USSA is looking to schedule replacement Olympic qualifiers during this week's Sprint U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain's Unbound Terrain Park. (U.S. Snowboarding - Sarah Brunson)
PARK CITY, UT (Jan. 12) – Following Saturday’s cancelation of the third of five Olympic qualifying events in snowboarding halfpipe and slopestyle, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association announced it has plans to replace the competitions with a U.S. only qualifier at Mammoth Mountain. Heavy snow and low visibility forced the International Ski Federation jury to cancel the two competitions at Breckenridge. The USSA is prepared to conduct a replacement qualifier pending outcome of any appeals from athletes against the Saturday jury decision. The plan has approval from the U.S. Olympic Committee.
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association has announced it has a plan to run a U.S. only Olympic qualifier to replace the snowboarding halfpipe and slopestyle competitions canceled due to snow and low visibility at Breckenridge Saturday.
The canceled competitions were the third of five Olympic qualifiers.
Qualification rounds were completed in both halfpipe and slopestyle. The FIS jury canceled the finals and the competition was not scored. Athletes do have an avenue of appeal to that decision with FIS. As a TTR World Snowboard Tour 5-Star competition, TTR officials were integrated into decision-making during the event.
The USSA’s plan is pending clearance from FIS on any appeals relative to the decision of its competition jury at the Breckenridge qualifier.
The revised plan would be to run a U.S. only replacement for the third qualifier at Mammoth Mountain this week, prior to the already scheduled fourth and fifth qualifiers.
The new third qualifiers would be open to any U.S. athletes who were eligible to compete at Breckenridge. The field for the fourth and fifth qualifiers would remain as planned from the top athletes in the rankings after three events.
The replacement qualifier would be sanctioned only as a USSA competition, not FIS or TTR, and would not be open to foreign athletes or scored as a FIS or TTR competition.
The USSA plans to announce its replacement plan as soon as it has clearance on appeals from FIS and will issue an update Monday.
Jeremy Forster, USSA Director of Freeskiing and Snowboarding
We have historic success running a series of five Olympic qualifying events. Since Saturday’s cancelation, we have worked with USOC to find a solution that will allow us to provide our U.S. athletes with a replacement for the third qualifier. We now only need to wait for clearance from FIS that there will be no appeals actions that would revert any decisions from the canceled events.
Calum Clark, USSA Vice President, Events
Our focus is on providing athletes with the fairest platform for Olympic qualifying. It’s fortunate for our athletes to have partners like Breckenridge and Mammoth Mountain that are willing to step up and provide world-class competition venues and high quality organizing committees. Mammoth Mountain has been willing to undertake the added burden and we hope that this will be a solution to provide our athletes with a fair pathway to Sochi.
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