Freestyle skiing 101: Qualifying for the 2018 Olympic Games
How does the Olympic qualification process work for freestyle skiing?
There will be a maximum total of 282 freestyle skiing athletes (147 male, 135 female) competing at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
Each event has a maximum number of competitors that may participate.
Aerials: 25 male, 25 female athletes
Moguls: 30 male, 30 female athletes
Ski cross: 32 male, 32 female athletes
Halfpipe: 30 male, 24 female athletes
Slopestyle: 30 male, 24 female athletes
Each nation can send up to 30 freestyle skiers, with a maximum of 16 males or 16 females. A nation may have no more than four athletes compete in any one event. Athletes participating in the ski cross event must have been born before January 1, 2002. Athletes participating in all other freestyle skiing events must have been born before January 1, 2003.
The qualification period officially lasts from July 1, 2016 through January 21, 2018.
Olympic quota spots are awarded to countries, rather than athletes. The FIS points list from the qualification period will be the basis for determining which nations are allocated an Olympic quota spot. South Korea, the Olympic host country, will be automatically granted one quota place in each event.
Countries that earn quota spots may then decide which athletes to allocate those spots to. Athletes are eligible to be selected for their country’s Olympic team if they have fulfilled both of the following criteria during the qualification period:
- Placed in the top 30 at a FIS World Cup event or at the 2017 FIS World Championships in their respective discipline
- Scored a minimum amount of FIS points (80 FIS points for moguls, aerials and ski cross; 50 FIS points for halfpipe and slopestyle)
A series of selection events for the U.S. Olympic freestyle skiing team will be held leading up to the 2018 Winter Games. The objective criteria is the same for all five disciplines.
In order to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team via the objective criteria, athletes will need to have at least two podium (top-three) finishes in the selection events. If three or fewer athletes meet that criteria, those athletes will automatically be named to the Olympic team.
If four or more athletes have at least two podium finishes, then those athletes will be assigned ranking points based on their two best results from the selection events. Based on this ranking list, the top three athletes will be named to the Olympic team. Should a tie exist, there are tiebreaking procedures that would go into effect.
Remaining quota spots are filled based on the discretion of the coaching staff. This often allows for athletes who were injured during the selection events to make the Olympic team.
Below are the dates of the halfpipe selection events:
Feb. 1, 2017 — Mammoth Grand Prix
Dec. 6-8, 2017 — Copper Grand Prix
Dec. 16, 2017 — Breckenridge Dew Tour
Jan. 10-12, 2018 — Aspen Grand Prix
Jan. 17-19, 2018 — Mammoth Grand Prix
Below are the dates of the slopestyle selection events:
Feb. 5, 2017 — Mammoth Grand Prix (women only)
Dec. 15, 2017 — Breckenridge Dew Tour
Jan. 11-13, 2018 — Aspen Grand Prix (#1)
Jan. 14, 2018 — Aspen Grand Prix (#2)
Jan. 18-20, 2018 — Mammoth Grand Prix (#1)
Jan. 21, 2018 — Mammoth Grand Prix (#2)