Freeskiing set to make Olympic Games debut

  • Article by: RACHEL BLOUNT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 12, 2013 - 1:17 AM

Slopestyle skier Keri Herman from Breckenridge, Colo. flies in the air with her skis at the Women's Slopestyle FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships at Park City, Utah on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011. Herman placed third.

Photo: Nathan Bilow, Dml - Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger


Fans of the X Games know all about freeskiing, the flipping, twisting, two-planked cousin of snowboarding. In February, the sport will make its Olympic debut with two events — halfpipe and slopestyle — at the Sochi Winter Games.

Many of freeskiing’s top athletes, including Keri Herman of Bloomington, will start the race to Sochi at this weekend’s Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships. The four-day competition in Breckenridge, Colo., is the first Olympic selection event of the season for the two freeskiing disciplines. It also kicks off the Olympic selection season for snowboarding in halfpipe and slopestyle, another event making its first appearance at the Winter Games.

What’s at stake

The Olympic teams for slopestyle and halfpipe in both freeskiing and snowboarding will be chosen in January. The Dew Tour is the first of five selection events that will be part of the process. A large contingent of American stars will compete as part of an elite international field.


Who to watch

Shaun White became a global superstar via the halfpipe, winning two Olympic gold medals in that discipline. But when he started snowboarding at age 6, he rode slopestyle — and he will be trying to make the Olympic team in both disciplines this time. White plans to compete in both events this weekend, going against U.S. teammates Scotty Lago and Louie Vito in the halfpipe and Chas Guldemond and Canadian star Mark McMaster in slopestyle.

Kelly Clark of the U.S. and Torah Bright of Australia, the past two Olympic gold medalists in women’s snowboard halfpipe, highlight the field in that event. Other notable American entrants include Tom Wallisch, one of the most successful slopestyle skiers in history, and David Wise and Maddie Bowman, the 2013 world champions in freeski halfpipe.


Minnesota connections

Herman, who now lives in Breckenridge, is among the best women in the world in slopestyle freeskiing and will begin her pursuit of an Olympic berth this weekend. A former hockey player, she won the World Cup title last season, becoming the first American woman to do so. Herman has won three X Games silver medals and was third in Wednesday’s qualifying round. St. Louis Park native Grete Eliassen also competed in the qualifier but crashed on the first of two runs and did not advance.


The schedule

Thursday, semifinals of men’s freeski slopestyle (10:30 a.m.) and snowboard superpipe (2 p.m.); Friday, finals of women’s freeski superpipe (10:30 a.m.) and snowboard slopestyle (4 p.m.), semifinals of men’s snowboard slopestyle (12:30 p.m.) and freeski superpipe ( 6 p.m.); Saturday, finals of snowboard superpipe (men 11 a.m./women 1:15 p.m.), women’s freeski slopestyle (3 p.m.) and men’s freeski superpipe (5:30 p.m.); Sunday, finals of men’s freeski slopestyle (11 a.m.) and snowboard slopestyle (2 p.m.).


on television

NBC will show live coverage of the men’s snowboard superpipe final (11 a.m. Saturday) and the men’s freeski slopestyle final (11 a.m. Sunday). NBC Sports Network will televise the finals of the men’s freeski superpipe (midnight Saturday, tape delay) and the men’s snowboard slopestyle (2 p.m. Sunday).

  • related content

  • Snowboarding megastar Shaun White will try to make the Olympic team in the halfpipe and slopestyle.

  • Freeskier Keri Herman of Bloomington is among the best in the world in slopestyle skiing. She now resides in Breckenridge, Colo.

  • Louie Vito

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 98 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78


question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question





Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters