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Park City, UT, Feb. 27, 2002–U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team (USSST) athletes wrapped up the 2002 Olympic Winter Games with a list of record Olympic performances and achieved the organization’s long-stated goal of winning a record 10 medals.
“This was a team effort and we take a great deal of pride in the accomplishments of these athletes and especially in achieving our team goal,” said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team President and CEO Bill Marolt. Marolt established the 10-medal goal over three years ago – four more than the previous high mark of six set in Nagano.
“We knew coming into these Games that 10 medals was a stretch goal for us, but our athletes achieved it,” he said. “Bode Miller’s silvers in alpine skiing are a tremendous accomplishment,” said Marolt. “And, much as we had expected, snowboard and freestyle continue to be very strong sports for us. We’re also very pleased with the progress we saw in the nordic events, especially nordic combined, where we had U.S. bests in all three of the events, including a fourth in the team competition, and cross country skiing where we had Olympic bests on both the men’s and women’s side including a fifth for the men in the relay!”
It was a record-setting Olympics in nearly every sport for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team including:
– A record 10 medals across all sports – more than 60% greater than the previous mark of six set in 1998 in Nagano.
– The U.S. ranked third in the medal count among the 21 nations, which won medals in ski and snowboard events, behind Norway (15) and Austria (13)
– Bode Miller’s silver in giant slalom and combined were first U.S. men’s medals ever in those events in Olympic history
– The youngest member of the entire 78-skier U.S. delegation, Lindsey C. Kildow, recorded the best Olympic women’s combined result since 1948, finishing 6th (Gretchen Fraser 2nd in 1948)
– Only second time U.S. ski or snowboard athletes have swept gold with Kelly Clark and Ross Powers winning in snowboard halfpipe (only previous was Eric Bergoust and Nikki Stone sweeping freestyle aerials in 1998)
– Only second time in U.S. Winter Olympic history that U.S. athletes have swept all medals in an event with Ross Powers, Danny Kass and JJ Thomas sweeping gold, silver and bronze in men’s halfpipe (only previous was men’s figure skating in 1956)
– Matched best overall medal tally in freestyle skiing with three silvers including Shannon Bahrke and Travis Mayer in moguls, and Joe Pack in aerials (matching 1998 medals by Jonny Moseley in moguls, and Eric Bergoust and Nikki Stone in aerials)
– Miller became only the second male skier in U.S. Olympic history to win two medals in one Olympic Games (Tommy Moe in 1994 was only other in one Games)
– Miller and Powers became third and fourth U.S. men to win two medals in career (Moe in 1994 plus Phil Mahre in 1980 and 1984)
– Best U.S. nordic combined finishes in Olympic history with Todd Lodwick’s 7th and 5th in individual events, and near medal-miss in team event finishing 4th
– Best U.S. women’s Olympic cross country finish in history with Nina Kemppel’s 15th in 30-km classic
– Best overall U.S. men’s Olympic cross country performance in history with John Bauer, Patrick Weaver and Kris Freeman recording top-15 finishes
– Bauer’s 12th in the 15-km classic was the best individual U.S. cross country result in history outside of Bill Koch’s 1976 performance
– Best U.S. cross country relay finish in history with fifth in men’s event
– Alan Alborn’s 11th in K90 was best U.S. finish since 1984 (Jeff Hastings 4th in large hill and 9th in normal hill)
“While our goal for 2002 has always been 10 medals overall, our target for 2006 in Torino has been to step up to become the best in the world,” added Marolt. “We look at 2002 as a beginning, not an end, and look forward to setting new challenges for the next four years.”