Teen Ty Walker will be among the entrants for Team USA in Thursday's slopestyle snowboarding qualification rounds at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. (Getty Images - Cameron Spencer)
After nearly a week of training action swings into top gear Thursday with slopestyle snowboarding and women's moguls qualification rounds. Hannah Kearney will take the first step towards defending her 2010 gold medal while in slopestyle snowboarding, Shaun White withdraw Wednesday to focus his attention on a third halfpipe Olympic gold. Veteran Todd Lodwick was honored by his Olympian peers, being named as flag bearer for Team USA as he enters an unprecedented sixth Olympics.
Men and women open official downhill training Thursday at the Rosa Khutor alpine venue.
Women's start time will be 10 a.m. with men at 11:30 a.m.
Men's athletes: Bode Miller, Travis Ganong, Marco Sullivan, Steven Nyman, Erik Fisher and Jared Goldberg.
Women's athletes: Julia Mancuso, Stacey Cook, Leanne Smith, Laurenne Ross and Jackie Wiles
Each team will have an afternoon press conference at the Gorki Media Center. The men’s press conference will be from 4:00-4:30 p.m., followed by women’s from 4:30-5:00 p.m.
Athletes have not yet been on the alpine competition hills, but have been on the training slope.
Alpine skiing opens with the men’s downhill Sunday and women’s super combined Monday.
Cross country training is getting underway at the Laura Cross Country Ski Center.
The U.S. Cross Country Ski Team has a media day from 12:00-1:00 p.m. Thursday.
Slopestyle skiing training took place under bluebird skies Wednesday afternoon. The team expressed how they felt about the new course and are setting their sights high. “I love this course! The rails are close together so you have to be on your game throughout the run, the jumps are big and starting to soften up with the weather, but you can expect some crazy runs from our team. It will be great.” – U.S. Freeskiing Team member Gus Kenworthy.
Media had an opportunity Wednesday to meet slopestyle athletes after training.
It was the last day of practice before actual competition begins on the course. (snowboarding Thursday). Athletes have seen improvements made to the course daily to tune up the jumps and rails before competition.
Slopestyle skiing athletes have the day off tomorrow with many doing media appearances on Today Show and Good Morning America.
Freestyle opens up Thursday at 6:30 p.m. with women's qualifying.
Team USA starters will include Hannah Kearney, Heidi Kloser, Heather Mcphie and Eliza Outtrim.
NEWS CLIPS Nutrition is a key element in keeping athletes at their top performance level. The USSA values their athletes’ nutrition and diet and ensures quality care. Read here to see how USSA chef Allen Tran keeps U.S. athletes in prime condition for the Olympic Winter Games.
LIVE IN THE USA - UPCOMING OLYMPIC SCHEDULE (times EST) Thursday, Feb. 6 1:00 am - Men's slopestyle snowboarding qualification 5:00 am - Women's slopestyle qualification 9:00 am - Women's moguls qualification
THURSDAY LIVE ON TODAY SHOW 7:00 a.m. – Todd Lodwick (live remote from Sochi) 7:30 a.m. – Sarah Hendrickson, Jessica Jerome (live from mountains) 8:00 a.m. – Greg Bretz, Danny Davis, Taylor Gold (live from mountains) 8:30 a.m. – Joss Christiansen, Gus Kenworthy, Julia Krass, Maggie Voisin (live from mountains)