Even without the injured Lindsey Vonn, winner of 59 World Cup races, the American alpine racing Olympic team looks one of the strongest ever. The U.S. Ski Team announced its Sochi team Sunday. It includes proven medal winners like Bode Miller, Ted Ligety and Julia Mancuso along with an Olympic newcomer—18-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin—who’s already demonstrated that she’s the woman to beat in slalom and has been making impressive inroads in GS. The Games begin in just two weeks, starting with the men’s downhill on Feb. 9 and the women’s super combined on Feb. 10.
Here’s the press release from the U.S. Ski Team:
Gold Medalists Highlight Olympic Alpine Team
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Sunday nominated 20 athletes to the U.S. Olympic Alpine Ski Team that will compete in Sochi next month. The team is highlighted by Olympic gold medalists Bode Miller (Franconia, NH), Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) and World Champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO). The United States Olympic Committee will formally name the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team on January 27.
- A total of 20 alpine athletes have been nominated by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association to the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team.
- Olympic gold medalists Bode Miller (Franconia, NH), Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) and World Champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) headline the team.
- Miller is five-time Olympic medalist, including winning gold, silver and bronze in 2010. Sochi will be his fifth Olympic Winter Games.
- Mancuso is a double Olympic silver medalist, earning both in 2010, and the 2006 gold medalist for giant slalom.
- Ligety, 2006 Olympic combined champion, won a historic three gold medals at the 2013 World Championships to become the first male athlete to do so since 1968.
- Shiffrin, 18, won the 2013 World Championship title for slalom and also captured the season-long World Cup slalom title last winter.
- Starters in each event are determined the night prior to that event.
- The team was selected from results on the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup tour over the Olympic qualification period, which ended Jan. 26.
2014 Olympic Alpine Team Nominations
David Chodounsky, Crested Butte, CO (6/25/84)
Erik Fisher, Middleton, ID (3/21/85) *
Travis Ganong, Squaw Valley, CA (7/14/88)
Jared Goldberg, Holladay, UT (6/15/91)
Tim Jitloff, Reno, NV (1/11/85) *
Nolan Kasper, Warren, VT (3/27/89) *
Ted Ligety, Park City, UT (8/31/84) *
Bode Miller, Franconia, NH (10/12/77) *
Steven Nyman, Sundance, UT (2/12/82) *
Marco Sullivan, Squaw Valley, CA (4/27/80) *
Andrew Weibrecht, Lake Placid, NY (2/10/86) *
Stacey Cook, Mammoth Mountain, CA (7/3/84) *
Julia Ford, Holderness, NH (3/30/90)
Julia Mancuso, Squaw Valley, CA (3/9/84) *
Megan McJames, Park City, UT (9/24/87) *
Laurenne Ross, Bend, OR (8/17/88)
Mikaela Shiffrin, Eagle-Vail, CO (3/13/95)
Leanne Smith, North Conway, NH (5/28/87) *
Resi Stiegler, Jackson Hole, WY (11/14/85) *
Jacqueline Wiles, Aurora, OR (7/13/92)
* Member of past U.S. Olympic Team
Competition uniforms provided by Spyder.
Patrick Riml, Alpine Director
We’re on a really good track right now. All the programs, both the tech and speed athletes, are showing really good improvements and progressions. I’m very pleased with where we are right now going into the Games.
It was maybe a little bit of a rough start in some of the areas. But you can see in women’s speed, they are picking it up. Julia and Stacey are doing a good job – same with some of the younger girls and on the men’s side. You can see it with the performance we have right now from the veterans but also the younger athletes. I’m very pleased with them and I feel really comfortable with this team going into the Games.
Sasha Rearick, Men’s Alpine Head Coach
As a group we’re building moment right now, which is really nice to see. The guys have been working hard all summer, all fall and all winter, day in and day out and that’s starting to show. The guys have shown 100-percent effort every day. You look at the guys who have been putting in the most effort, those are the guys we’re going to be taking to the Games and the ones that we can count on to represent America well.
Alex Hoedlmoser, Women’s Alpine Head Coach
I’m proud of the progress this team has made the closer we get to Sochi. We still have a lot of work to do, but the potential for success is certainly there. On the tech side with Mikaela, we have some huge potential, both in the slalom and giant slalom. On the speed side, we saw that Julia and Stacey definitely are on the right track, on a huge upswing. Sochi is a total different thing and the chances are there for champion performances.
All nominations are subject to approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.