Sochi recap: Freestyle skiing, women’s halfpipe

Surely, somewhere, Sarah Burke is proud. She didn’t live to see it, but her sport made its Olympic debut with aplomb. The USA’s Maddie Bowman may have been overlooked while all this happened because figure skating and women’s hockey were going on, but watch for her on NBC tonight.

Date: 20-Feb

Sport: Freestyle skiing

Event: Women’s halfpipe

Medalists: Maddie Bowman (USA), Marie Martinod (France), Ayana Onozuka (Japan)

SportsMyriad projections: Virginie Faivre (Switzerland), Roz Groenewoud (Canada), Maddie Bowman (USA)

How U.S. fared: Annalisa Drew was first up for the Americans and landed a 1080, not a common trick here. Yet she only got a 66.40, seventh after the first run.

Angeli VanLaanen was in the middle of a good first run but falling. Brita Sigourney was going even bigger when she slipped on her backside, recovered, did another trick and tumbled badly to the center of the pipe. After a few seconds, the medical crew raced out, as did teammate Maddie Bowman. But Sigourney got to her feet and went to the finish under her own power.

Bowman was simply the class of the first run, landing back-to-back 900s. She took the lead with 85.80 points.

In her second run, Drew tried to go even bigger with a 1260, but her skis smacked the lip of the pipe on her landing, and she fell. She smiled and whistled as her scores were read.

VanLaanen had some copious bandages on her nose at the start of her second run. She put together some nifty tricks and was building up to something big but slipped about midway through.

Bowman was assured at least a bronze when she took her second run, but she still went for it, bumping her score up to 89-flat.

Sigourney, badly banged up in her first run, took her time before dropping in for the second. She got the 900 on her second trick but slipped on her backside in nearly the same spot as her first run. Rather than repeat the rest of the painful opener, she pulled up a bit and finished with some conservative elements before embracing her friends at the bottom. A solid 76.00 got her sixth place.

What happened: After Drew, who skied early in the first run, the next four were rather conservative, getting about as much air out of the pipe as I get when I dunk on an 8-foot basketball hoop. A couple of scores were in the 70s somehow.

The North Americans kicked things up a notch. VanLaanen and Canada’s Roz Groenewoud went big but crashed. Japan’s Ayana Onozuka raised the bar with a big run for 79.00 points and the lead. Then came Bowman with the 85.80, Sigourney with the nasty crash, and France’s Marie Martinod with a sensational 84.80.

Again, the first few skiers were nothing spectacular in the second run. Swiss favorite Virginie Faivre, coming back from a back injury, was solid but gained little air.

Groenewoud went big with a 900 but landed far down in the pipe, losing momentum. She ended with 74.20.

Onozuka exulted when she finished a clean run with a 720 thrown in. She improved to 83.20, still in third place but setting a more difficult task for Sigourney, the only person who could bump her from the podium.

After Bowman and Sigourney, Martinod was the closer. Silver was assured, but could she bump Bowman off the top spot? She had some solid tricks through the program and closed with a 900. The score: 85.40. Slightly better than her first run, not enough to beat Bowman. No one seemed to care — everyone was thrilled. Martinod had retired to raise her daughter but came back to make a run at the Games, and it paid off.

Full results

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Sochi recap: Freestyle skiing, men’s skicross

The wildest event of the Olympics — think snowboardcross but with more moving parts that can get tangled — lived up to that distinction. When all was done, France had the sweep.

Date: 20-Feb

Sport: Freestyle skiing

Event: Men’s skicross

Medalists: Jean Frederic Chapuis (France), Arnaud Bovolenta (France), Jonathan Midol (France)

SportsMyriad projections: Alex Fiva (Switzerland), Dave Duncan (Canada), Andreas Matt (Austria)

How U.S. fared: John Teller was 20th in the seeding run (like qualifying, except that everyone qualifies) and got drawn into a tough heat in the first elimination round. He was fourth out of the start but picked his way into third, keeping pace with the two French riders. He came up to battle with Jonathan Midol, and Midol questionably bumped him aside on one turn. On the next, Teller tried to take the inside line, tangled with Midol again and skidded wide. That was it.

What happened: Favorite Alex Fiva had an eventful day. He didn’t finish his seeding run, leaving him seeded 30th. He raced out into the lead of his first heat but was slow off a jump. Canadian Brady Leman was behind him and couldn’t slow down. Leman basically ran over Fiva and kept going. Leman won the heat; Fiva was out.

Canada’s David Duncan was the next to crash out, getting the worst of a four-way collision. All four finished, but Duncan was the slowest.

The big Canadian story coming in was Chris Del Bosco, who overcame troubles with alcohol and switched from the USA to Canada on his way to becoming a world champion in 2011. He was in bronze medal position in 2010 but fell trying to move up. He was second in the seeding race and in good position in his heat, but he took a couple of jumps badly and lost momentum. He threw out his arms in frustration as he finished third and didn’t advance.

