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Kevin Bickner, Anna Hoffmann win U.S. Olympic Ski Jumping Trials

Kevin Bickner and Anna Hoffmann won the U.S. Olympic Ski Jumping Trials, but as of now only Bickner is ticketed for the Winter Games in February.

Bickner, the top American at the 2018 Olympics in 18th place, prevailed with the two best jumps in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Saturday. Decker Dean, bidding for his first Olympics, was second, 13 points behind combining scores from two jumps. Casey Larson, a 2018 Olympian, was third.

The U.S. men have two individual Olympic quota spots at this point, though that could change after next month’s international qualifying cutoff. Two would be the fewest U.S. male ski jumpers ever at an Olympics, according to Olympedia.org.

Bickner is guaranteed to be on the Olympic team if the U.S. has at least one men’s quota spot.

The U.S. women have zero Olympic quota spots at the moment. If they gain a spot, it will go to the would-be, first-time Olympian Hoffmann, who rallied past Logan Sankey by a half-point on the second jump.

Women’s ski jumping debuted at the Olympics in 2014. The top American over the last decade, Sarah Hendrickson, announced her retirement in March.

While the U.S. had recent success in the sister sports of cross-country skiing and Nordic combined, it last won an Olympic ski jumping medal in 1974. That medal was actually awarded for the 1924 Chamonix Winter Games. It was learned 50 years later that a math error denied American Anders Haugen a bronze medal, and the IOC corrected the results.

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