Snowboarding Preview
Since 1998, the U.S. Snowboard Team has been the most dominant force in the competitive snowboarding world, earning 24 medals since the sport was added to the Olympic program. Athletes like Shaun White, Hannah Teter and Kelly Clark are household names and have combined to win seven Olympic medals, and the world continues to expect great things from the riders of Team USA.

The team outlook for 2018 is deep with U.S. Grand Prix, X Games, US Open and FIS World Cup podiums aplenty. Olympic golden girl Clark will look to add another halfpipe medal to her collection, after winning her first in 2002. But young star Chloe Kim has been dominating and progressing women’s halfpipe snowboarding, taking huge wins at nearly every event she’s entered.

On the men’s side, keep an eye out for Ben Ferguson, who has quickly risen up the ranks with medals at the X Games and the Burton US Open. Also, Shaun White hopes to add another Olympic gold medal to his collection from his previous two in Torino and Vancouver.

The U.S. riders are also excited to add big air to the Olympic program with athletes like Sochi slopestyle gold medalist Jamie Anderson, Big Air at Fenway winner Julia Marino, and X Games big air gold medalist Hailey Langland all looking for medals among the women. Meanwhile, Chris Corning, Kyle Mack, and Ryan Stassel are contenders in the men’s field.

Team USA also continues to be a frontrunner in snowboardcross, with Lindsey Jacobellis hoping to add more medals to her collection. Also, rising star Hagen Kearney is on a very good run, with his coaches calling him a dark horse for Olympic medal action, while returning Olympian Nick Baumgartner looks to earn his first medal. In parallel giant slalom, Aaron Muss and Michael Trapp will be doing everything they can to capture their first Olympic medals in PyeongChang.

There are 10 snowboarding events on the program for the 2018 Games, including men’s and women’s halfpipe, slopestyle, big air, snowboardcross and parallel giant slalom.

Storylines

  • 17-year old Chloe Kim was too young to compete at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, but her performance in the qualifiers would have been strong enough to earn her a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team. She will look to add an Olympic gold medal to her collection of achievements. A trilingual, first-generation American, she will feel right at home when she arrives in PyeongChang, as South Korea is her parents' home country.

  • Shaun White and halfpipe snowboarding are still very much synonymous. The two-time Olympic gold medalist came up short in Sochi, finishing fourth, but he has proved time and time again that he is capable of putting down an Olympic medal-winning run. He qualified for the Olympic team with a perfect 100 in his last run at the Toyota Grand Prix at Snowmass, Colorado. This will be his fourth Olympics.

  • The U.S. snowboardcross athletes all have the advantage of experience on their side. Olympic medalist Lindsey Jacobellis, 2014 Olympic team members Faye Gulini and Nick Baumgartner, and rising star Hagen Kearney will all be vying for success in PyeongChang.

  • The U.S. Snowboard Team brought home three of the eight gold medals up for grabs in Sochi, plus two bronze medals. With big air now in the mix, Team USA has the potential to bring home even more hardware in 2018.

Athletes To Watch

Jamie Anderson
After winning gold at the Sochi Games in 2014, Anderson (South Lake Tahoe, California) continues to dominate women’s slopestyle and big air snowboarding. During the 2015-16 season, she won an X Games silver medal in slopestyle, three world cups – including the slopestyle Olympic test event – and the World Snowboard Federation’s World Championships for slopestyle and big air. She started the 2016-17 season on a similar note, taking a world cup big air win in Copper Mountain, Colorado. She continued her dominance throughout the selection process, solidifying her Olympic spot after only 2 selection events.

Kelly Clark
Clark (Mammoth Lakes, California) has competed at four Olympic Winter Games and medaled at three, highlighted by a gold-medal-winning effort at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake. For nearly 15 years, she has been a constant, commanding force on the U.S. team and internationally, compiling 16 X Games medals and 13 world cup wins (as of December 2017).

Red Gerard
17-year-old Gerard (Silverthorne, Colorado) will be heading to his first Olympic Winter Games as one of the youngest athletes in PyeongChang. The only younger athlete on the U.S. Snowboard Team is Hailey Langland, also 17 years old.

Ben Ferguson
With style that sets him apart from the rest of the crowd, Ferguson (Bend, Oregon) has quickly worked his way into snowboarding's elite circle. He narrowly missed making the Olympic roster in 2014, but has continued to post top results in international competitions, including a silver medal at the 2016 X Games and a win at the 2016 Burton US Open. Ben secured his place on the Olympic team with consistent performances throughout the selection events, and looks to land another top performance in PyeongChang.

Chloe Kim
At just 17 years old, Kim (Torrence, California) is currently dominating the women’s halfpipe snowboarding scene. During the 2015-16 season, she won the Park City U.S. Grand Prix stop and scored a perfect 100. She also won X Games gold at Aspen and Oslo, and both halfpipe and slopestyle at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. Chloe was the first to secure her Olympic spot at the Dew Tour, which was only the second selection event of four.

Julia Marino
In just her second world cup start, Marino (Westport, Connecticut) soared to a win in front of a hometown crowd at the Big Air at Fenway Park in 2016. She’s netted three more top-10 big air finishes, including a second-place finish at the Olympic test event in November 2016. In 2016 at the World Snowboard Federation’s World Championships, Marino became the first woman ever to land a double in slopestyle competition, and she landed not one, but two in the same run – a Cab double underflip on her first jump and a double backflip on her last jump.

Ryan Stassel
Stassel (Anchorage, Alaska) burst onto the scene prior to the 2014 Games, landing himself a spot on the team in Sochi. He has continued to post impressive results in both slopestyle and big air, including a third-place finish at the big air test event and a third-place finish at the first U.S. Grand Prix of the 2016-17 season. Ryan will be the only returning Olympian on the men’s slopestyle and big air team.

Nick Baumgartner
Nick Baumgartner (Iron River, Michigan) has a podium from the Olympic test event in Korea and is a solid medal contender. He battled back from injury this season and made the big final in the last selection event, showing his speed is increasing as the Games approach.

Qualification

The U.S. could earn up to 26 quota spots in snowboarding for PyeongChang 2018, including a maximum of 14 athletes of either gender and up to four competitors per event. Athletes could qualify a national spot for the U.S. with one top-30 finish at a FIS World Cup or world championships event between July 1, 2016, and Jan. 21, 2018. Additionally, athletes needed to earn a minimum of 100 FIS points in snowboardcross halfpipe snowboarding, 50 FIS points in halfpipe and slopestyle snowboarding and 50 FIS points in either slopestyle or big air.

Click here to view the complete 2018 Olympic qualification procedures for snowboarding.

Selection

Team USA athletes competed to fill 26 snowboarding spots divided between big air, halfpipe, slopestyle and snowboardcross, with a maximum quota of four starters in each discipline per gender. Athletes could qualify for these spots based on various criteria, in part utilizing results from international competition during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.  

Click here to view the complete 2018 Olympic selection procedures from the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association. 


Editor’s Note: This selection process overview is designed to provide general information only and should not be relied upon by athletes attempting to make the U.S. Olympic Team. The selection process is formally governed by selection procedures published by each National Governing Body. Athletes and other individuals interested in the selection process should contact the appropriate NGB to obtain the full selection procedures, or to seek clarification of the process.

Key Dates

Feb. 19

PyeongChang Test Event/FIS World Cup - Halfpipe

PyeongChang, South Korea

March 8-19

2017 FIS World Championships

Sierra Nevada, Spain

 Jan. 22 U.S. Olympic Team announcement
Subject to change