The first quarterfinal was as crazy as this crazy sport gets. Flying off the final jump, three of the four skiers fell and slid across the line behind Switzerland’s Armin Niederer, who steered himself around the tangled bodies to finish upright and first. A photo finish had to separate the three who had fallen. Russia’s Egor Korotkov got his left arm across the line first, eliminating Swedish favorite and top seed Victor Oehling Norberg, who had been leading before going astray off the jump.

Austria’s Andreas Matt, the 2010 silver medalist, was eliminated in less spectacular fashion, simply lacking the speed in the second quarterfinal.

Into the semifinals, a couple of favorites looked strong. World champion Jean Frederic Chapuis (France) won his first two runs. So did Canada’s Brady Leman and Slovenia’s Filip Flisar, the 2012 World Cup winner and proud wearer of the best mustache in the Olympics.

Chapuis and Midol, whose tangling with John Teller had sent the American out of the first round, finished 1-2 for France in the first semifinal. Russia’s Egor Korotkov nearly crashed once again and couldn’t advance this time.

A third Frenchman, Arnaud Bovolenta, was in the second semifinal. Flisar looked like the favorite, but he hit the snow early, giving a yell of pain and/or frustration. Brady Leman sailed through to first, and Bovolenta made it three in the final for France.

Leman, the only non-Frenchman in the final, is a classic story of perseverance. He has had multiple leg breaks, including one the day before he was supposed to race in the 2010 Olympics.

Korotkov saved his smoothest run for the small final, shaking off a couple of bumps to go clear into first. Flisar stayed at the back and stayed out of trouble before moving up to second.

Off to the big final, where Leman may have felt outnumbered by the large French contingent. He picked his way from fourth to third but couldn’t hang on. Desperately trying to pass late, he skidded and fell.

Up front, it was Chappuis staying smooth, with Bovolenta behind him. Midol had a spectacular crash off the final jump but slid across the line, the medal surely numbing his pain.

Quote: “How have we still got four skiers on their feet?” – international feed commentator after one of many wild moments

Full results

Sochi recap: Freestyle skiing, women’s aerials

Alla Tsuper of Belarus got the medal she’s been chasing for 16 years.

Date: 14-Feb

Sport: Freestyle skiing

Event: Women’s aerials

Medalists: Alla Tsuper (Belarus), Xu Mengtao (China), Lydia Lassila (Australia)

SportsMyriad projections: Xu Mengtao (China), Lydia Lassila (Australia), Danielle Scott (Australia)

How U.S. fared: Ashley Caldwell had the highest score in qualifying at 101.25. She went for a big jump in the first final, which cut the field from 12 to eight, but she slammed her back on the landing. Her 72.80 was not enough to advance.

Emily Cook squeaked through qualifying at 80.01 and was again just above the cut line in the first final with an 82.21.

What happened: Both Russians wiped out in the first final. They were eliminated, along with Caldwell and Australia’s Danielle Scott. The best to that point was Alla Tsuper of Belarus, the five-time Olympian who finished fifth in the 1998 Olympics and fourth in the 2007 World Championships but never earned a major medal. Could the 2002 World Cup champion add another bit of hardware 12 years later?

The second final trimmed the contenders to four, and Cook wasn’t the only one with trouble on the landing. Xu Mengtao (China) and Lydia Lassila (Australia) were solid, scoring 101.08 and 99.22. Li Nina, second to Lassila in 2010, clinched her spot at 89.53, and Tsuper ended China’s hopes of a sweep with an 88.50 to Cheng Shuang’s 87.42.

The four-person final: Tsuper (degree of difficulty: 4.050) flat-out nailed it. The next two did not. Li Nina (difficulty: 4.425) landed on her side, nowhere near standing up. Lassila (3.900) got her skis on the ground but tumbled onto her back. That left world champion Xu (4.175), who stayed on her skis but so nearly toppled backwards. Up to the judges and … no! It’s Alla Tsuper with the win, then Xu, then Lassila.

And spare a thought for Ashley Caldwell, who posted the highest score of the whole competition but finished 10th.

Full results

Sochi recap: Freestyle skiing, women’s slopestyle

Another big day for North American action sports athletes, with Devin Logan taking silver between Canadians Dara Howell and Kim Lamarre. But the competition had a lot of crashes — one horrific.

Date: 11-Feb

Sport: Freestyle skiing

Event: Women’s slopestyle

Medalists: Dara Howell (Canada), Devin Logan (USA), Kim Lamarre (Canada)

SportsMyriad projections: Kaya Turski (Canada), Tiril Sjaastad Christiansen (Norway), Keri Herman (USA)

How U.S. fared: Keri Herman squeaked through qualification and was all smiles at the start of the final, but her first run was a mess just a few seconds in, as she lost her balance on a rail and landed awkwardly. The rest of that run was mere practice. She didn’t look confident on her second run, missing a couple of landings and bailing out of the last obstacle. Kept her smile, though.

Julia Krass made a bit more of her first run but had a couple of shaky landings and a frightening finish, slamming her back and head to the snow off her last jump. Her second run was a series of awkward landings,

Devin Logan, got things right. The only hiccup in her strong first run was a little bit of shakiness off the last jump. She scored 85.40 — the leader at the time, then second when all the skiers had gone once. She went for broke on the second run and looked like a contender to move up until crashing on her last jump. We’ll see her again in the halfpipe.

