Ted Ligety, Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin lead the 2016 U.S. Alpine Ski Team roster, announced publicly Nov. 21 in Copper Mountain, Colo.
Shiffrin, the Olympic slalom champion, plans to make her World Cup debut in the season’s first super-G in Lake Louise, Alberta. Shiffrin is expected to race giant slalom Nov. 27 in Aspen, Colo. Vonn is also expected in Aspen, making her return to competition after sustaining an ankle injury in New Zealand over the summer.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to win the overall globe, but I think this year is a little bit of a gauge to see where I can stack up,” Shiffrin said in a statement through the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. “If my slalom keeps going well then I feel really strong and I can make points. But it’s a little too early to tell right now.”
Bode Miller and Julia Mancuso were also named to the team, though both are inactive. Miller has joined NBC Sports as an analyst, beginning Dec. 4-6 for the men’s World Cup races in Beaver Creek, Colo. He called skiing in Peyongchang 2018 “really unlikely.” Mancusco will miss the 2015-16 season due to hip surgery, but is eyeing the next Olympic Winter Games.
For the first time ever, skiers were named to the national roster posthumously. Bryce Astle and Ronnie Berlack, killed last January in an avalanche in Austria, were Alpine skiing prospects.
“Ronnie and Bryce were tremendous young men and talented athletes,” U.S. men’s coach Sasha Rearick said in a press release. “Recognizing them in this way will help us all remember what they meant to us and help to bring a small bit of closure to us all.”