The new U.S. Freeskiing National Team announced its first official team roster today, following April's news that Ski Halfpipe will be an Olympic medal sport at the 2014 Games in Sochi and that Copper Mountain will host the first Olympic qualifier for the event in December 2013. Three of the nine skiers named for the 2011-2012 team are from Colorado:
- Torin Yater-Wallace, a fifteen-year-old from from Basalt, popped up in the Dew Tour's Gatorade Free Flow Tour amateur series to earn a spot competing against the pros, surprising everybody with a podium finish at the Nike 6.0 Open at Breckenridge and going on to claim Rookie of the Year honors on the 2010/2011 tour. He also picked up a Silver medal in the pipe at Winter X Games 15 on his home turf at Buttermilk (see video below).
- Gus Kenworthy, the nineteen-year-old from Telluride (and currently living in Breckenridge) was the 2010/2011 Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) Overall World Champion.
- Jess Cumming, a former World Cup champ and a Winter X Games competitor since 2006, now calls Beaver Creek home.
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Other athletes on the U.S. Freeskiing National Team include Simon Dumont, David Wise, Tucker Perkins, Devin Logan, Jen Hudak, and Brita Sigourney.
"These are the best American athletes competing in the sport today," said U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing Director Jeremy Forster in a statement released today. "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."