Maggie Voisin, the youngest U.S. Olympian at age 15, was injured in training and could not compete.

What happened: Qualification had a shocker — Canadian favorite Kaya Turski fell on each run and didn’t make it through. With Norway’s Tiril Sjaastad Christiansen missing the Games through injury, that was two favorites out before the final.

The first run of the final was mostly a mess. After Herman slipped on her first rail, Switzerland’s Camillia Berra outright crashed at the same spot. Other skiers struggled to land their tricks.

Finally, Australia’s Anna Segal landed a 720 and a few other slick tricks without major difficulty. The 2009 X Games winner and 2011 world champion took first place at 77.00 points. Logan followed a couple of skiers later.

The best was last in the first run — Canada’s Dara Howell went big and clean for a 94.20.

The errors continued in the second run. Berra looked heartbroken after her run.  Segal couldn’t quite rotate her 720 and crashed, remaining in bronze medal position from her first-run score.

Sweden’s Emma Dahlstrom, fourth after her first run, had another decent but not spectacular run, adding a couple of points to her score but not quite enough to move up.

Canada’s Yuki Tsubota made a decent charge but crashed hard on her last jump, not quite reaching the downslope. The impact dislodged a ski and some other equipment, and the medical crew was out quickly and took her away on a stretcher.

Britain’s Katie Summerhayes showed remarkable composure as the next athlete to go after Tsubota’s crash, but she touched her hands down on a couple of landings, not quite clean enough for the podium.

That left two more Canadians — Kim Lamarre, who crashed on her first run, and leader Dara Howell. Lamarre simply nailed it — a couple of nifty tricks and impeccable form on her simpler efforts. She moved up to bronze, bumping Segal off the podium.

And that result clinched gold for Howell before her final run. The Canadian champion did a celebratory final run, getting nice air but not trying anything spectacular.

Full results

Sochi recap: Freestyle skiing, men’s moguls

Oh Canada. The two big favorites came through, and Russia picked up a surprise bronze. The two American contenders were undone by catastrophe and conservative jumps.

Date: 10-Feb

Sport: Freestyle skiing

Event: Men’s moguls

Medalists: Alex Bilodeau (Canada), Mikael Kingsbury (Canada), Alexandr Smyshlyaev (Russia)

SportsMyriad projections: Mikael Kingsbury (Canada), Alex Bilodeau (Canada), Patrick Deneen (USA)

How U.S. fared: Bradley Wilson got to the first final round (20 skiers) but crashed on his first landing. Incredibly, he popped up and still posted a fast time, but the damage to his score was done, and he didn’t advance.

Patrick Deneen, the 2009 world champion, bailed on his first qualification round but led the second qualifier (22.38 points) to cruise into the final rounds. He wasn’t great in the first final round (22.27) but advanced in ninth place. He turned it up a notch in the second final round (12 skiers), getting down the course quickly and surprising with a strong first jump to get 23.32 points. A conservative second jump nearly cost him a spot in the third and final final (sic), but he grabbed the last spot.

Deneen went first in the final and once again went very fast, racking up time points. But he had a difficult first landing and again had a conservative second jump, good for only 22.16 points.

What happened: It was a compressed day of competition — two qualification rounds (excluding the lucky 10 who qualified from the first round), then three final rounds. The qualification rounds were in soft snow, and many skiers struggled with their landings and turns. Australia’s Dale Begg-Smith, 2006 gold medalist and 2010 silver medalist, didn’t complete a clean run and failed to advance.

Canada’s Alex Bilodeau had a shaky run in the first final but got through in eighth place. Japanese contender Sho Endo did not, despite landing one of the more spectacular jumps of the competition, with more twists than most people can count with the naked eye.

In the second final, which cut the field down from 12 to six, Bilodeau came back with 23.89 points. Two of his Canadian teammates, Mikael Kingsbury (24.54) and Marc-Antoine Gagnon (24.16) bested that mark and left Deneen sweating on the qualification bubble. But the fourth Canadian, Philippe Marquis, came up short and looked surprised when the scores were announced. That left three Canadians, Deneen, Kazakhstan’s Dmitry Reiherd and Russia’s Alexandr Smyshlyaev in the final.

After Deneen’s run, Reiherd landed a fancy twisting second jump to move into first. Smyshlyaev beat that with a sensational run for 24.34 points.

Up came the Canadians. Defending champion Bilodeau set a very high bar at 26.31. But Gagnon spoiled the sweep possibility at 23.35, finishing behind Smyshlyaev. It all came down to favorite Kingsbury, who did exactly the same jumps as Bilodeau but was a little off on the first landing. It was 24.71 for Kingsbury, and it was a Canadian 1-2.

Full results

Sochi recap: Freestyle skiing, women’s moguls

The Canadian Dufour-Lapointe sisters are the moguls of women’s moguls. They finished 1-2, just ahead of defending champion Hannah Kearney.

