AUDI FIS Ski World Cup, Local News

Olympic dreams add excitement to World Cup action

By Evan Johnson

In addition to the thrill of competing in the World Cup, American athletes will also keep their sights set on the 23rd Winter Olympic Games, scheduled for PyeongChang, South Korea, between Feb. 9-25.

There will be a maximum of 22 athletes representing the United States in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, with a maximum of 14 per gender. In trying out for a spot on the team, racers’ performances at the international level, which is governed by the International Ski Federation (FIS), weigh heavily. Up to four male and four female athletes may start for the United States in each event. The two athletes with the best FIS World Cup ranking in each event will be assured a spot on the team and up to three athletes for each event can be nominated to the team based solely on their FIS World Cup performance.

Athletes can also be recommended for discretionary selection to the team by their coaching staff. These athletes will have, according to guidelines, “indicated potential for Olympic success” based on their results from a previous season, recent impressive performance, or indication of future medal potential.

In May, U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced its Alpine nominations for the 2017-18 season. After a strong 2016-17 season highlighted by Mikaela Shiffrin capturing the coveted Overall and Slalom World Cup titles, and featuring three World Championship medals, three Junior World Championship medals and 21 World Cup podiums by five athletes, the team is looking for medals in the upcoming 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang.

Nominated to the women’s A team were: Stacey Cook, Breezy Johnson, Julia Mancuso, Alice McKennis, Laurenne Ross, Mikaela Shiffrin, Resi Stiegler, Lindsey Vonn, and Jacqueline Wiles.

Patricia Mangan and Alice Merryweather were nominated for the B Team.

Cecily Decker, Katie Hansien, Nina O’Brien and Galenda Wardle were nominated for the C Team.

An official team announcement will be made later in the fall.

Up to 320 Alpine skiers from around the world will compete in PyeongChang.

The United States trails Austria 9 to 5 in total medal count, following the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

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