Six Snowboarders Nominated to 2016 U.S. Youth Olympic Team
Included in the nominations to the 2016 U.S. Youth Olympic Team are 17-year-old Nik Baden.
PARK CITY, UT (Jan. 6, 2016) - Six young Americans have been nominated to the snowboarding team slated to compete in the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, February 12-21. The International Olympic Committee’s Youth Olympic Games offers a competitive venue for young athletes to not only compete, but also participate in a Learn & Share program designed to inspire and empower youth.
The 2016 U.S. Youth Olympic Team will be formally named by the United States Olympic Committee in late January.
Leading the American snowboarding contingency in 2016 are Chloe Kim (La Palma, CA), the 2015 X Games SuperPipe champion, Hailey Langland (San Clemente, CA), the slopestyle champion from the 2015 U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain and Nik Baden (Steamboat Springs, CO), who barely missed the Sochi Olympic Winter Games in 2014.
Modeled after the Olympic Games, the Youth Olympic Games debuted its winter event in 2012 at Innsbruck, Austria. Held every four years, the Winter Youth Olympic Games will feature over 1,100 athletes, aged 15 to 18, from around the world. Snowboarding events will include halfpipe, slopestyle and snowboardcross.
Coupled with the competition, the Learn & Share program will offer young athletes the opportunity to become ambassadors of their sport through workshops and exercises based around five major themes: Olympism, Social Responsibility, Skills Development, Expression and Well-Being and Healthy Lifestyles.
Hailey Langland (right), who had recent success at the Dew Tour in Breckenridge, CO, was nominated to the U.S. Youth Olympic Team. (Dew Tour-Chris Ortiz)
2016 U.S. YOUTH OLYMPIC TEAM SNOWBOARDING NOMINEES
Men Nik Baden (Steamboat Springs, CO, 17, Rocky): Baden is a member of the U.S. Snowboarding slopestyle team. He finished eighth at the X Games in 2015 and went on to win the Mammoth Mountain stop of the Revolution Tour. At the age of 16 he barely missed the Olympic team headed to Sochi, so look for him to do well when he makes his YOG appearance in 2016.
Women Hailey Langland (San Clemente, CA, 15, Tahoe Snowboard & Ski Team): Langland is a 15-year-old member of U.S. Snowboarding who has been dominating the slopestyle circuit. She recently scored a podium finish at the Dew Tour in Breckenridge, CO with a third-place run that included technical rail tricks and spins in all four directions. Langland will make her X Games debut just before she travels to Lillehammer to represent the U.S. at the Youth Olympic Games.
Men Jake Pates (Eagle, CO, 17, U.S. Olympic Committee): Seventeen-year-old Pates has been riding strong on the competition circuit over the last two years, winning the overall 2015 Revolution Tour in slopestyle and taking a fourth-place finish at the Burton European Open in 2014. Pates is a member of U.S. Snowboarding’s rookie team.
Women Chloe Kim (La Palma, CA, 15, Mammoth Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club): Fifteen-year-old U.S. Snowboarding pro team athlete Kim is the hottest thing in snowboarding right now. With a gold-medal win at the 2015 X Games, the self-proclaimed “city girl” from Southern California became a worldwide sensation. She recently put down a beautiful run under challenging conditions to score a second-place finish at the Dew Tour Breckenridge.
Men Jake Vedder (Pinckney, MI, 17, International Snowboard Training Center): Vedder was the top junior on the NorAm circuit last year and competed at last year’s FIS Junior World Championships in Yabuli, China. His appearance at the YOG bodes well for the 17-year-old’s Olympic aspiration.
Women Shannon Maguire (Scituate, MA, 17, Gould Academy): Maguire, one of the top juniors on the NorAm circuit, is a Gould Academy student and is looking forwarding to making her first appearance on the international stage in Lillehammer.
Chloe Kim (pictured here competing and winning at the 2015 X Games SuperPipe) was nominated to the U.S. Youth Olympic Games team. (Getty Images/Denver Post - Daniel Petty)
The 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games will be held in Lillehammer, Norway February 12-21.
The 2016 event marks the second installment of the Winter Youth Olympic Games and will feature over 1,100 young athletes aged 15-18 competing in winter events.
Alongside competition, the teens will also learn the spirit of the Olympic Games, so that they may become strong ambassadors of their sports.
The U.S. Olympic Committee will formally name the 2016 U.S. Youth Olympic in late January.