Date: 8- Feb

Sport: Freestyle skiing

Event: Women’s moguls

Medalists: Justine Dufour-Lapointe (Canada), Chloe Dufour-Lapointe (Canada), Hannah Kearney (USA)

SportsMyriad projections: Hannah Kearney (USA), Justine Dufour-Lapointe (Canada), Heather McPhie (USA)

How U.S. fared: McPhie, who had to get through a qualifying round in the morning, was unlucky 13th in the first round of the finals, missing out on Round 2. Kearney took a basic “survive and advance” approach in that first round with a good but not great run, good for seventh place. Then she blasted her way through the second round with a 21.93, best of the day so far. Eliza Outtrim went the other way — second in the first round, fifth of the six qualifiers (21.53) in the semis. She was a little shaky off the first jump in the final.

Heidi Kloser, sadly, couldn’t participate after a devastating knee injury in practice before Thursday’s qualifying.

Outtrim looked a little sluggish in the final and finished sixth. Kearney had a little bobble off the first kicker, and that was enough to deny her a repeat gold.

What happened: Did the sheer number of runs in one day overwhelm the field? Japan’s Aiko Uemura was quickly down the course in 30.46 seconds and opened the final with a 20.66, and then the next two (Outtrim and Australia’s Britteny Cox) failed to break 20.

That left the door open for two of the three Dufour-Lapointe sisters (Maxime was 12th in the second final) and Kearney. Justine was flawless, getting big marks in the air to take the lead with a 22.44. Chloe was only slightly behind, nearly matching Justine’s turns to get a 21.66. That guaranteed two podium places for the sisters.

It all came down to Kearney. She ripped down the course in 31.04 seconds, faster than either Canadian. Her air scores roughly matched Justine’s. But she was marked down on the turns, finishing third.

Quote: “I think I really gave it away is what I felt like. I felt like it was mine to ski for.” – Hannah Kearney

Full results

2014 medal projections: Jan. 14 update

Time for a few tweaks given the results (and untimely injuries) of late — and when you add it all up, we have a new leader:

Alpine skiing: Lindsey Vonn’s absence shakes things up a bit and pretty well insures the USA won’t come near its total of eight medals in 2010. Ted Ligety (third overall) and Mikaela Shiffrin are still favorites, and Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal (second overall; downhill and super-G leader) is still as dominant as ever.

Changes:

  • Men’s downhill: Erik Guay (CAN) up to silver, Klaus Kröll (AUT) down to considered, Adrien Theaux (FRA) up to considered
  • Men’s giant slalom: Alexis Pinturault (FRA) up to bronze, Manfred Moelgg (ITA) down to considered
  • Men’s slalom: Mario Matt (AUT) up to silver, Ivica Kostelic (CRO) down to considered
  • Men’s combined: Pinturault up to gold, Ligety up to silver, Svindal up to bronze, Kostelic down to considered
  • Women’s downhill: Vonn out, Maria Hoefl-Riesch (GER) up to gold, Tina Maze (SLO) up to silver, Tina Weirather (LIE) up to bronze, Marianne Kaufmann-Abderhalden (SUI) up to considered
  • Women’s super-G: Vonn out, Anna Fenninger (AUT) up to gold, Tina Maze (SLO) down to silver, Lara Gut (SUI) up to bronze, Julia Mancuso (USA) down to considered
  • Women’s giant slalom: Jessica Lindell-Vikarby (SWE) up to considered
  • Women’s slalom: My medal picks are currently 1-2-4 in the World Cup standings. They’ll stay put.

Biathlon: Andreas Birnbacher (Germany) has been sick, so we won’t knock him out of the projections just yet. Not too many surprises on the men’s side, though France’s relay team needs to improve. The surprise in the women’s competition is the Czech Republic’s Gabriela Soukalova, who’s leading the World Cup standings. France’s Marie Dorin Habert has a ruptured tendon in her ankle, so we’ll remove her from consideration.

Changes:

  • Women’s sprint: Soukalova (CZE) up to bronze, Olena Pidrushna (UKR) down to considered
  • Women’s pursuit: Soukalova up to silver, Valj Semerenko (UKR) up to bronze, Andrea Henkel (GER) and Pidrushna down to considered

Bobsled: The early-season races in North America have skewed the current standings toward the U.S. and Canadian teams. The men haven’t done as well in Europe. Manuel Machata isn’t getting many opportunities for Germany, and Latvia’s Oskars Melbardis isn’t in great form.

Changes:

  • Men’s two-man and four-man: Drop Machata from considered
  • Women’s: Elana Meyers (USA) up to silver, Sandra Kiriasis (GER) down to bronze, Cathleen Martini (GER) down to considered, Jamie Greubel (USA) up to considered

Cross-country skiing: Dario Cologna (SUI) is trying to come back from ankle surgery. We’ll leave him in for now. A couple of other skiers have skipped the odd World Cup event or the entire Tour de Ski, so the World Cup standings from this season aren’t that meaningful. One surprise: American Simi Hamilton won a freestyle sprint.

