PARK CITY, Utah (Dec. 4) ¿ Selection for the U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team will begin in upcoming December events. The United States led all nations with 15 Olympic quota spots in rankings released in November by the International Ski Federation (FIS). Snowboard is the only sport administered by the FIS in the Olympics which has a maximum field size, resulting in the need to force each nation to essentially qualify for quota spots before qualifying actual athletes for those spots!
Selection events will kickoff with the FIS Snowboard World Cup parallel giant slalom (PGS) Dec. 9 in Whistler, B.C. and a pair of halfpipes to open the Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Dec. 13 and 16 in Mammoth Mountain, Calif. The U.S. will have the maximum quota of four riders in men’s and women’s PGS, as well as men’s halfpipe, with three of a possible four spots in women’s halfpipe for a total of 15. Those spots, however, must be fit into a maximum team size of 14 riders, meaning that team officials will have to make a decision on how to best utilize the 15 earned spots ¿ four in two events, three in the other two. The quota system was simply based on how many riders from each nation stood within the maximum Olympic field size on the November FIS international ranking list. The maximum entry level is 35 riders for men’s and women’s PGS and men’s halfpipe, and 20 for women’s halfpipe. The ranking list was comprised of all FIS events, including World Cup, Continental Cup and regular FIS events including the Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix. With the quota now in place, riders can develop strategies for qualifying for the Olympic team, beginning with events in December. Halfpipe qualification will take place exclusively with five halfpipe events at the three Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix events in Mammoth Mountain, Calif., Mt. Bachelor, Ore., and Breckenridge, Colo.
PGS qualification will take place at a variety of domestic and international FIS World Cup events, domestic Continental Cup events, and the Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix in Mt. Bachelor. U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and Olympic officials will select three athletes to each team, with a fourth rider being named to two teams among men’s and women’s PGS and men’s halfpipe. The final team will be named Jan. 28.
U.S. Olympic Snowboard Selection Events
Dec. 14 – Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix, Mammoth Mountain, CA
Dec. 16 – Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix, Mammoth Mountain, CA
Jan. 6 – Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix, Mt. Bachelor, OR
Jan. 10 – Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix, Breckenridge, CO
Jan. 13 – Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix, Breckenridge, CO
Parallel Giant Slalom (PGS)
Dec. 9 – FIS World Cup, Whistler, BC
Dec. 21 – FIS Continental Cup, Park City, UT
Jan. 4 – Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix, Mt. Bachelor, OR
Jan. 20 – FIS World Cup, Bardonecchia, ITA
Jan. 24 – FIS World Cup, Kreischberg, AUT