Olympic Trials coming to Park City
Local venue will host trials for ski jumping, Nordic combined
August 1, 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.
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 and brother Taylor Fletcher 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.
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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 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 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.