Changes: 

  • Women’s sprint: Denise Herrman (GER) and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) up to considered

Figure skating: Most of the pre-Sochi competition is complete aside from the European Championships this week, so the projections won’t change much. The Four Continents will only have a couple of Olympians in action. But qualification and national championships have made things interesting. Ashley Wagner placed fourth, and her inclusion is mildly controversial. Evgeni Plushenko on the fringe of Russia’s plans, Japan’s Miki Ando retired after missing out an Olympic berth, and projected gold medalist Mao Asada was third in Japan’s championships. At least defending gold medalist Yuna Kim won handily in South Korea after skipping the Grand Prix season. Gracie Gold’s score from U.S. Championships would be the highest in the world this year, but would international judges be as generous?

Changes:

  • Women’s: Gracie Gold (USA) considered. Miki Ando (Japan) out. Considered list now specifying the likely Russian skaters: Adelina Sotnikova and Julia Lipnitskaia

Freestyle skiing: The X Games and World Cup events may still shake things up.

Changes in aerials

  • Men: 2010 World Cup champion Anton Kusnhir (BLR) missed the 2012-13 season and has come back with a win in Deer Valley and another podium. Countryman Alexei Grishin, the 2010 gold medalist, is making a comeback and was third in Deer Valley. They’re up to considered.
  • Women: We’ll see who makes China and Australia teams. USA’s Ashley Caldwell and Emily Cook up to considered.

Changes in moguls

  • Men: Medal contenders are 1-2-3 in World Cup. No change.
  • Women: No change, though Miki Ito (JPN) is trying to come back from a knee injury.

Changes in skicross

  • Men: Dave Duncan (CAN) up to silver, Andreas Matt (AUT) up to bronze, Chris Del Bosco (CAN) down to considered, Filip Flisar (SLO) down to considered
  • Women: Katrin Mueller (SUI) up to considered

Changes in slopestyle

  • Men: Waiting for U.S. team announcement to shake things up.
  • Women: Kaya Turski (CAN) is fighting a knee injury. Devin Logan (USA) up to considered

Changes in halfpipe

  • Men: Watching health of Torin Yater-Wallace (USA). Justin Dorey (CAN) up to considered.
  • Women: Roz Groenewoud (CAN) had — you guessed it — knee surgery. We’ll see how she recovers. Devin Logan (USA) up to considered — yes, in two events

Luge: They’ve run seven of nine World Cup events this season, so that should be enough to give us a clearer picture. Still a whole lot of Germany.

Changes

  • Men: David Möller (GER) up to silver, Dominik Fischnaller (ITA) up to bronze, Andi Langenhan (GER) down to considered, Chris Mazdzer (USA) up to considered
  • Women, doubles, relay: No change

Nordic combined: Most medal contenders are having solid seasons, particularly World Cup leader Eric Frenzel (GER) and Jason Lamy-Chappuis (FRA).

Changes

  • Normal hill: Mikko Kokslien (NOR) up to bronze, Bernhard Gruber (AUT) down to considered

Short-track speedskating: No change. We’ll keep an eye on the Euro championships and make sure all the picks are healthy, but the major pre-Sochi competitions are long complete.

Skeleton: Feeling a little more bullish on Matt Antoine (USA) but not quite moving him up into the medals.

Changes

  • Men: Tomass Dukurs (LAT) up to bronze, Frank Rommel (GER) down to considered
  • Women: Shelley Rudman (GBR) up to bronze, Marion Thees (GER) down to considered

Ski jumping: He used to look like Harry Potter. Then he looked like Trevor Horn. Now he’s back — Salt Lake/Vancouver champion Simon Ammann (SUI) was third in the Four Hills. And 40something Japanese jumper Noriaki Kasai is fourth in the World Cup. In women’s, we’re still holding out hope for the rehabbing Sarah Hendrickson (USA).

Changes

  • Men’s large hill: Simon Ammann (SUI) up to bronze, Noriaki Kasai (JPN) up to considered, Anders Jacobsen (NOR) down to considered
  • Women’s: Irina Avvakumova (RUS) up to bronze, Carina Vogt (GER) up to considered, Coline Mattel (FRA) down to considered

Snowboarding: Just did the picks 14 days ago; no point in changing anything until after the X Games.

Speedskating: These picks were also recent, and the European Allround Championships didn’t give us any reason to change.

No changes in curling or ice hockey, and no changes are likely unless we have a sudden wave of injuries or other changes.

2014 medal projections: Freestyle skiing

Updated Jan. 14 and 21 and Feb. 5

Want new events? We’ve got your new events right here — slopestyle and halfpipe. They’re not just for snowboarders any more.

Yes, the X Games-ification of the Olympics continues, and that might mean more medal opportunities for the USA. But the rest of the world has a pretty good headstart, so don’t count on it.

Unlike some of the sports we’ve been covering, there’s very little overlap between events here. If you do aerials, you don’t do moguls. Some halfpipe skiers do slopestyle, and vice versa, but that’s about it. So the formatting here will be slightly different.

