Lyman Currier and Aaron Blunck became the last two halfpipe skiers to earn automatic berths on the U.S. Olympic Team on Saturday.
Currier won the fifth and final Olympic selection event in Park City, Utah, completing a final weekend surge to earn his spot in Sochi. He scored 92.6 points in the first of two runs.
Currier, 19, had not been better than the third American finisher over the first three selection events but posted his two best results the last two nights. His Twitter handle is @urmotherlovesme.
Blunck was second to Currier with 92 points, following second- and first-place finishes in the first two selection events in December.
Blunck, 17, was the only U.S. freestyle skier to win a medal at the first Youth Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, in 2012. He won bronze in ski halfpipe.
They join David Wise on the U.S. Olympic Team in ski halfpipe. Wise, 23 and a married father from Reno, Nev., is the reigning X Games and world champion and gold-medal favorite in Sochi.
One more halfpipe skier could be added to the Olympic Team as a discretionary selection next week.
The leading candidates are Gus Kenworthy, who already made the Olympic Team in ski slopestyle, and Alex Ferreira, who won the fourth selection event Friday.
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Olympic coaches don’t receive gold medals. Fiji Olympic men’s rugby coach Ben Ryan may have gotten something better anyway.
Ryan’s reward for guiding Fiji to its first Olympic medal in any sport — gold in rugby sevens’ Olympic debut — included three acres of land in Fiji and a new name, Ratu Peni Raiyani Latianara, according to Fijian reports.
Ryan, a London native, is stepping down as coach of the Fijian team. The 44-year-old coached the team for three years after leading the England national sevens team for six years.
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OSLO, Norway (AP) — Norwegian skier Aksel Lund Svindal says the knee injury that took him out of the World Cup last season was worse than he’s been letting on.
Svindal was the overall World Cup leader when he injured his right knee in a crash during a downhill in Kitzbuehel, Austria, on Jan. 23. Watch video of the crash here.
In an interview with Norwegian broadcaster NRK, Svindal said not only did he rupture a cruciate ligament, he also damaged his meniscus and cartilage.
Svindal, who won a medal of every color at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, is back on skis training for the upcoming World Cup season.
But he said the cartilage problems are particularly worrisome and could put the season, and even his career, at risk.
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