Snowboarder Kelly Clark is closing in on her fifth Olympic appearance. And she’ll do it at home.
It all comes down to this week’s Toyota U.S. Grand Prix competition in Mammoth Mountain in California. Clark, a three-time Olympic medalist, is among a large number of riders trying to lock down Olympic berths in the final selection weekend for the U.S. Olympic Team in snowboarding and freeskiing.
Up to four U.S. athletes will be nominated in the halfpipe and slopestyle disciplines in snowboarding and skiing, with up to three qualifying objectively. Chloe Kim, a two-time gold medalist in the 2016 Youth Olympic Games, has already clinched an Olympic nomination in halfpipe snowboarding.
Maddie Mastro and Clark hold the second and third positions, respectively, with 2014 Olympian Arielle Gold not far behind in fourth place.
“I couldn’t be more excited that Mammoth Mountain is going to host the last Olympic qualifier and the naming of the 2018 Olympic team,” said Clark, a resident of Mammoth Mountain. “I always love getting to compete in my home halfpipe, and it would be a dream to qualify for my fifth Olympic team in front of my hometown crowd.”
Others chasing down Olympic berths include 2014 Olympic silver medalist Gus Kenworthy and bronze medalist Nick Goepper in men’s slopestyle skiing. Kenworthy won his first slopestyle event in nearly two years in a grand prix stop last week in Aspen Snowmass, Colorado. Devin Logan, Brita Sigourney and Annalisa Drew are battling for spots in women’s halfpipe skiing. Logan, a 2014 Olympic silver medalist in slopestyle, is also ranked second in slopestyle skiing.
The halfpipe skiing finals are Friday, followed by slopestyle snowboarding and slopestyle skiing, and halfpipe snowboarding finals Saturday. A non-world cup men’s slopestyle skiing event is Sunday.
Olympic team nominations will be announced during the weekend.