One neat thing to note: The World Cup stopped at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing in December for an aerials competition. I can’t think of another venue to host Olympic track and field and World Cup freestyle skiing.

One sad thing to note: This sport has been struck by tragedy in the last Olympic cycle. Aerials silver medalist Jeret “Speedy” Peterson took his own life in 2011. Then halfpipe pioneer Sarah Burke died in a training accident in 2012.

To the slopes, moguls, aerial ramps and halfpipes we go …

MEN

Aerials

Gold: Qi Guangpu (China)
Silver: Jia Zongyang (China)
Bronze: Travis Gerrits (Canada)

Also considered: Alexei Grishin (Belarus), Anton Kushnir (Belarus). Removed Dylan Ferguson (USA), who didn’t qualify, and Olivier Rochon (Canada), who’s injured.

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Jia Zongyang (China), David Morris (Australia), Qi Guangpu (China), Ferguson, Travis Gerrits (Canada), Dmitri Dashinski (Belarus), Maxim Gustik (Belarus), Denis Osipau (Belarus)

2013 World Championship top 8: Qi, Gerrits, Jia, Liu Zhongqing (China), Morris, Oleksandr Abramenko (Ukraine), Christopher Lambert (Switzerland), Wu Chao (China)

2010 Olympic medalists: Grishin, Jeret “Speedy” Peterson (USA), Liu Zhongqing (China)

Moguls

Gold: Mikael Kingsbury (Canada)
Silver: Alex Bilodeau (Canada)
Bronze: Patrick Deneen (USA)

Also considered: Sho Endo (Japan), Bradley Wilson (USA)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Kingsbury, Bilodeau, Deneen, Wilson, Marc-Antoine Gagnon (Canada), Endo, Philippe Marquis (Canada), Dylan Walczyk (USA)

2013 World Championship top 8 (moguls): Kingsbury, Bilodeau, Deneen, Matt Graham (Australia), Jae-Woo Choi (South Korea), Per Spett (Sweden), Brodie Summers (Australia), Wilson

2013 World Championship top 8 (dual moguls): Bilodeau, Kingsbury, Deneen, Spett, Endo, Sam Hall (Australia), Marquis, Jimi Salonen (Finland)

2010 Olympic medalists: Bilodeau, Dale Begg-Smith (Australia), Bryon Wilson (USA)

Skicross

Gold: Alex Fiva (Switzerland)
Silver: Dave Duncan (Canada)
Bronze: Andreas Matt (Austria)

Also considered: Jean Frederic Chapuis (France), Chris Del Bosco (Canada), Filip Flisar (Slovenia), Victor Oehling Norberg (Sweden)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Fiva, Armin Niederer (Switzerland), Norberg, Chapuis, Brady Leman (Canada), Flisar, Tomas Kraus (Czech Republic), Jouni Pellinen (Finland)

2013 World Championship top 8: Chapuis, Bastien Midol (France), John Teller (USA), Pellinen, Flisar, Del Bosco, Anton Grimus (Australia), Marco Tomasi (Italy)

2012 Winter X Games: Del Bosco, Flisar, Duncan, Pellinen

2010 Olympic medalists: Michael Schmid (Switzerland), Matt, Audun Groenvold (Norway)

Slopestyle

Gold: Nick Goepper (USA)
Silver: Gus Kenworthy (USA)
Bronze: James Woods (Britain)

Also considered: Bobby Brown (USA), Joss Christiansen (USA), Oscar Wester (Sweden). Removed Tom Wallisch (USA), who didn’t qualify

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Woods, Johan Berg (Norway), Oscar Wester (Sweden), Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (Canada), Lyman Currier (USA), Fabian Boesch (Switzerland), Laurent de Martin (Switzerland), Jonas Hunziker (Switzerland)

2013 World Championship top 8: Wallisch, Woods, Goepper, Andreas Haatveit (Norway), Antoine Adelisse (France), Kenworthy, Wester, Beau-James Wells (New Zealand)

2013 X Games Aspen medalists: Goepper, Henrik Harlaut (Sweden), Woods

2013 X Games Tignes medalists: McRae Williams (USA), Jossi Wells (New Zealand), Kenworthy

Halfpipe

Gold: David Wise (USA)
Silver: Torin Yater-Wallace (USA)
Bronze: Mike Riddle (Canada)

Also considered: Justin Dorey (Canada), Thomas Krief (France), Kevin Rolland (France)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Riddle, Yater-Wallace, Wise, Aaron Blunck (USA), Krief, Antti-Jussi Kemppainen (Finland), Gus Kenworthy (USA), Matt Margetts (Canada)

2013 World Championship top 8: Wise, Yater-Wallace, Krief, Riddle, Kemppainen, Blunck, Kevin Rolland (France), Simon Dumont (USA)

2013 X Games Aspen medalists: Wise, Yater-Wallace, Dumont

2013 X Games Tignes medalists: Yater-Wallace, Wise, Rolland

WOMEN

Aerials

Gold: Xu Mengtao (China)
Silver: Lydia Lassila (Australia)
Bronze: Danielle Scott (Australia)

