Cross Country Olympic SelectionFriday, Jan. 24, 2014
The growing success of cross country ski racing in the USA has come through the passion by the American ski community, fueling the fire that has resulted in more and more skiers find success internationally. The cross country community has followed a vision that its athletes could, indeed, be Best in the World.
Our 2014 Olympic selection criteria reflected that vision, challenging athletes to ski into the top 50 in distance or sprint on the FIS World Cup rankings – a challenging but attainable level. Seven women and three men stepped up and met that mark – the most ever to achieve the top criteria. We supplemented those ten qualifiers with four other talented athletes who achieved the highest rankings on the FIS points list.
With those 14 athletes, we will have the ability to fill all Olympic start positions. Based on the principles of our selection criteria, we have confirmed a team size of 14 with FIS that we, and USOC, believe gives the USA the best opportunity to achieve medals in Sochi.
The USSA selected a strong and focused team, starting from the principle that it is our obligation, first and foremost, to support those athletes with a high potential for winning medals. We are also cognizant of the role that athletes play as ambassadors for their sports. Together with the USOC, we believe that achieving medals in the Olympics will have even greater longstanding positive impact.
Our success as a nation on the World Cup and at World Championships has come from providing very talented athletes with a high level of personal support. Every one of our 14 Olympians earned their spot on the starting line. As an organization, we will provide that same support to each one.
I know that every cross country skier in America will be tuning in to NBC to watch as these 14 Olympians seek not only their own personal goals, but to bring greater awareness to the sport we all have grown up to love.