|PARK CITY, Utah (Dec. 18) - The Team is made up of World Cup performers and up-and-coming talents including 2007 World Cup Rookies of the Year Scott Bahrke (aerials; Park City, UT), Jay Bowman-Kirigin (moguls; Salt Lake City, UT) and Heather McPhie (moguls; Bozeman, MT). |
Freestyle Director Polly-Jo Clark said the team of 28 men and 26 women includes eight Olympians.
Roberts won two World Cup moguls contests and was bronze medalist at the 2007 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships.
"This is a fantastic group of athletes, a big Team with great, proven talent, with outstanding and emerging leaders...and a gold-medal work ethic," Clark said. "The coaching staff and I are especially excited about this group, from the Olympics and medalists down to the development group, which is working up through our pipeline."
The U.S. Freestyle Ski team, which opened its World Cup campaign with a moguls event Dec.13 in Tignes, France, had 11 skiers in the top 15 in their respective World Cup standings last season, including four in their first year on the World Cup. Three of them were Rookie of the Year. The U.S. went 1-2-3-4 in men's moguls at Junior Worlds and took two medals in duals, nine medals overall. "The potential for success with these athletes in huge," added Clark.
Two-time Olympic aerialist Jeret "Speedy" Peterson (Boise, ID), who set two world records in a snowstorm at Utah's Deer Valley Resort last January, is on the Team, but will not compete this winter, Clark said.
Shannon Bahrke, the '03 moguls World Cup champion and silver medalist in dual moguls at Worlds will also be out for the season. Bahrke injured a knee training in Tignes, France just prior to the opening World Cup. She will undergo surgery but is excited to comeback for next season and looking forward to Vancouver 2010.
The Team will be showcased in a pair of U.S. World Cups including the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup in Lake Placid, NY, Jan. 18-20 and the Visa Freestyle International at Deer Valley Resort in Park City Feb. 1-2.
The 2008 U.S. Freestyle Ski Team (including specialty, date of birth, hometown and club program; * indicates Olympian):
Olivia Akerley, dual moguls (1/10/90; Salt Lake City; Wasatch Freestyle)
Ani Haas, moguls (12/14/87; Park City, UT; Park City Freestyle)
Allison Lee, aerials (11/13/89; Manchester, CT; Waterville Valley Black & Blue Trail Smashers)
Kristen Sweeney, moguls/dual moguls (2/9/89; Falmouth, ME; Carrabassett Valley Academy)
Whitney Henceroth, moguls/dual moguls (6/14/89; Dillon, CO; Team Summit)
Caterina Mader, moguls (12/12/89; Steamboat Springs, CO; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)
Mickaela Matthews, dual moguls (12/24/91; Frisco, CO; Team Summit)
Jordan Poyfair, moguls (11/12/89, North Englewood, CO; Team Summit)
Sophia Schwartz, dual moguls (11/24/90; Ketchum, ID; Waterville Valley Black & Blue Trail Smashers)
"Look at their results," Clark said, pointing to the success and depth on the Team. In addition to medals and World Cup wins by Roberts and Bahrke last season, five others have won World Cups. Three skiers - McPhie, Scotty Bahrke and Bowman-Kirigin - were Rookie of the Year on the World Cup tour and U.S. athletes won nine medals at Junior Worlds.
"As we build toward the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, the future looks good...but freestyle's present looks pretty solid, too," Clark said.