PARK CITY, UT (Jan. 27 - News Release) — Nineteen athletes, led by seven 2002 Olympians, were named Monday to represent the U.S. Ski Team at the 2003 FIS Freestyle World Championships, Freestyle Program Director Polly Jo Clark announced.
The World Championships, the highest-level single event outside of the Olympics, will include moguls, dual moguls (not an Olympic event) and aerials on the same sites as the 2002 Olympics at Deer Valley Resort. Competition gets under way Wednesday with the qualifying round for moguls.
"Most of the athletes on the Worlds team have found success this season on the World Cup and that can't be a bad thing as we return to our backyard, Clark said. "Overall, it also is a young team as this will be, for some, their first World Championships and that creates a lot of good excitement throughout. They all can do it on any given day, as we've witnessed.
The team, including Olympic silver medalists Shannon Bahrke (Tahoe City, CA), also leading the women's mogul World Cup standings, Travis Mayer (Steamboat Springs, CO), second in the men's World Cup standings ahead of teammates Toby Dawson, (Vail, CO) and Travis Cabral (South Lake Tahoe, CA), who are third and fourth respectively, and Joe Pack (Park City, UT) as well as '98 Olympic gold medalist and '99 world champion Eric Bergoust, has collected 19 podiums, including five victories, this season.
The 2003 World Championships team for moguls includes:
· Jeremy Bloom (Loveland, CO)
· Michelle Roark (Denver)
· Laurel Shanley (Squaw Valley, CA)
· Emiko Torito (Englewood, CO)
Dual moguls team:
· David Babic (Washington, VT)
· Matt Friedberg (Boulder, CO)
· Shelly Robertson (Reno, NV)
· Jillian Vogtli (Ellicotville, NY)
· Kelly Hilliman (Tonawanda, NY)
· Jana Lindsey (Black Hawk, SD)
· Jeret Peterson (Boise, ID)
· Kate Reed (Montrose, CO)
· Ryan St. Onge (Winter Park, CO)
World Championships competition schedule:
Wednesday, Jan. 29 - moguls qualifier
Thursday, Jan. 30 - aerials qualifier
Friday, Jan. 31 — moguls finalsSaturday, Feb. 1 — dual moguls finals, night aerials finalsNBC will televise coverage from Worlds Saturday, Feb. 1st from 4-6 p.m. EST (2-4 p.m. MST) and Sunday, Feb. 2nd from 1:30-3:30 p.m. EST (11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. MST). This is the second time freestyle World Championships have been held in the United States. Lake Placid, NY, hosted them in 1991 where U.S. skiers won seven medals, including three gold. The U.S. team leads the medal count with 41, including 16 gold, since Worlds first debuted in 1986.