Also considered: Ashley Caldwell (USA), Emily Cook (USA), pretty much anyone else from China or Australia who makes the team

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Xu, Cook, Lassila, Laura Peel (Australia), Zhang Xin (China), Yang Yu (China), Nadiya Didenko (Ukraine), Scott

2013 World Championship top 8: Xu, Veronika Korsunova (Russia), Scott, Xu Sicun (China), Lassila, Samantha Wells (Australia), Tanja Schaerer (Switzerland), Peel

2010 Olympic medalists: Lassila, Li Nina (China), Guo Xinxin (China)

Moguls

Gold: Hannah Kearney (USA)
Silver: Justine Dufour-Lapointe (Canada)
Bronze: Heather McPhie (USA)

Also considered: Chloe Dufour-Lapointe (Canada), Miki Ito (Japan)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Kearney, J. Dufour-Lapointe, McPhie, Eliza Outtrim (USA), C. Dufour-Lapointe, Ito, Aiko Uemura (Japan), Nikola Sudova (Czech Republic)

2013 World Championship top 8 (moguls): Kearney, Ito, J. Dufour-Lapointe, McPhie, Uemura, Arisa Murata (Japan), Sudova, C. Dufour-Lapointe

2013 World Championship top 8 (dual moguls): C. Dufour-Lapointe, Ito, Kearney, McPhie, Murata, Sudova, Andi Naude (Canada), Britteny Cox (Australia)

2010 Olympic medalists: Kearney, Jennifer Heil (Canada), Shannon Bahrke (USA)

Skicross

Gold: Fanny Smith (Switzerland)
Silver: Ophelie David (France)
Bronze: Marielle Thompson (Canada)

Also considered: Katrin Mueller (Switzerland), Kelsey Serwa (Canada)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Smith, David, Marielle Berger Sabbatel (France), Serwa, Mueller, Marte Gjefsen (Norway), Thompson, Georgia Simmerling (Canada)

2013 World Championship top 8: Smith, Thompson, David, Jorinde Mueller (Switzerland), Anna Woerner (Germany), Katrin Ofner (Austria), Alizee Baron (France), Katya Crema (Australia)

2012 Winter X Games: Gjefsen, Hedda Berntsen (Norway), Jenny Owens (Australia)

2010 Olympic medalists: Ashleigh McIvor (Canada), Berntsen, Marion Josserand (France)

Slopestyle

Gold: Kaya Turski (Canada)
Silver: Tiril Sjaastad Christiansen (Norway)
Bronze: Keri Herman (USA)

Also considered: Dara Howell (Canada), Devin Logan (USA)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Herman, Christiansen, Howell, Anna Segal (Australia), Alexi Micinski (USA), Anna Willcox-Silfverberg (New Zealand), Dominique Ohaco (Chile), Chiho Takao (Japan)

2013 World Championship top 8: Turski, Howell, Grete Eliassen (USA), Katie Summerhayes (Britain), Yuki Tsubota (Canada), Micinski, Jamie Crane-Mauzy (USA), Natalia Slepecka (Slovakia)

2013 X Games Aspen medalists: Christiansen, Turski, Howell

2013 X Games Tignes medalists: Turski, Christiansen, Howell

Halfpipe

Gold: Virginie Faivre (Switzerland)
Silver: Roz Groenewoud (Canada)
Bronze: Maddie Bowman (USA)

Also considered: Marie Martinod (France), Ayana Onozuka (Japan)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Faivre, Groenewoud, Onozuka, Bowman, Mirjam Jaeger (Switzerland), Keltie Hansen (Canada), Annalisa Drew (USA), Katrien Aerts (Belgium)

2013 World Championship top 8: Faivre, Anais Caradeux (France), Onozuka, Manami Mitsuboshi (Japan), Martinod, Angeli Vanlaanen (USA), Hansen, Jaeger

2013 X Games Aspen medalists: Bowman, Groenewoud, Megan Gunning

2013 X Games Tignes medalists: Martinod, Caradeux, Bowman

BIOS

Men

Aerials

Dylan Ferguson (USA): Back-to-back fourth-place World Cup seasons. Missed 2010 Olympics after complications with his appendix. Controversially omitted from team.

Travis Gerrits (Canada): Breakthrough season in 2013: Fifth in World Cup, second in World Championships.

Qi Guangpu (China): 2011 World Cup champion, 2013 world champion (second in 2011).

David Morris (Australia): Second in 2013 World Cup.

Jia Zongyang (China): Last four World Cup seasons: third, fourth, second, first.

Moguls

Alex Bilodeau (Canada): Olympic champion. 2009 World Cup champion; second in 2011 and 2013. Back-to-back-to-back world champion in dual moguls; back-to-back runner-up in moguls.

Patrick Deneen (USA): Top four in last three World Cup seasons. 2009 world champion.

Sho Endo (Japan): Good year in 2013 – sixth in World Cup, fifth in dual moguls at World Championships.

Mikael Kingsbury (Canada): Back-to-back World Cup champion, the first at age 19. Four straight podiums in 2011 and 2013 World Championship moguls/dual moguls.

