In preparation for the inclusion of halfpipe at 2014 Olympics in Sochi, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association announced it’s first-ever national freeskiing team today.
The nine invited athletes are: Simon Dumont, David Wise, Torin Yater-Wallace, Tucker Perkins, Gus Kenworthy, Devin Logan, Jen Hudak, Jess Cumming, and Brita Sigourney. Mike Jankowski, who is currently the head freestyle coach, will coach the team.
The USSA made the decision of who to invite based on last year’s competition results, but U.S. Freeskiing Director, Jeremy Forster also noted that the athletes had a hand in making halfpipe skiing an Olympic sport. “They have played a key role in the formation of their sport and helped influence the IOC decision to include halfpipe skiing through their skills as athletes," he said.
According to USSA, the U.S. Freesking program has been in the works for the past two years. It was formally announced in January, just before the IOC made the decision to include halfpipe at the Sochi games.
Next on the new team’s agenda, On-snow and dry land team training camps, drug testing, training and nutrition programs, and planning for next winters competition season, starting with the first U.S. Halfpipe Grand Prix at Copper Mountain in December.