Olympic Sports Scene for Jan. 25

Bobsled & Skeleton

Team USA I made history again after securing the four-man bobsled World Cup title for the first time in 17-years for the U.S., as well as the overall 2010 World Cup crown. 

Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah), Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas), Steve Mesler (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) teamed together to secure both titles after finishing eighth in Igls, Austria’s four-man race to wrap up the 2009-2010 World Cup season.

Holcomb also piloted his two-man "Night Hawk" bobsled to its fourth top-six result of the 2009-2010 season in Igls, Austria, finishing fifth with brakeman Mesler. 

 

Figure Skating

 

U.S. Figure Skating announced its ladies and ice dancing nominations to the 2010 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team, pending United States Olympic Committee (USOC) approval. Rachael Flatt and Mirai Nagasu are the nominees for ladies, while Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, and Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates are the ice dancers nominated to the team.

 

Flatt and Nagasu won the gold and silver, respectively, while Davis and White, Belbin and Agosto, and Samuelson and Bates finished first, second and third, respectively, at the 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, Wash.

 

Rugby

 

The USA Men's National Sevens Team didn't just make its first Cup Quarterfinals of the season on Saturday, Jan. 23, but were victorious, beating the Wardens and moving into the Digicel Suva Sevens semifinals where they eventually fell to the Fijian Barbarians.

 

Sailing

 

US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics members are competing at US SAILING’s 2010 Rolex Miami OCR, the second of seven stops of the International (ISAF) Sailing World Cup 2009-2010 and one of the most competitive regattas in the U.S., if not the world, for elite Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls. For six days, Miami’s Biscayne Bay will populate with the spectacle of 440 boats representing 45 nations and competing in the 13 classes selected for the 2012 Olympic/Paralympic Games in Weymouth, England.

 

Skeleton

 

The 2009-2010 men’s skeleton World Cup season wrapped up in the mountains of Igls, Austria today.  It was a tough day for the U.S. men, with Eric Bernotas (Avondale, Pa.) posting the highest finish in 13th.

 

Noelle Pikus-Pace (Orem, Utah) matched her season best result this year after finishing fifth in not only the 2009-2010 women’s skeleton World Cup season finale, but in her World Cup farewell. 

 

Skiing

 

Men’s Alpine:  Bode Miller (Franconia, N.H.) was ninth in the 70th year of the legendary Hahnenkamm Audi FIS Alpine World Cup downhill, the final chance for American speed skiers to earn their U.S. Olympic Team start.

 

Women’s Alpine: Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) continued her ascension into the elite ranks of women's skiers Saturday, notching her eighth win of the season and career 30th Audi FIS Alpine World Cup victory - including a sweep of all five downhills this season. 

Vonn's win combined with her win in the super G on Friday knotted her with Croatian great Janica Kostelic at eighth on the women's all-time wins list. She has three wins and eight career podiums in Cortina.

 

2006 gold medalist Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, Calif.) grabbed her best finish this season in eighth place, just more than a second back of Vonn and 0.2 seconds behind third-place Anja Paerson of Sweden.

 

Freestyle Aerials:   The 2010 U.S. Olympic Team picture remains murky after the final Nature Valley Freestyle Cup aerials competition Friday in Lake Placid, as no one without a spot distinguished themselves by meeting selection criteria. 

With six total slots available and just two already taken (Jeret "Speedy" Peterson and Lacy Schnoor won U.S. Olympic Trials in Steamboat Springs, Colo., before Christmas), only Jana Lindsey (Black Hawk, S.D.) was assured a berth after no other U.S. competitors could land a top-5 finish to match her fourth place in Changchun, China. 

 

The U.S. Olympic Team will be announced Jan. 26 at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah.

 

Ski Cross:  It was a great Olympic sendoff for Daron Rahlves (Sugar Bowl, Calif.) as the X Games gold medalist finished fourth in the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup Sunday, the last ski cross World Cup before the 2010 Games.  On the women’s side, Langely McNeal (Ketchum, Idaho) finished in 16th place to mark her career best ski cross World Cup finish.

 

Snowboarding

 

Olympic gold medalists Shaun White (Carlsbad, Calif.), Kelly Clark (Mt. Snow, Vt.), Hannah Teter (Belmont, Vt.), and Seth Wescott (Sugarloaf, Maine) each highlight a talent-filled roster as the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) announced the 2010 Olympic Snowboarding Team Monday.

