U.S. Olympic Alpine skiing team closer to complete after last qualifying races
Three more U.S. Alpine skiers clinched Olympic spots on the final day of qualifying races on Sunday, leaving discretionary selections to fill out the roster.
River Radamus, Luke Winters and Keely Cashman are all headed to their first Olympics. They join the previously qualified Mikaela Shiffrin, Breezy Johnson, Paula Moltzan, Nina O’Brien, Jacqueline Wiles and Bella Wright and Travis Ganong, Bryce Bennett and Ryan Cochran-Siegle.
Radamus, 23, will likely be the youngest man on the team. He is the highest-ranked American man in giant slalom, ranking ninth in the world. His birthday is the day before the Olympic giant slalom.
Radamus, who won five golds between the 2016 Youth Olympics and 2019 World Junior Championships, succeeds the retired Ted Ligety as the U.S. medal hope in the event.
Winters, 24, made it as the top U.S. male slalom skier, ranked 24th in the world going into Sunday. On Jan. 9, he finished 10th in a World Cup slalom in Adelboden, Switzerland, marking the best finish for a U.S. man in the event in nearly six years.
Cashman, 22, qualified as the third U.S. woman in super-G, behind Shiffrin and Johnson.
The U.S. currently has quota spots for six men and nine women, which, according to Olympedia.org, would be its smallest Olympic Alpine skiing team since 1984, the last Winter Games before the super-G was added. It could gain more spots later this month in reallocation.
As things stand, U.S. Ski and Snowboard can go three different directions for its last men’s spot.
It could give it to three-time Olympian Steven Nyman based on its objective criteria. Nyman is ranked third among Americans in the super-G and wins the tiebreaker over its third-ranked GS skier, Brian McLaughlin, by one World Cup point in their respective disciplines.
It could go the discretionary route by choosing a skier not already on the team for the super combined.
It could go the petition route, choosing a skier who missed competition due to injury such as Tommy Ford or Jared Goldberg, should either submit a petition by 7 p.m. ET on Sunday.
The U.S. filled all of its objective women’s spots with its top three skiers in downhill, super-G, giant slalom and slalom and top two in the combined. For its final two discretionary spots, it could choose its fourth-ranked skiers in giant slalom (A.J. Hurt) and slalom (Katie Hensien).
A third spot may open up. Wright, who qualified as the second-ranked American woman in the combined, has not skied since breaking a bone in her right ankle in a Dec. 12 race crash. The U.S. does not have a third woman with combined points, so the spot would become a discretionary selection.
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