The number of U.S. cross-country skiers qualified for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 grew to double-digits on Saturday as Olympic veterans Ida Sargent, Simi Hamilton and Andy Newell joined the seven athletes who’ve already made the team.
Saturday’s sprint race in Dresden, Germany, was the last of the selection period and Sargent, Hamilton and Newell are all within the top 50 in the sprint world cup standings, allowing them to lock in their spots on the Olympic roster.
Sargent will be competing at her second Olympics after a 13th-place sprint world cup ranking. The 29-year-old from Orleans, Vermont was 19th in the sprint freestyle and 34th in the 10-kilometer classic in Sochi in 2014, and last year landed on her first individual world cup podium with a third-place sprint finish at the Olympic test event.
Hamilton, 30, from Aspen, Colorado, will be making his third trip to the Games and is ranked 15th in the sprint rankings. He competed in three events in Vancouver in 2010, with a top finish of 13th in the 4x10K, then in Sochi in 2014 he placed sixth in the team sprint classic, 11th in the 4x10K and 27th in the sprint free. He also had his best world championships finish ever in 2017 with a fifth-place in the team sprint classic. Hamilton has earned three world cup podiums in his career, the latest being second place in a sprint free in January 2017; he won a sprint Tour de Ski stage in December 2013.
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The most experienced of the trio, Newell is going to his fourth Olympic Games; he is ranked 34th in the sprint standings. The 34-year-old from Shaftsbury, Vermont has competed in seven events total at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 Games and had a best finish of ninth in the team sprint in 2010. His best world championships finish was fifth in sprint classic in 2007, while he has also landed on three world cup podiums in his lengthy career.
They join Erik Bjornsen, Sadie Bjornsen, Rosie Brennan, Sophie Caldwell, Jessie Diggins, Kikkan Randall and Liz Stephen on the Olympic team – most of whom are also ranked in the top 50 of the sprint standings. The full team will be announced by Jan. 25.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.