Shaun White Liening into his first hit heading into first place at Copper. PHOTO: Christy Chaloux

Shaun White Liening into his first hit heading into first place at Copper. PHOTO: Christy Chaloux

There are five Grand Prix events to determine the U.S. Olympic halfpipe team, three of those events are wrapped after this past weekend in Mammoth—we’re over halfway there, so we figured it was time for a SportsCenter™ style wrap up. We know a few things for sure right now, the U.S. halfpipe team will consist of eight riders—four men and four women, and Shaun White and Kelly Clark are both on the team. That leaves three women and three men vying for the remaining spots. Remember that the team is determined by the top two finishes, so with two Grand Prix finals still remaining, it’s all still wide open. For example, Elena Hight and Luke Mitrani were both a little bit off the radar until the third Grand Prix, and then Elena showed up with a second place finish and Luke with a fourth, so it can all change fast.
Only the American’s will be able to compete next week at Park City, and these last two Grand Prix will be invite-only with a smaller field including the highest-scoring riders from the last three events—unfortunately that start list isn’t available yet.
So, unofficially, here’s where the top contenders are standing in order of their current rankings. There’s a numerical value for every placing, so it is possible to micro-analyze these results, but we’re taking in the big picture, because, like we said, it can all change next week.

For men in order of current ranking:
Shaun White: 1st and 1st—confirmed
Louie Vito: 2nd and 2nd
Danny Davis: 1st and 13th
JJ Thomas: 3rd and 5th
Zack Black: 3rd and 5th
Scotty Lago: 3rd and 7th
Luke Mitrani: 4th place

For women in order of current ranking:
Kelly Clark: 1st and 1st—confirmed
Gretchen Bleiler: 1st and 2nd
Hannah Teter: 2nd and 3rd
Elena Hight: 2nd and 5th
Ellery Hollingsworth: 5th and 5th

The final two Grand Prix Olympic qualifiers are at Park City January 22 and 23—if you can’t make it to the Olympics, you should definitely make a point to come watch the Olympic-caliber riding at Park City next week. And if you thought the Mammoth double-header was grueling, check out the schedule below (6:00 and 7:00 p.m. finals, really?—Ouch!).

Wednesday, January 20
10:00a.m. – 3:00p.m. Training

Thursday, January 21
5:30p.m. – 9:00p.m. Training

Friday, January 22
9:30 a.m.– 10:15 a.m. Women’s Practice
10:15 a.m. –10:45 a.m. Women’s Qualifier
10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Men’s Practice
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Men’s Qualifier
6:00 p.m.– 6:45 p.m. Finals Practice
7:00 p.m. – 8:25 p.m. Finals
Awards immediately following

Saturday, January 23
9:30 a.m.–10:15 a.m. Women’s Practice
10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Women’s Qualifier
10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Men’s Practice
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Men’s Qualifier
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Xbox Junior Jam
6:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. Finals Practice
7:00 p.m. – 8:25 p.m. Finals
8:25 p.m.–10:00 p.m. Live entertainment and U.S. Snowboard team announcement.
Awards immediately following