Decker Dean competes during the men's large hill individual trial round during the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 Feb. 12, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China.
ZHANGJIAKOU, China — And then there were five.
Not long after Team USA announced the 222 athletes heading to the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 — including two-time Olympians Kevin Bickner and Casey Larson and first-timer Patrick Gasienica — Anna Hoffman got called up to join her teammates in China.
The 21-year-old from Madison, Wisconsin, was the top U.S. woman at the Olympic ski jumping trials but had to wait to see if another quota spot would open up for the U.S. When the Italian ski jumping team dropped out a week before Opening Ceremony, the U.S. added Hoffman, continuing the tradition of having a woman ski jumper compete at every Winter Games since adding women to the program in 2014.
Two days later, another quota spot opened up for the men.
First-time Olympian Decker Dean, who was next in line in the Continental Cup standings, rounded out the U.S.’s ski jumping delegation to an even handful.
With the 21-year-old from Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the men had enough athletes to enter the team event, which took place on the final day of ski jumping on Monday night at the Zhangjiakou National Ski Jumping Centre.
The men’s ski jumping team event had become a quadrennial tradition for the U.S. ever since 1988, the year the event was added to the Olympic program.
In Beijing, the four-man U.S. team placed 10th overall with a collective score of 261.0 points. Despite Larson recording a team-best 106-meter jump, it wasn’t enough to take them to the finals, where only the top eight moved on.
Men’s Ski Jumping wrapped up their final event at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 tonight with the Team Large Hill event.— USA Nordic (@usanordic) February 14, 2022
Proud of the guys, time to prepare for Milan 2026🎿🚀#Beijing2022 #Olympics #SkiJumping #TeamUSA pic.twitter.com/6jytLqmEbQ
The best Olympic finish for the men was in the normal hill, where all four athletes qualified for the final round of competition. The foursome bested their standings from the earlier round, which didn’t see them cracking the top 40. In the end, Larson finished 39th, Bickner at 43rd, Dean at 44th, and Gasienica in 49th.
Larson admitted that while he loves getting to experience the Games for the second time — having placed 9th in the team event in PyeongChang and a top-40 in the normal hill — he shared something he doesn’t enjoy.
“I don’t want to keep getting 35th, 39th place — I want to win,” he said. “All athletes do, but something needs to happen.”
Want to follow Team USA athletes during the Olympic Games Beijing 2022? Visit TeamUSA.org/Beijing-2022-Olympic-Games to view the competition schedule, medal table and results.