Decker Dean during a training session before the start of U.S. Nordic Combined & Ski Jumping Olympic Trials on Dec. 23, 2021 in Lake Placid, New York.
Ski jumper Decker Dean, who is nicknamed “The Jumping Machine” by friends, has been added to the Team USA roster for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
The 21-year-old from Steamboat Springs, Colorado, was initially left off the 222-member U.S. Olympic Team that was announced on Monday but got a spot Wednesday after another country was unable to use its quota and the spot was reallocated to Team USA. Fellow ski jumper Anna Hoffmann was also a late addition to Team USA on Monday using the same process.
“I’m insanely grateful and excited to be part of this Olympic team,” Dean said in an announcement distributed by USA Nordic. “A lot of work, time and emotion has been put into this and I’m so stoked this childhood dream is actually happening! None of this would be possible without my parents, friends and coaches sticking by my side through the good and the bad. See you all in China!”
Dean joins Olympic trials champion Kevin Bickner, Casey Larson and Patrick Gasienica on the U.S. men’s team. Bickner and Larson are both returning Olympians. With the addition of Dean, the U.S. now has enough skiers to take part in the men’s team competition.
After getting his start in the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, Dean has in recent years begun climbing the international ranks.
He made his world cup debut in January 2021 and was 33rd at that year’s world championships in Oberstdorf, Germany, making him the top American. He also competed in two team events in Oberstdorf, both times jumping the farthest of any Americans as they finished 12th and 10th.
Ski jumping in Beijing begins with the men’s normal hill event on Feb. 5-6. The men’s large hill event is Feb. 11-12, followed by the men’s team competition on Feb. 14.