U.S. Olympic qualifying for snowboarding and freeskiing will start with the Dew Tour’s iON Mountain Championships in Breckenridge, Colo., from Dec. 12-15.
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association announced the Dew Tour as its fifth qualification event earlier this week. The others are on the U.S. Grand Prix schedule — Copper Mountain, Colo., Northstar, Calif., Park City, Utah, and Mammoth Mountain, Calif.
The five events will determine Olympians in snowboard halfpipe and slopestyle and ski halfpipe and slopestyle. The Olympic rosters are expected to be announced Jan. 22.
The overall Olympic qualification standings will be determined by the two best results for an athlete over the five events.
Competition could be the toughest in women’s snowboard halfpipe, where a maximum of four can make the Olympic team. All four members of the 2010 U.S. Olympic team are expected to vie for Sochi spots — 2002 Olympic champion Kelly Clark, 2006 Olympic champion Hannah Teter, 2006 Olympic silver medalist Gretchen Bleiler and two-time Olympian Elena Hight — as well as 2013 world champion Arielle Gold.