Lindsey Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin, Julia Mancuso, Ted Ligety and Bode Miller were among 38 athletes nominated to the U.S. Ski Team for the 2014-15 season on Wednesday.
Vonn, 29, aims to return from January knee surgery for the first speed races of the World Cup season in December, a little over one month after the campaign starts with a giant slalom in Soelden, Austria.
Shiffrin, 19, hopes to build off winning Olympic gold and the World Cup season title in the slalom. Her next goals include winning her first World Cup giant slalom race and perhaps entering her first super-G events, in particular at the 2015 World Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek, Colo., in February.
Mancuso, 30, is coming off an interesting season. She won Olympic bronze in the super combined but did not finish higher than 15th in any World Cup discipline.
Ligety, 29, at last won Olympic giant slalom gold in Sochi. His aspirations are even higher on the World Cup circuit, though. He wants to win an overall title, combining results from all disciplines. He’ll have to improve from third and fourth the last two years and knock off three-time reigning champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria.
Miller, 36, became the oldest Olympic Alpine skiing medalist ever with his super-G bronze in Sochi. Next season will likely be his last before retiring.
The 38 nominations did not include two-time Olympian Resi Stiegler, one of the top U.S. technical skiers for the last decade when healthy. Stiegler, 28, was 30th in the World Cup slalom start last standings after last season, five spots shy of the top 25 spot necessary to be renamed to the U.S. A team given her age.
Stiegler was not given a discretionary selection, but three-time Olympians Steven Nyman and Marco Sullivan did earn discretionary B team spots while being outside of the top 30 in World Cup start list standings, according to Ski Racing Magazine.
“Marco Sullivan, you look at his career and what he’s done for American ski racing and also the year he had last year where he was consistently skiing pretty well, at the same time got unlucky in a couple races, just off the mark,” U.S. men’s coach Sasha Rearick said, according to Ski Racing. “He’s still top 30 in the world. For sure, he has 100 percent support of the entire group of guys to be named to the team. And Steve Nyman, in a similar situation. He was skiing well early in the season, took a big crash and was a little out of sorts but came back skiing stronger. Both guys, when you look at their historical performances over the years, they’ve built up a credibility that we fully support them being named to the team.”
The 2014-15 U.S. Ski Team will be formally named in the fall.