The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association has solidified a plan to replace both the halfpipe and slopestyle snowboarding Olympic qualifying events canceled last weekend at Breckenridge with events this week at Mammoth Mountain. (Peter Morning/Mammoth Mountain)
PARK CITY, UT (Jan. 13) – The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association has solidified a plan to replace both the halfpipe snowboarding and slopestyle snowboarding Olympic qualifying events canceled last weekend at Breckenridge. The USSA will move forward with the plan to run replacements for the third of five qualifiers this week at Mammoth Mountain, pending closure of any formal appeals to the International Ski Federation from the cancelation. The plan has approval from the U.S. Olympic Committee.
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association has solidified a plan to run U.S. only Olympic qualifiers to replace the halfpipe snowboarding and slopestyle snowboarding competitions canceled due to snow and low visibility at Breckenridge Saturday.
The canceled competitions were the third of five Olympic qualifiers.
The USSA will move forward with the plan pending closure of any outstanding formal appeals on Saturday’s FIS jury decision to the International Ski Federation. The USSA anticipates formal communication from FIS later on Monday or early Tuesday.
Qualification rounds were completed in both halfpipe and slopestyle. The FIS jury canceled the finals and the competition was not scored, as prescribed in FIS snowboarding rules.
Athletes do have an avenue of appeal to that decision with FIS. As a TTR World Snowboard Tour 5-Star competition, TTR officials were integrated into decision-making during the event.
The revised plan would be to run a U.S. only replacement for the third qualifier at Mammoth Mountain this week, prior to the already scheduled fourth and fifth qualifiers.
The new third qualifiers would be open to any U.S. athletes who were eligible to compete at Breckenridge. The field for the fourth and fifth qualifiers would remain as planned from the top athletes in the rankings after three events.
The replacement qualifier would be sanctioned only as a USSA competition, not FIS or TTR, and would not be open to foreign athletes or scored as a FIS or TTR competition.
The USSA will confirm the additional qualifiers immediately upon getting clearance from FIS relative to action on any appeals.
QUOTES Jeremy Forster, USSA Director of Freeskiing and Snowboarding Maintaining the integrity of the Olympic qualifying system is paramount to U.S. Snowboarding. One of the keys to our success has been fielding strong Olympic teams chosen from five qualifiers. That is the selection criteria we put forward to the USOC and it is our intent to find a solution so that we can run five qualifiers for both halfpipe and slopestyle.
Calum Clark, USSA Vice President, Events The decision of the FIS jury to cancel the events due to weather and to not score on qualifying was completely per the FIS snowboarding rules. There was also collaboration between the FIS jury and TTR on the decision Saturday. While we were disappointed that the event was canceled, we know it was run completely by the rules.