Ryan Stassel

Julia Marino, Jamie Anderson close in on Olympic snowboard team spots after second U.S. qualifier

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Julia Marino is within striking distance of qualifying for her first Olympic team. Sochi gold medalist Jamie Anderson is even closer.

Marino, who won four X Games medals in slopestyle and big air competitions last season, unleashed a frontside 720 and her signature cab double underflip to take second place in big air at the U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, the second of five qualifying events for the U.S. snowboard slopestyle and big air team.

Anderson, who received high marks for her cab 900 but lower scores for her frontside 720, finished off the podium in fourth. Because she and Marino were the only Americans to reach the final at Copper though, Anderson still received a valuable haul of Olympic selection points and maintains the lead in the overall rankings.

Although Marino’s cab double underflip received the highest score of the competition, riders in big air are scored on their two best tricks. That enabled Japan’s Reira Iwabuchi to take the win with a pair of solid jumps that included a backside 1080. Silje Norendal of Norway finished on the podium in third behind Iwabuchi and Marino.

In order to be named to the U.S. Olympic slopestyle and big air snowboarding team, riders must have a minimum of one podium finish at the selection events. If more than three riders attain podium finishes, then the tiebreaker will come down each rider’s two best results.

Marino and Anderson have both fulfilled the minimum criteria for automatic selection. Either of them could clinch spots on the Olympic team for both slopestyle and big air by finishing as the top U.S. rider at any of the remaining selection events. The next event will be a slopestyle contest next week in Breckenridge, Colo.

Meanwhile, the men’s big air competition had the potential to shake up the U.S. Olympic rankings, as none of the podium finishers from the first selection event reached the final at Copper.

After a disappointing result in that first qualifier, which was held at Mammoth Mountain last winter, Chris Corning bounced back to finish as the top American in this contest and second place overall. He landed a frontside 1440 and a massive backside triple cork 1440 on his two jumps, putting his own stylish twist on both tricks with melon grabs.

Corning, the 2015/16 World Cup champion in slopestyle, has emerged as perhaps the U.S. team’s top hope for an Olympic medal this year in both men’s slopestyle and big air, events typically dominated by riders from Canada and Norway. Now that he has his first selection event podium under his belt, he can clinch a spot on the Olympic team by finishing as the top American at any of the remaining contests.

Also earning a podium result with a third-place finish was 19-year-old Chandler Hunt, who has suddenly added his name to the U.S. Olympic discussion.

The victory in men’s big air went to Norway’s Mons Roisland, who stomped a switch backside 1620 and a frontside 1440 tail grab on his jumps.

Three more selection events for the slopestyle and big air team still remain, and all three will be slopestyle events. Dew Tour will host a selection event next week in Breckenridge, then there will be a break until Olympic qualifying resumes in January with competitions at Aspen and Mammoth.

U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain Results

Men’s Snowboard Big Air
1. Mons Roisland (NOR), 182.75
2. Chris Corning (USA), 177.25
3. Chandler Hunt (USA), 159.00
4. Ryan Stassel (USA), 154.50
5. Max Parrot (CAN), 121.50

Women’s Snowboard Big Air
1. Reira Iwabuchi (JPN), 169.25
2. Julia Marino (USA), 160.25
3. Silje Norendal (NOR), 156.75
4. Jamie Anderson (USA), 151.50
5. Sina Candrian (SUI), 135.50

U.S. Olympic Qualifying Standings

Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle/Big Air
1. Red Gerard, 1400*
2. Chris Corning, 1200*
3. Chandler Hunt, 1160*
4. Kyle Mack, 1000*
5. Judd Henkes, 1000

Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle/Big Air
1. Jamie Anderson, 1800*
2. Julia Marino, 1600*
3. Hailey Langland, 1300*
4. Jessika Jenson, 1050
5. Nora Healey, 950

*Has automatic qualifying minimum of one top-three result.

U.S. adds Olympian who has lived in truck, 3 more snowboarders

Justin Reiter
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Justin Reiter can go to the Olympics, but he’ll have to leave his Toyota Tundra back in the States.

Reiter, who gained fame last summer as the Alpine snowboarder living out of his truck, was named to his first Olympic Team on Tuesday.

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association also finalized its first slopestyle snowboarding Olympic Team with three discretionary selections — Ryan StasselJessika Jenson and Karly Shorr.

Reiter, 32, is the reigning world silver medalist in the parallel slalom, a new event added for Sochi, that is similar to the existing parallel giant slalom. Alpine snowboarding was added to the Olympics in 1998.

Reiter’s world silver is better than any of his 76 World Cup finishes, where he owns one podium. The U.S., which excels in every other snowboarding discipline, has not won an Olympic gold medal in Alpine snowboarding.

“My mom isn’t known for being quiet,” Reiter said, according to Steamboat Today. “When I told her that I had made the U.S. Olympic Team, she screamed and then she told everybody in the post office that her son had been named to the Olympic Team.”

Slopestyle snowboarders Stassel, Jenson and Shorr are also first-time Olympians.

Stassel, who won an Olympic selection event last week, joins Shaun WhiteChas Guldemond and Sage Kotsenburg in slopestyle. They’re all thought to be chasing Canadian favorite Mark McMorris.

Jenson and Shorr join Olympic gold medal favorite Jamie Anderson and Ty Walker, who is 16 and the youngest snowboarder on the Olympic Team.

U.S.’ top aerialist left off Olympic Team

Three more slopestyle snowboarders wrap up Olympic berths

Ty Walker
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Sage KotsenburgChas Guldemond and Ty Walker joined the U.S. Olympic Team in snowboard slopestyle at the final selection event in Mammoth Mountain, Calif., on Saturday.

Kotsenburg won the men’s event with a 95.4-first run tally. Guldemond was sixth but wrapped up a berth via previous strong results. Likewise, Walker was fifth in the women’s event but made it via a tiebreaker.

“It’s been since I was 10 years old since I won something,” said Kotsenburg, 20. “I’m so stoked. It’s crazy.”

Kotsenburg and Guldemond join Shaun White on the U.S. Olympic Team in slopestyle. They’re all medal contenders but also looking up at gold-medal favorite Mark McMorris from Canada.

Kotsenburg is a Winter X Games silver and bronze medalist. Guldemond won X Games bronze in 2010.

“It’s been so much hard work and sacrifice to get to this point,” Guldemond said. “I’m exhausted from all these qualifying events.”

White won four straight X Games titles from 2003-06. McMorris is the two-time reigning X Games champion.

Walker, 16, joined gold-medal favorite Jamie Anderson on the women’s team.

One more man and two more women could be named to the U.S. Olympic Team in snowboard slopestyle via discretionary selections. The top candidates are Ryan Stassel and Kyle Mack for the men and Karly ShorrJessika Jenson and Jordie Karlinski for the women.

U.S. Olympic Skeleton Team named