USSA seeking replacement Olympic qualifiers for cancelled Breckenridge Grand Prix


Breckenridge on the day of the slopestyle qualifiers. PHOTO: Jeff Brockmeyer

USSA seeking replacement Olympic qualifiers for cancelled Breckenridge Grand Prix

Part of the Five Stops To Sochi series presented by Mammoth

The US Ski and Snowboard Association has just announced that it is working on plans to replace the Grand Prix slopestyle and halfpipe events that were cancelled at Breckenridge on Saturday with a US-only qualifier at Mammoth Mountain in the coming week. The events were called off due to heavy snow and high winds. Even though Breckenridge had sunny skies with low winds on Saturday, it wasn't possible to get the pipe competition ready because of damage from the wind and snow. The storm system also forced changes in the competition schedule, moving the slopestyle finals from Friday to Sunday. Then, with another heavy storm system forecasted to move in on Sunday, FIS and TTR event officials, along with the riders, decided it would be best to cancel the event.

Later on Saturday, a FIS jury announced that the competition would not be scored on the qualifying results. US slopestyle riders Jamie Anderson and Ty Walker, and Norwegian Kjersti Buass announced that they would appeal the decision, because they wanted the results to count towards their Olympic team qualifying points.

The USSA's plan is pending clearance from the FIS on rider appeals filed on the jury decision to scrap the qualifying scores. Breckenridge was the third stop out five for riders looking to qualify for the US team so the new plan would see a US-only replacement qualifier run at Mammoth prior to the already scheduled fourth and fifth qualifiers.

The replacement qualifier would be sanctioned by the USSA only, not FIS or TTR,  and would not be open to foreign athletes.

The new plan will be announced as soon as it has clearance from the FIS. USSA will issue an update Monday.

See what the riders had to say about the decision to throw out qualifying scores here