Arielle Gold and Kaitlyn Farrington are going to their first Olympics. Gretchen Bleiler and Elena Hight will not be going to their third Olympics.
The final Olympic selection event in snowboard halfpipe event saw youth rule in Mammoth Mountain, Calif., on Sunday.
Farrington won with a first-run score of 91.4 points to wrap up her trip to Sochi. Gold was off the podium, but her previous results in selection events were good enough to earn an Olympic berth, too. They join 2002 Olympic champion Kelly Clark on the Olympic Team.
(Update: 2006 Olympic champion and 2010 silver medalist Hannah Teter was named as the fourth and final member of the Olympic Team via discretionary selection an hour after competition ended Sunday.)
The U.S. Olympic women’s snowboard halfpipe team will look different from 2006 and 2010, when the same four women competed — Clark, Teter, Bleiler and Hight.
Teter, the 2006 Olympic champion and 2010 silver medalist, was third with 89 points Sunday after a comeback weekend that saw her almost earn an automatic Olympic berth. She’ll take the discretionary spot and try to become the first woman to win an Olympic halfpipe medal at three straight Olympics.
Clark is the first U.S. women’s snowboarder to make four Olympic Teams. Snowboarding was added to the Olympic program in 1998.
Gold, 17 and the 2013 World Champion, joined her older brother, Taylor, on the Olympic halfpipe team.
There are 10 U.S. women’s halfpipe snowboarders with bio pages on the U.S. Snowboarding website. Farrington, 24, is not one of them, though she owns a 2011 Winter X Games silver medal.
In Sochi, the U.S. could sweep the podium. The top international threat is 2010 Olympic champion Torah Bright, who aims to compete in not only halfipe in Sochi, but also slopestyle and snowboardcross.
Bleiler, the 2006 Olympic silver medalist, never finished higher than third in five Olympic selection events.
Hight, the first woman to land a 900 in competition in 2002 and a double cork in 2013, never finished higher than fifth.