those four spots will be determined through automatic nomination at the qualifying events, with any remaining spots distributed next week at the discretion of the coaching staff. In order to automatically qualify for the team, skiers need to meet “objective criteria” by earning at least two podium finishes during the selection events.

Looking ahead to this week’s contests at Mammoth, a breakdown of each discipline is below.

Men’s halfpipe

After 4 of 5 qualifying events:
1. David Wise, 200** (QUALIFIED)

2. Alex Ferreira, 180**

3. Torin Yater-Wallace, 150*

4. Aaron Blunck, 140**

5. Gus Kenworthy, 116*

6. Taylor Seaton, 92*
**Has fulfilled minimum criteria (two podium finishes)

*Has one podium finish

Because of the country’s tremendous depth in men’s halfpipe, this has been the U.S. freeski team’s most hotly contested battle of the Olympic qualifying period. So far, only David Wise has sewn up a spot for PyeongChang.

Two more skiers will automatically qualify for the team this week. Alex Ferreira has a good chance to get one of those two spots, as there are quite a few scenarios which would qualify him for the team. A top-two finish would do it for sure, but he could also finish lower and get some help.

As previously mentioned, skiers need at least two top-three finishes to meet objective criteria. Right now, only Wise, Ferreira and Aaron Blunck have achieved that. Torin Yater-Wallace, Gus Kenworthy and Taylor Seaton each have just one podium finish so far and will need to, at a minimum, finish top three at Mammoth to be in contention for an automatic bid.

Blunck or Yater-Wallace would qualify for the team with a win. Kenworthy and Seaton might also be able to qualify if they win, but it would depend on where Yater-Wallace finishes.

A fourth spot on the team will be available as a discretionary selection next week, so those that don’t qualify through objective criteria will still have a chance at making the team.

Women’s halfpipe

After 4 of 5 qualifying events:
1. Maddie Bowman, 140** (QUALIFIED)

2. Devin Logan, 130*

3. Brita Sigourney, 130*

4. Annalisa Drew, 95

5. Carly Margulies, 72
**Has fulfilled minimum criteria (two podium finishes)

*Has one podium finish

Devin Logan and Brita Sigourney each have one top-three finish so far but still need one more to meet objective criteria. Both skiers can qualify for the Olympic team just by finishing on the podium at Mammoth. But even if they don’t, they already have strong cases for being added to the team as discretionary picks.

The team can include up to four women, so it may come down to a decision between Annalisa Drew and Carly Margulies for a discretionary spot.

Men’s slopestyle

After 3 of 5 qualifying events:

1. Nick Goepper, 160**

2. Gus Kenworthy, 140*

3. McRae Williams, 79

4. Quinn Wolferman, 79

5. Alex Hall, 57

6. Willie Borm, 50
**Has fulfilled minimum criteria (two podium finishes)

*Has one podium finish

Mammoth will host two selection events for men’s slopestyle this week, which means that everyone is still in the running.

The only two skiers with at least one top-three finish so far are Nick Goepper and Gus Kenworthy. Goepper has already met objective criteria with two podium results – both second-place finishes – and is on the verge of qualifying for the Olympic team. A win would lock it up, but he would also clinch if fewer than four skiers meet objective criteria.

Kenworthy has one podium finish – a win last week at Snowmass – and is halfway to qualifying for the team. A top-three result at either of this week’s contests would secure him a spot.

Women’s slopestyle

After 4 of 5 qualifying events:
1. Maggie Voisin, 180** (QUALIFIED)

2. Devin Logan, 90

3. Darian Stevens, 81

4. Julia Krass, 72

5. Taylor Lundquist, 65

6. Caroline Claire, 52
**Has fulfilled minimum criteria (two podium finishes)

*Has one podium finish

With no skiers other than Maggie Voisin able to meet objective criteria in women’s slopestyle, there isn’t a chance for anyone to qualify this week.

That said, up to three women could be added to the team as discretionary selections. Mammoth will be the final opportunity for skiers to show the coaches why they should be picked.

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