The U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Ski Jumping & Nordic Combined will be held at the Utah Olympic Park in a winner-take-all event where the victors will be named to Team USA. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)
PARK CITY, Utah (July 29, 2017) – Utah's 2002 Olympic venues will play a key role in determining the first skiing athletes nominated to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team to compete in PyeongChang. The U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Ski Jumping & Nordic Combined will be held Dec. 30-31 at the Utah Olympic Park in a winner-take-all event where the victors will be named to Team USA.
The announcement was made during U.S. Ski & Snowboard's U.S. Ski Jumping Championships at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City showcasing the top men's and women's ski jumpers in America.
"The Utah Olympic Park will be a great setting for the 2018 Olympic Trials and continue to build Utah's Olympic legacy and the State of Sport," said Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert. "The Olympics continue to serve athletes here in Utah as well as growing economic impact and media exposure for the state."
The Olympic Trials will feature nordic combined on Saturday, Dec. 30 followed by ski jumping for men and women on Sunday, Dec. 31. NBC will carry the event nationally including live coverage of Sunday's ski jumping. The winner of each event will receive a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team. The remainder of the ski and snowboard teams will be named later in January.
2014 Olympian Sarah Hendrickson is expected to return and compete for a spot on the second-ever women's U.S. Olympic Ski Jumping Team. (Getty Images)
The Park City-based U.S. Ski & Snowboard is producing the event in concert with the United States Olympic Committee and the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation with support from the Utah Sports Commission and Park City Chamber and Visitors Bureau.
Olympic veterans Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) and brother Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) are expected to be among the leaders in nordic combined. The event will feature a single jump on the Utah Olympic Park's HS100-meter hill followed by a 10k cross country race on trails at the base of the jump, engineered to keep the event compact for spectators and television.
Ski jumping will see a battle for the top spot from a host of rising stars in the sport, each looking for their first Olympic berth. Kevin Bickner (Wauconda, Ill.) is coming off the best season by a U.S. jumper in over a decade, including the setting of a new American distance record.
For the second time in history, women will be seeking to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Ski Jumping Team. The 2013 world champion and 2014 Olympian Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, Utah) is expected to return and seek a repeat berth on Team USA.
The Trials are yet another reminder of the positive legacy from the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and a national television exposure opportunity for the state. The Utah Olympic Park remains as both a prominent venue for elite athlete training combined with programs to bring youth into winter sport. Since the Olympics, the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation has played host to over 175 national and international competitions.
A complete event and broadcast schedule will be released this fall. All nominations to the U.S. Olympic Team are subject to approval by the USOC.
QUOTES Tiger Shaw, President and CEO, U.S. Ski & Snowboard Our sport is fortunate to continue to take advantage of legacy opportunities nearly 16 years after the 2002 Olympics in Utah. The Utah Olympic Park will be an amazing backdrop for our athletes in an event that will showcase our sport nationwide on NBC.
Jeff Robbins, President and CEO, Utah Sports Commission As a key partner in the 2018 Olympic Trials for ski jumping and nordic combined, the fact that this world-class event will generate millions of dollars in economic impact and significant worldwide media exposure for Utah is terrific news for our state.
Colin Hilton, President and CEO, Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation The Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation strives to develop a 'living legacy' with vibrant youth sport programs and community engagement. The opportunity to host the Olympic Trials allows us to continue to support winter sport while inspiring future athletes and the local community.
ABOUT U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM TRIALS A collaboration between the United States Olympic Committee and its National Governing Bodies, U.S. Olympic Team Trials are held in multiple sports prior to each edition of the Olympic Games and allow athletes to vie for the honor of representing Team USA. Often the last stop in an athlete’s journey to the Olympics, the Trials also offer fans an up-close experience with America’s sports heroes before they go on to compete on the world’s biggest stage. Selection procedures for each sport are developed by the NGBs in concert with the USOC and follow parameters set forth by each International Federation.