Angeli VanLaanen

Olympians react after Seahawks claim Super Bowl XLVIII

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As we mentioned earlier today, Team USA athletes were keen on seeing tonight’s Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks.

We figure now’s a good time to see how some of them are reacting after the Seahawks’ 43-8 victory at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

We’ll start off with short-track star J.R. Celski, a native of the Seattle region that fired off this tweet during the Hawks’ demolition of Peyton Manning and Co. We’re thinking he’s pleased.

And as it turns out, pairs figure skater Alex Shibutani was thinking the same thing…

Also enjoying tonight’s outcome was halfpipe skier and Bellingham, Washington native Angeli VanLaanen.

But as you’d imagine, reactions were much different from Olympians cheering for the Orange and Blue.

Skeleton racer Katie Uhlaender apparently had bad flashbacks to the Broncos’ 55-10 loss in Super Bowl XXIV to the San Francisco 49ers…

Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn, who is not competing at Sochi due to injury but has joined NBC as an Olympics correspondent, wasn’t very happy either.

Then there was Canadian snowboarder and gold medal contender Mark Morris, who had another thought on his mind upon waking up in Sochi.

For the record, Seattle coach Pete Carroll wound up getting two Gatorade baths – one of which, ironically, was done with Orange Gatorade.

Paul Martin represents 2006 U.S. Olympic hockey “taxi squad” in Sochi

Full list of automatic ski halfpipe, ski slopestyle Olympic qualifiers

David Wise
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The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association nominated 11 athletes to the Olympic Team in ski halfpipe and ski slopestyle on Saturday night.

Here’s the list:

Men’s Ski Halfpipe
Aaron Blunck — 2012 Youth Olympics bronze medalist
Lyman Currier
David Wise — 2012, 2013 Winter X Games champion, 2013 World Champion

Women’s Ski Halfpipe
Maddie Bowman — 2013 Winter X Games champion, 2012 Winter X Games silver medalist
Brita Sigourney — 2011 Winter X Games silver medalist, 2012 Winter X Games bronze medalist
Angeli VanLaanen

Men’s Ski Slopestyle
Bobby Brown — 2010 Winter X Games champion
Nick Goepper — 2013 Winter X Games champion, 2012 Winter X Games silver medalist, 2013 World Championships bronze medalist
Gus Kenworthy

Women’s Ski Slopestyle
Keri Herman — 2010, 2011 Winter X Games silver medalist, 2011 World Championships bronze medalist
Devin Logan — 2012 Winter X Games silver medalist

As many as five more athletes could be named to the Olympic Team in those events next week via discretionary selections. The number is not definite due to the maximum Olympic team size for freestyle skiing.

A nation can’t send more than 26 freestyle skiers to the Olympics across all disciplines — aerials, moguls, ski cross, ski halfpipe and ski slopestyle — even though it could qualify up to 40 Olympic freestyle skiing spots (four per gender per event).

As of Friday, the U.S. had qualified 34 freestyle skiing quota spots — four men and women each in aerials, moguls, ski halfpipe and ski slopestyle, two men in skicross and zero women in skicross. If it stays that way, the U.S. will not be able to fill eight of those spots.

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#Sochi bound!

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List of athletes nominated to U.S. Olympic Team

Angeli VanLaanen overcomes Lyme disease to make Olympic Team

Angeli VanLaanen
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Angeli VanLaanen won the final Olympic selection event in ski halfpipe Saturday, capping one of the most inspiring runs to the U.S. Olympic Team across all sports.

VanLaanen, 28, took a three-year break from halfpipe skiing in 2009 to treat Lyme disease, which went misdiagnosed for 14 years. She released a 30-minute documentary about her treatment — “LymeLight” — last year.

On Saturday, VanLaanen needed a podium finish and posted a first-run score of 88.2 points. It held up to beat 10 women taking two runs. She joins Maddie Bowman and Brita Sigourney on the U.S. Olympic Team in ski halfpipe.

Bowman is the reigning Winter X Games champion. Sigourney won silver at the 2011 X Games and bronze in 2012. Other medal contenders include Canada’s Roz Gronewoud (2012 X Games champion) and Switzerland’s Virginia Faivre (2013 World Champion).

Ski halfpipe was once dominated by Canadian Sarah Burke, who died on Jan. 19, 2012, nine days after crashing in training in Park City.

One more woman could be added to the U.S. Olympic Team as a discretionary selection next week. The leading contenders are Devin Logan and Annalisa Drew, who were third and fourth behind VanLaanen and Sigourney on Saturday.

Logan already made the Olympic Team in ski slopestyle.

Three slopestyle snowboarders earn Olympic berths