Five For Friday: Snowboarding & Freeskiing

By Paul D. Bowker | Jan. 12, 2018, 12:01 a.m. (ET)

Kelly Clark competes in women's halfpipe snowboarding qualification at the Olympic test event on Feb. 17, 2017 in PyeongChang, South Korea. 

 

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The competition for U.S. Olympic Team spots in snowboarding and freeskiing heats up this week in Aspen Snowmass, Colorado.

The Toyota U.S. Grand Prix event features halfpipe and slopestyle events in both skiing and snowboarding. It is the third or fourth stop in the U.S. Olympic Team selection process, depending on the discipline. For some athletes, a podium finish would mean Olympic qualification.

The slopestyle snowboarding and halfpipe skiing finals are Friday, followed by the halfpipe snowboarding and slopestyle skiing finals Saturday. A non-world cup slopestyle skiing final is scheduled for Sunday.

Only three athletes have met the criteria for Olympic nominations through the first selection events: snowboarders Chloe Kim, Chris Corning and 2014 Olympic gold medalist Jamie Anderson.

One or two podium finishes are needed to meet the requirements for an Olympic nomination, depending on the event. Up to three U.S. athletes will be chosen in each discipline this way.

Kelly Clark, a three-time Olympic medalist, is second in the women’s snowboarding selection rankings in halfpipe. She is going after her fifth Olympic appearance. Ben Ferguson leads Jake Pates in the men’s halfpipe rankings.

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Six U.S. men qualified for Friday’s finals in halfpipe skiing, including qualifying leader and 2014 Olympian Aaron Blunck, Olympic gold medalist David Wise and Olympic silver medalist Gus Kenworthy.

Olympic gold medalist Maddie Bowman was second in women’s halfpipe skiing qualifying, leading four American women into the finals. Joining her are 2014 Olympian Brita Sigourney, Olympic silver medalist Devin Logan and Carly Margulies.

Jessika Jenson and 2014 Olympian Ty Walker qualified for the women’s final in slopestyle snowboarding. Red Gerard, who is second in the Olympic selection rankings behind Corning, qualified for the men’s final, along with Ryan Stassel and Chandler Hunt.

Nick Goepper, a 2014 Olympic bronze medalist, leads the selection rankings in men’s slopestyle skiing and Maggie Voisin, a 2014 Olympian, leads Logan in the women’s slopestyle rankings.

TV: 9:30 and 10:30 p.m. ET Friday, NBC Sports Network; 3 and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, NBC

Webcast: 11:15 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. Friday, 11:15 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday, NBC Sports App

Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.