Two-time Olympian and 2002 bronze medalist Chris Klug (Aspen, Colo.) is also returning to the Games. He notched two top-eight results on the World Cup this season to grab his third team spot and was on the original Olympic Team in 1998 for the sport's debut.

"Klug’s hard work and perseverance have really paid off," Foley said. "What an amazing accomplishment it is for him to make the Olympic teams in 98, and 2002, then miss the team in 2006, and now comeback and make the team again in 2010."

Snowboarding kicks off with the men's SBX on Feb. 15.

2010 U.S. OLYMPIC SNOWBOARDING TEAM
(name, hometown, age as of opening ceremonies, birthdate, (past Olympics))

Halfpipe Men
Greg Bretz, Mammoth Lakes, CA, 19, 12/19/1990
Scotty Lago, Seabrook, NH, 22, 11/12/1987
Louie Vito, Sandy, UT, 21, 3/20/1988
Shaun White, Carlsbad, CA, 23, 9/3/1986 (2006)

Halfpipe Women
Gretchen Bleiler, Aspen, CO, 28, 04/10/1981 (2006)
Kelly Clark, Mt. Snow, VT, 26, 07/26/1983 (2002, 2006)
Elena Hight, South Lake Tahoe, CA, 20, 08/17/1989 (2006)
Hannah Teter, Belmont, VT, 23, 01/27/1987 (2006)

SBX Men
Nick Baumgartner, Iron River, MI, 28, 12/17/1981
Nate Holland, Squaw Valley, CA, 31, 11/8/1978 (2006)
Graham Watanabe, Sun Valley, ID, 27, 03/19/1982 (2006)
Seth Wescott, Sugarloaf, ME, 33, 06/28/1976 (2006)

SBX Women
Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, Girdwood, AK, 24, 04/17/1985
Faye Gulini, Salt Lake City, 17, 03/24/1992
Lindsey Jacobellis, Stratton Mountain, VT, 24, 08/19/1985 (2006)

PGS Men
Tyler Jewell, Steamboat Springs, CO, 32, 02/21/1977 (2006)
Chris Klug, Aspen, CO, 37, 11/18/1972 (1998, 2002)

PGS Women
Michelle Gorgone, Boston, 26, 10/18/1983 (2006)

USOC

The 2009 U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) annual awards have a decidedly wintry feel ahead of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. All four individual recipients and both teams hope to ride the momentum from last year right onto the podium in Vancouver and Whistler. Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) has been named the USOC SportsWoman of the Year, Nordic combined skier Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) has been named SportsMan of the Year and Steven Holcomb's four-man bobsled team has been named Team of the Year.

For the first time ever, Paralympians have three categories in the 2009 USOC Awards. Mono-skier Stephani Victor (Park City, Utah) and sled hockey player Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) have been named Paralympic SportsWoman and SportsMan of the Year, respectively. The 2009 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team has been awarded the inaugural USOC Paralympic Team of the Year honor.

Weekly Preview

Luge:  The World Cup final is set for the 2006 Olympic course in Cesana, Italy, Jan. 30-31.

 

Skiing:  Men’s Alpine: The U.S. team now moves ahead to the night slalom in Schladming, Austria, Tuesday, then Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, next weekend, where two GS races and a slalom are on tap. Ted Ligety has won the GS there the last two years. The additional race this year is a makeup race from Adelboden, Switzerland. Women’s Alpine:  The U.S. women get set for three consecutive speed races set for next weekend in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

 

Snowboarding: At least 39 Olympians are expected to compete at Winter X Games 14 Thursday, Jan. 28 - Sunday, Jan. 31, in Aspen, Colo.



The Tweet Spot

Tweets from Olympic & Paralympic Athletes & Hopefuls

Rachael Flatt - Figure Skating. RachaelFlatt  In total disbelief right now, but SOO happy!!! Off to get a litte (ok hardly any) sleep, but I am going to be a OLYMPIAN!! SO cool!

Julia Mancuso - Alpine Skiing. Julia Mancuso some problems finding myself in gs! well its time for a fresh start, with the Olympics ahead of me! and now off to the top of the dolomites! Going up the tram with Chemmy and my sister for sunset:)

Evan Lysacek - Figure Skating EvanLysacek Dear Twitter, are you ready for me? XXE