Two halfpipe skiing Olympians will be returning to the Olympic Winter Games, while four slopestyle skiers will be making their Olympic debuts next month.
Those athletes who were named to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team on Tuesday are Aaron Blunck and Annalisa Drew, who each competed in halfpipe in 2014, along with McRae Williams, Alex Hall, Caroline Claire and Darian Stevens rounding out the field in slopestyle skiing.
Additionally, 2014 Olympic silver medalist Devin Logan will be making history by qualifying in both halfpipe and slopestyle. She will become the first U.S. athlete to compete in both events at the Winter Games.
The aforementioned athletes all join a team of nine who had already qualified for the Games via the objective criteria. Slopestyle skiing Olympians Gus Kenworthy (2014 silver medalist), Nick Goepper (2014 bronze medalist), Maggie Voisin and Logan will make their Olympic returns. Halfpipe is almost all-Olympian with 2014 gold medalist David Wise, Torin Yater-Wallace, Britta Sigourney, 2014 gold medalist Maddie Bowman and Logan returning; only Alex Ferreira will be making his Olympic debut.
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Blunck, 21, from Crested Butte, Colorado, is the reigning halfpipe skiing world champion, and will look to finish on the podium in PyeongChang after finishing seventh in Sochi; he also won bronze at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012. The 24-year-old Drew, from Lawrence, Massachusetts, finished ninth in Sochi despite landing a 1080 on her first run.
It has been a heck of a year for 27-year-old McRae Williams of Park City, Utah. Williams is the reigning world champion and overall world cup winner in slopestyle. Also from Park City is 19-year-old Alex Hall, a silver medalist at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
Claire doesn’t even turn 18 for a couple more weeks, but the phenom from Edina, Minnesota is quickly on the rise. She is fresh off a world cup podium finish at Mammoth Mountain on Sunday, her second of the season. Rounding out the team is Darian Stevens, who has been working her way back from an ACL injury in 2015. The 21-year-old from Missoula, Montana posted three top-10 world cup finishes this season.
Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.