As part of its ongoing 10 Weeks to Torino program, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association confirmed Wednesday it would begin announcing athletes Jan. 16 for the various U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams. The Olympic winter Games run Feb. 10-26 in Torino, Italy.
"We're on-track to be Best in the World, as we've said for a couple of years, and there's no doubt we'll to sending our strongest Olympic and Paralympic teams to Torino. We're all excited about these Games and naming each of the teams is always an energizing time," said USSA Vice President of Athletics Alan Ashley, who oversees 14 sport teams.
U.S. Olympic Team announcement dates and locations:
Jan. 16 - Nordic Combined/Ski Jumping; Park City, Utah
Jan. 17 - Cross Country; Park City, Utah
Jan. 21 - Snowboard; Mountain Creek, N.J.
Jan. 25 - Alpine; Las Vegas, Nev.
Jan. 25 - Freestyle; Deer Valley Resort, Park City, Utah
The nordic combined team and ski jumping team will be announced Jan. 16, based on international results. The next day, Jan. 17, the cross country team will be unveiled; the U.S. Cross Country Championships - which concluded Tuesday on the 2002 Olympic trails at Soldier Hollow - marks the end of the selection period for cross country.
The U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team, including not only halfpipe and parallel giant slalom riders but athletes for the new-this-winter snowboardcross competition. Athletes will be named Jan. 21 following the third and final Chevrolet U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix events at Mountain Creek, N.J. NBC will televise coverage Sunday Jan. 22 at 3 p.m. ET and OLN will have Grand Prix coverage Jan. 22 at 5 p.m. ET.
The Olympic Alpine Ski Team will be announced Jan. 25 at the Snowsport Industries America trade show in Las Vegas and the Olympic Freestyle Team will be named that same day at Utah's Deer Valley resort, the 2002 Olympic freestyle venue and host for the 2003 World Championships.
"U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding athletes have shown on the World Cup and during the halfpipe events with the Grand Prix they're ready to make that Best in the World claim come true next month...move it out of the dream category and into reality," Ashley said. "Best in the World means one thing - the most snowsport medals in Torino. We took 10 Olympic medals in 2002, 15 medals from the World Championships of 2003, and 15 again last season. We've got the best athletes and the best coaches, and now we just have to make it happen. These will be incredibly exciting Olympic competitions."
The Paralympics are scheduled for March 10-20 and the Paralympics Team for alpine and cross country will be named feb. 7, Ashley said.