Bradley Wilson (USA): Fourth in 2013 World Cup at age 20.

Skicross

Jean Frederic Chapuis (France): Some decent results then a big bang to end the 2013 season — world championship, third and first in last two World Cup races.

Chris Del Bosco (Canada): Two-time X Games champion and 2011 world champion. Second in World Cup three straight years (2009-11). Not too active in 2013 but was second in World Cup race in Sochi.

Dave Duncan (Canada): Broke collarbone just before 2010 Olympics. Has a couple of X Games medals.

Alex Fiva (Switzerland): World Cup 2013 champion is consistently in top places on Cup circuit but hasn’t broken through in big events.

Filip Flisar (Slovenia): A few World Cup wins and the season title in 2012. Has videos devoted to his mustache.

Armin Niederer (Switzerland): Several good results in World Cup.

Victor Oehling Norberg (Sweden): Breakthrough 2013 season included win in Sochi.

John Teller (USA): Wildly inconsistent, though that’s somewhat explained by the nature of the event.

Slopestyle

Nick Goepper (USA): Turns 20 after the Olympics. Already has an X Games gold and World Championship bronze.

Gus Kenworthy (USA): Rare two-event threat nearly made team in halfpipe as well.

Tom Wallisch (USA): Won 2012 X Games Aspen and 2013 world title, along with several Dew Tour stops. Then he didn’t make the Olympic team. Tough competition.

James Woods (Britain): Longest hair in Britain?

Halfpipe

Simon Dumont (USA): Ever seen the video of him falling 80 feet? He recovered and started his own competition, the Dumont Cup, to let newcomers compete alongside pros. And he has a nice safe side career racing cars. Several X Games medals.

Mike Riddle (Canada): 2011 world champion and 2013 World Cup champion.

David Wise (USA): 2013 X Games Aspen and world champion. Also 2012 X Games Aspen.

Torin Yater-Wallace (USA): Won a 2011 X Games medal at age 15. Now has a couple of X Games Tignes gold medalst, plus second place in the 2013 World Championship and World Cup.

Women

Aerials

Emily Cook (USA): Started competing in 1998 and had best World Cup season in 2013. Competed in two Olympics and seven world championships — best result is fourth in 2009.

Lydia Lassila (Australia): Olympic champion and 2009 World Cup champion took time off to start a family, then came back with strong 2013 season.

Danielle Scott (Australia): Consistent top-five finisher in second World Cup season.

Xu Mengtao (China): Back-to-back World Cup champion. Two-time World Championship runner-up before winning it in 2013. Sixth in 2010 Olympics — has finished no lower than third in World Cup competition since then.

Zhang Xin (China): 11 World Cup podiums.

Moguls

Chloe Dufour-Lapointe (Canada): The Venus to Justine’s Serena — the older sister with two World Championship medals in dual moguls.

Justine Dufour-Lapointe (Canada): Two-time World Cup season runner-up before her 19th birthday.

Hannah Kearney (USA): Won four of the last five World Cup titles. On the podium for all moguls and dual moguls World Championship events in 2011 and 2013. Won 16 straight World Cup events in 2011 and 2012, then eight of the last 14.

Heather McPhie (USA): Top five in last four World Cup seasons — every position except first. Fourth place in last three World Championship events.

Skicross

Hedda Berntsen (Norway): Former Alpine skier has Olympic and X Games medals. Competed little in 2013.

Ophelie David (France): Four-time X Games winner, 2007 world champion and seven-time World Cup champion crashed in the 2010 Olympic quarterfinals. Back to try again at age 37.

Kelsey Serwa (Canada): 2011 world champion kept out of 2013 event due to injury. Fifth in 2010 Olympics.

Fanny Smith (Switzerland): World Cup champion and world champion at age 20. Seventh in 2010 Olympics at age 17.

Marielle Thompson (Canada): 2012 World Cup champion and 2013 World Championship runner-up. Then won the junior world championship.

Slopestyle

Tiril Sjaastad Christiansen (Norway): 18-year-old has two X Games medals and was 2013 World Cup runner-up.

Keri Herman (USA): Lots of X Games silver and the 2013 World Cup title.

Dara Howell (Canada): Not yet 20, three-time X Games medalist and World Championship silver medalist.

Kaya Turski (Canada): 2013 world champion and three-time X Games champion.

Halfpipe

Maddie Bowman (USA): Turns 20 in January. Moved up from 2012 X Games Aspen silver to gold in 2013.

Virginie Faivre (Switzerland): Three-time World Cup champion and two-time world champion. Rarely finishes off the podium.

Roz Groenewoud (Canada): 2011 world champion, 2012 X Games Aspen winner. Close friend of late halfpipe pioneer Sarah Burke.

Ayana Onozuka (Japan): Scant competition record but mostly top-fives.

Marie Martinod (France): Took seven-year break to start a family, then came back to chase the Olympics. 3-for-3 in halfpipe competition in 2004 World Cup season. Didn’t compete again on World Cup circuit until January 2013, winning in Copper Mountain.