By Gary R. Blockus | Jan. 26, 2018, 11:23 a.m. (ET)


Team USA is a family affair for some of the cross-country skiers that will compete at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 in a few weeks.

On Friday, 10 skiers were added as discretionary picks and based on this season’s results to go along with 10 previously qualified athletes, and the roster is full of sibling rivalries and family ties.

The additions include two sets of siblings — brother and sister Caitlin and Scott Patterson from Anchorage, Alaska, and brothers Logan and Reese Hanneman from Fairbanks, Alaska, who join 2014 Olympian brother and sister duo Sadie and Erik Bjornsen from Winthrop, Washington, who earned automatic bids earlier this season.

Plus, new addition Patrick Caldwell of Lyme, New Hampshire is a cousin of 2014 Olympian Sophie Caldwell from Peru, Vermont.

The other discretionary picks include 2014 Olympian Noah Hoffman, Rose Frankowski, Tyler Kornfield, Annie Hart and Kaitlynn Miller.

They join a list of skiers who received automatic qualifications earlier this season, including four-time Olympian Kikkan Randall, three-time Olympian Andy Newell, two-time Olympian Simi Hamilton, 2014 Olympians Jessie Diggins and Ida Sargent, and first-timer Rosie Brennan.

All will be seeking to end a major Olympic medal drought. The U.S. has won just one medal in cross-country skiing, dating back to 1976 in Innsbruck when Bill Koch won silver in the men’s 30-kilometer.

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Hoffman, 28, helped the U.S. to a 10th-place finish in the men’s cross-country relay at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, and now he has another chance to ski for the gold. He finished top 50 in five world cups this season, top-30 in one, and looks like he’s regaining his old form after a broken fibula ended his 2014-15 season.

Scott Patterson, 25, is a distance specialist who picked up a national title in the men’s 15K last month to aid his Olympic selection. He finished in the top 50 in his last three world cup events of the season.

Patrick Caldwell, 23 from Lyme, New Hampshire, is another in a long line of Dartmouth College skiers contributing to the U.S. cross-country skiing team. Caldwell competed at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012, where he earned bronze in the cross-country biathlon mixed relay. His father was a world cup racer in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Kornfield, 26, who won the national championship in mass start in December, has been a strong contender on the U.S. Super Tour the last four seasons with his first victory last February in the sprint.

Brothers Reese (28) and Logan (24) Hanneman have been successful fixtures on the U.S. Super Tour for several seasons. Reese won the national sprint title earlier this month to solidify his positioning for an Olympic nomination. In 2010, he was the youngest American man to compete on the world cup circuit. Logan won the sprint title at the 2017 Super Tour Finals after ending the previous season ranked sixth in the sprint.

Caitlin Patterson partnered with Kikkan Randall for an eighth-place world cup finish in team sprint earlier this season. The Anchorage, Alaska native is coming off winning her third national title and is ranked 86th overall in the world cup standings.

Frankowski, 26, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, is a three-time All-American at Northern Michigan with a master’s degree in business administration. She took home a bronze medal in the women’s mass start race at the U.S. championships.

Hart, 25, a five-time All-American at Dartmouth, finished second overall at the 2016 U.S. Super Tour.

Miller, 26, won the national sprint title in 2016 and 2018, and scored wins this season in both the North American and U.S. Super Tours.

Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.