U.S. Snowboarding names 2010 pro roster
PARK CITY, Utah — With athletes already landing on snowboard World Cup podiums this fall, U.S. Snowboarding revealed its 2010 roster which is highlighted by Olympic gold medalists Kelly Clark, Hannah Teter and Seth Wescott.
Also bringing their medals to the scene are 2006 Olympic silver medalists Gretchen Bleiler and Lindsey Jacobellis, along with five-time X Games gold medalist Nate Holland, 2009 X Games silver medalist Graham Watanabe, and world championship bronze medalist Nick Baumgartner.
“There are again great athletes in our programs. The depth and amount of talent is incredible and we’re looking forward to getting competitions started,” U.S. Snowboarding Program Director Jeremy Forster said. “2006 was a great Olympic season and hopefully we can have another great performance in 2010.”
Halfpipe looks for progression
It’s no secret that the U.S. women’s halfpipe roster is top heavy with talent. Clark, Teter, Bleiler, 2006 Olympian Elena Hight and a slew of up and comers are ready to make a play for an Olympic spot. Thankfully, while the talent may seem stiff to the onlooker, the U.S. ladies are more than happy to cheer each other on as they aim to make the 2010 team the “dream team.”
“It’s obviously a privilege to have the opportunity to be friends with your competitors in a sport that’s so creative and so artistic rather than competitive,” Teter said. “We do all of our warm up stuff together when we get up to the halfpipe. It’s a really friendly team atmosphere. Last winter I was telling the girls they need to be called the dream team because of how well we get along and how much stuff we do together that’s positive and we’re gonna get that going.”
In the men’s halfpipe, double cork is a word the masses can expect to hear a lot during the 2010 season. The trick, which incorporates two spins with a flip, is quickly becoming something of a prerequisite for any man looking to land on the podium of a competition. Thankfully Louie Vito, Greg Bretz and Scotty Lago each have the skills, landing the maneuver at the halfpipe summer camp at Mt. Hood and readying themselves to put it into competition in 2010. Add in Luke Mitrani’s stylish switch double backfilip, and the men’s crew looks primed.
Olympic qualification for halfpipe begins Dec. 11 at the U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix, which will host five competitions across three tour stops before the Games.
U.S. SBX men vs. U.S. SBX men in 2010
Much like their female halfpipe counterparts, the aptitude for winning is so high with the men’s SBX roster it’s almost absurd. Wescott, Holland, Watanabe, Baumgartner, snowboarding legend Shaun Palmer, World Cup podium performer Jonathan Cheever, 2006 Olympians Jayson Hale and Jason Smith, as well as 2002 halfpipe gold medalist turned 2010 SBX wildcard Ross Powers head up an 11-man roster that will only have up to four Olympic spots.
On the women’s side of things, with more World Cup success than any other man or woman in SBX history, Jacobellis is the name to watch. She left Torino with the silver in 2006. In the four years that have passed she’s had countless hours in the gym, 17 World Cup podiums (11 of which were wins), two X Games golds, and the 2009 World Cup SBX title. The woman is brimming with successes.
Even with all the accolades under her belt, Jacobellis keeps her head level for the 2010 season, saying, “If something is going to happen, it will happen. If it’s meant to be, it will be. I usually just take it one race at a time and focus on the task at hand.”
The journey to the Olympics for SBX began Saturday during the first of five World Cups which will be used to qualify athletes for the team.
Alpine looks for speed and strength
Olympians Tyler Jewell and Michelle Gorgone are representing PGS with multiple World Cup podiums between them. And with teammates Adam Smith and Justin Reiter, the alpine snowboarding squad is looking forward to pushing forward in 2010.
For Gorgone, who rocked the podium steps of two World Cups in 2009, looking at making the Olympics has to be just like looking at doing well in any other race.
“I tend to get kind of nervous, but I try to approach the season the same I would any other season,” Gorgone said. “Any results I need to get in order to go to Vancouver, I’ve gotten before so hopefully I’ll just ride the same as I have and do what I can do and it will all fall into place.”
Olympic qualifications for the alpine team kick off on the World Cup Oct. 9 in the Netherlands.
Clair Bidez (8/7/87; Minturn, CO)
Gretchen Bleiler (4/10/81; Aspen, CO)*
Kelly Clark (12/19/1990; Mt. Snow, VT)*
Elena Hight (8/17/89; South Lake Tahoe, CA)
Ellery Hollingsworth (9/2/91; Stratton, VT)
Hannah Teter (1/27/87; Belmont, VT)*
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