- Team USA
Team USA's week that was: Jan 20-26
After months of training and competing on the World Cup circuit, U.S. athletes locked up the final spots on the U.S. Olympic Team this past weekend. Check out Team USA's week that was, headlined by snowboarders and freestyle skiers competing at the Winter X Games, the announcement of the Alpine team, and a surprising luge result.
Alpine Skiing: U.S. Olympic Team announced
Bode Miller is hitting his stride as he heads into the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The five-time Olympic medalist took two podiums in Austria during the World Cup series stop, including a third place finish in the downhill on Saturday and a second in the super-G on Sunday. He would have managed a third podium in the super combined on Sunday, but was later disqualified for straddling a gate. Miller will be considered a medal threat in as many as four events at the Olympics.
WATCH -- On the edge: Bode Miller
Embedded video_content_type: On the edge: Bode Miller
Julia Mancuso is rounding into form as the Olympics draw nearer, having a successful weekend in Italy at the World Cup stop. She had three top 10 finishes, placing 7th in the super-G on Thursday, 9th in the downhill on Friday and 7th in the downhill on Saturday. American Stacey Cook also had a promising weekend, finishing in ninth in the super-G on Thursday and two fifth place finishes in the downhill on Friday and Saturday.
The Slovenian star, Tina Maze, won her first event of the season, taking the downhill on Saturday.
The U.S. Olympic Alpine Team was named on Sunday afternoon and features 20 skiers, including Olympic champions Miller, Mancuso and Ted Ligety, and world champion Mikaela Shiffrin.
PHOTOS -- Meet the U.S. Olympic Alpine Team
Embedded owg_slideshow: Meet the U.S. Olympic Alpine Team
Snowboarding and Freestyle Skiing: Winter X Games
Snowboarding and freestyle skiing Olympians got a final opportunity to compete on the international stage against the world’s best before they head to Sochi at last weekend’s Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.
The only drama that remained in relation to the U.S. Olympic Team revolved around who would grab the final spot for men’s snowboard cross. Coming into the event, two-time defending Olympic champion Seth Wescott was vying for the final ticket to Sochi against 2010 Olympian Nick Baumgartner. Both Wescott and Baumgartner didn’t make it out of the quarterfinals on Friday, failing to deliver that defining final statement to the committee. Shortly after the competition, Baumgartner was selected to the U.S. team, leaving off the only Olympic champion in the history of the sport.
In women’s snowboard cross, Lindsey Jacobellis took home her eighth Winter X Games gold, breaking the record for most career titles by a woman in Summer or Winter X Games. The remainder of the women’s U.S. Olympic Snowboard Cross Team was named on Saturday, and included Jackie Hernandez and Faye Gulini.
2002 Olympic halfpipe champion Kelly Clark will head to Sochi coming off her fourth straight Winter X Games title. U.S. Olympian Kaitlyn Farrington finished third. The defending Olympic champion Torah Bright, from Australia, did not compete.
WATCH -- Kelly Clark's Olympic Progression
Embedded video_content_type: Kelly Clark's Olympic progression
U.S. Olympian Danny Davis won the biggest pre-Olympic snowboarding halfpipe competition, Sunday night at the X Games. Fellow U.S. Olympian Greg Bretz finished third. Two-time defending Olympic halfpipe champion Shaun White did not compete at the X Games.
American Jamie Anderson was upset in women’s slopestyle, falling to Norway’s Silje Norendal by 0.33 points. Anderson is considered the favorite in the event in Sochi.
Nick Goepper repeated as X Games champion in men’s ski slopestyle. Goepper, who broke two bones in his hand earlier this season, skied without poles. He will lead the team into Sochi as the event makes its Olympic debut.
U.S. Olympian David Wise won his third straight X Games title in ski halfpipe. The defending 2013 World Cup champion is considered to be one of the favorites heading into the Olympics.
Bobsled: Night Train returns to winning ways
Steve Holcomb returned to the winner’s circle with the Night Train 2 sled, winning his first World Cup four-man bobsled race outside North America in more than four years. Holcomb’s team finished .09 seconds ahead of the Swiss team at the final World Cup event of the season in Koniggsee, Germany. Holcomb finished a successful World Cup season, winning the two-man title and placing second in the four-man overall season standings.
The U.S. pair of Elana Meyers and Aja Evans finished in second at the World Cup finale, a fifth of a second off Switzerland's Meyer/Mayer. Americans Fenlator/Jones and Greubel/Williams finished 8th and 10th respectively. Meyers finished the season a single point back of the reigning Olympic champion, Kaillie Humphries.
PHOTOS -- Meet the U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team
Embedded owg_slideshow: Sochi 2014: The U.S. Olympic bobsled team
Skeleton: Pikus-Pace wins World Cup finale
Noelle Pikus-Pace slid to the World Cup season finale victory in skeleton in Germany over the weekend. The win was her fourth victory of the season, which tied her with Great Britain’s Lizzy Yarnold. Yarnold wrapped up the overall World Cup season title. With the retirement of Vancouver's champion Amy Williams, both women are vying for the top spot in Russia.'
WATCH -- Pikus-Pace takes her family for a ride
Embedded video_content_type: Pikus-Pace takes her family for a ride
On the men's side, Matt Antoine finished in 4th, John Daly placed 12th, and Kyle Tresscame in 16th. Antoine's finish resulted in him coming in third overall in the season’s standings.
Luge: Hansen breaks 17-year U.S. drought
U.S. Olympian Kate Hansen did something on Saturday that no American woman had done in 17 years—win a World Cup luge race. The victory came in the season finale, against a field that was void of the top three Germans.