Patrick Deneen became the first U.S. men’s moguls skier to clinch a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team with a second-place finish in a World Cup event in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Wednesday.
Deneen, 26 and a 2010 Olympian, joins 2010 Olympic champion Hannah Kearney on the Olympic moguls team so far. The U.S. could send as many as four men and four women moguls skiers to Sochi.
Deneen ranks third in the World Cup standings behind Canadians Mikael Kingsbury and Alexandre Bilodeau, who are the reigning world and Olympic champions, respectively, and gold- and silver-medal favorites in Sochi.
Deneen won the 2009 World Championship, crashed in the 2010 Olympic finals to finish 19th and took bronze at the 2013 World Championships behind Kingsbury and Bilodeau.
Bradley Wilson and Heidi Kloser could clinch their first Olympic berths with top-three finishes in the next World Cup event Sunday.
List of athletes nominated to U.S. Olympic Team
NBC Sports will air coverage of 87 Alpine skiing races at 22 resorts across the globe this fall and winter, from October through March, in the final full season before the 2018 Olympics.
Highlights include fall and winter stops in the U.S. with races in Killington, Vt.; Beaver Creek, Colo.; Squaw Valley, Calif.; and the World Cup Finals in Aspen, Colo., in March.
Lindsey Vonn‘s highlighted World Cup stop will be downhill and super-G races in Lake Louise, Canada, the first weekend of December.
The world championships in February will be in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin will look to defend titles.
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Canadian skier Phil Brown was fortunate to walk away from an airborne crash at the World Cup season opener in Soelden, Austria, on Sunday.
Brown failed to finish his first run, losing contact with the snow early on and falling hard onto his side.
He tweeted a video of the crash, with slow-motion replays, with a soundtrack of Irish singer Enya‘s “Only Time.”
The World Cup season continues with men’s and women’s slaloms in Levi, Finland, in three weeks.
MORE: Ted Ligety recovers to finish fifth in first race in 9 months