Lake Placid, N.Y. Jan. 22, 2002 (USSA)--Reigning Olympic aerials gold medalist Eric Bergoust (Missoula, MT), moguls champion Jonny Moseley (Tiburon, CA) and former World Cup and World Championships moguls gold medalist Ann Battelle (Steamboat Springs, CO) head a group of 14 skiers nominated Tuesday to compete next month at the Salt Lake City Olympics, the U.S. Ski Team announced.
The team of seven men and seven women, chosen on the basis of international results, includes five Olympians, according to Head Coach Jeff Wintersteen. Selection was announced following the Gateway U.S. Freestyle Classic, which included two aerials events and a moguls contest over the weekend in Lake Placid.
Among those nominated to the Olympic Team was Jeremy Bloom (Loveland, CO), who gave up a football scholarship to the University of Colorado to chase his Olympic dream. Bloom won the final pre-selection World Cup moguls event Saturday and, at 19 and in his first full season on the World Cup tour, is the World Cup points leader--he plans to enroll in CU in time for next season when the Buffs defend their Big XII championship title.
In addition to Bergoust and Moseley, other Olympians include: Battelle, nominated to her fourth Olympic Team--the first American so nominated--as well as being the 1999 and '00 World Cup champion and '99 world moguls champion; moguls skier Evan Dybvig (Plainfield, VT; '98 Olympics); and aerialist Tracy Evans (Park City, UT; '94, '98 Olympics).
"Some of these athletes were obvious selections and then there were incredibly hard choices," Wintersteen said. "But this is an Olympic Team that offers us a great possibility for continuing the success we've experienced at the Olympics." U.S. freestylers took a gold medal in 1992 (Donna Weinbrecht in moguls), silver in '94 (Liz McIntyre, moguls) and three of the four golds available in '98 (Bergoust and Nikki Stone, aerials, and Moseley, moguls).
Nominated to the 2002 U.S. Olympic Freestyle Team (including each athlete's event):
Eric Bergoust, 32, Missoula, Mont., aerials ('94, '98 Olympics)
Brian Currutt, 27, Park City, Utah, aerials
Evan Dybvig, 26, Plainfield, Vt., moguls ('98 Olympics)
Jonny Moseley, 26, Tiburon, Calif., moguls ('98 Olympics)
Jeremy Bloom, 19, Loveland, Colo., moguls
Travis Mayer, 19, Steamboat Springs, Colo., moguls
Joe Pack, 23, Park City, Utah, aerials
Shannon Bahrke, 21, Tahoe City, Calif., moguls
Ann Battelle, 34, Steamboat Springs, Colo., moguls ('92, '94, '98 Olympics)
Hannah Hardaway, 23, Moultonborough, N.H., moguls
Emily Cook, 22, Belmont, Mass., aerials
Brenda Petzold, 28, Andover, Mass., aerials
Jillian Vogtli, 28, Ellicotville, N.Y., moguls
Tracy Evans, 34, Park City, Utah, aerials ('94, '98 Olympics)