Maddie Bowman and David Wise are the first halfpipe skiers to qualify for a U.S. Olympic Team.
Bowman and Wise won the third of five Olympic selection events in Breckenridge, Colo., on Sunday. Combined with past Olympic selection event results, they mathematically clinched berths in Sochi.
Ski halfpipe is making its Olympic debut this year.
Bowman, 20, is the reigning Winter X Games champion and a gold-medal contender.
“I’ve just been trying to take each competition day by day, not looking at the big ‘O,’ but now that I know I get to compete there so I’m pretty excited,” she said, according to U.S. Freeskiing.
Wise, 23, is the two-time reigning Winter X Games champion and reigning world champion. He lives in Reno, Nev., and is married with a daughter.
“I’ve been saying all along that just qualifying for this super strong American team is almost the harder challenge than actually competing in the Olympics is going to be, so this is a tremendous relief,” Wise said, according to ESPN.com. “Just to get it out of the way and lock in the spot feels amazing. Now the pressure’s off and I don’t have to send it as much, so I can focus on just having fun and figuring out the run I want to bring to Russia.”
The fourth and fifth Olympic selection events will both be in Park City, Utah, this week, concluding next Sunday.
Up to three halfpipe skiers per gender with at least two top-three results in Olympic selection events will clinch Olympic berths. If there are more than three, they go into tiebreaker rankings.
Here are the Olympic selection tiebreaker rankings, only counting those with at least one top-three result, in ski halfpipe through three of five events:
Men’s Ski Halfpipe
1. David Wise — 200 (clinched Olympic berth)
2. Aaron Blunck — 180 (has two top-three results)
3. Gus Kenworthy — 120
4. Lyman Currier — 110
Women’s Ski Halfpipe
1. Maddie Bowman — 200 (clinched Olympic berth)
2. Brita Sigourney — 180 (has two top-three results)
3. Angeli VanLaanen — 130