March 2, 2007
PARK CITY, UTAH - (USST News Bureau Release) - The U.S. Ski Team will send 16 athletes, including defending moguls world champion Nate Roberts (Park City, UT) and nine other athletes with Olympics or World Championships experience, to the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships March 6-10 in Madonna di Campiglio, Program Director Polly-Jo Clark announced.
The group includes nine men and seven women. The team also would have included defending women's moguls world champion Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT) but she is recovering from knee surgery, Clark said.
The 2007 U.S. squad for Worlds (date of birth, hometown, Olympics/Worlds experience):
> Scott Bahrke, 7/19/85, Tahoe City, UT
> Dylan Ferguson, 8/10/88, Amesbury, MA
> Jeret Peterson, 12/12/81, Boise, ID (2002, '06 Olympics; 2003, '05 Worlds)
> Ryan St. Onge, 2/7/83, Steamboat Springs, CO (2006 Olympics; 2003, '05 Worlds)
> Dave Babic, 6/13/79, Washington, VT (2003, '05 Worlds)
> Jay Bowman-Kirigin, 6/30/87, Salt Lake City
> David Digravio, 11/26/86, Farmington, ME
> Sho Kashima, 11/1/86, Zephyr Cove, NV
> Nate Roberts, 3/24/82, Park City, UT (2005 Worlds)*
> Emily Cook, 7/1/79, Belmont, MA (2006 Olympics, 1999, 2001, '05 Worlds)
> Lacy Schnoor, 6/12/85, Draper, UT
> Shannon Bahrke, 11/7/80, South Lake Tahoe, CA (2002, '06 Olympics; 1999, 2001, '03 Worlds)
> Heather McPhie, 5/28/84, Bozeman, MT
> Michelle Roark, 11/16/74, Winter Park, CO (2006 Olympics; 1999, 2003, '05 Worlds)
> Shelly Robertson, 4/8/79, Reno, NV (2003 Worlds)
> Jillian Vogtli, 5/26/73, Ellicotville, NY (2002, '06 Olympics; 1997, 2001, '03, '05 Worlds)
(*As defending champion, receives automatic start spot)
"This is an exciting group of athletes and it shows some of the transition the Ski Team is making in this post-Olympics season," Clark said. "Each of these skiers has shown he or she can compete at the highest level. Nate's the reigning moguls gold medalist, Shannon Bahrke has won Olympics and Worlds medals, Bahrke, 'Speedy' Peterson and Michelle Roark are former World Cup champions, and seven of them have won at least one World Cup contest.
"On the other hand, although several of them are in their first season of fulltime World Cup competition, they haven't been intimidated and they've had podiums or top-5 results. It's a very strong group and we're looking for continued success in Madonna," she said.
The freestyle championships originally were scheduled for January but the snow drought, which afflicted so much of central Europe forced organizers to postpone the championships into early March.
The scheduled skier halfpipe was canceled due to lack of snow. And no U.S. athletes qualified for ski cross. "It's been a really challenging snow year for freestyle internationally, Clark said. "Most of our top U.S. ski cross athletes chose to compete in a domestic series rather than international qualifying events. And we were disappointed that conditions were such that the halfpipe could not be held at worlds as we do have athletes qualified to compete."
WCSN.com will broadcast live or same-day video streaming from freestyle Worlds and live interval scoring will be available at http://livetiming.usskiteam.com.