The U.S. Olympic coaches made their choices Friday night, and Montana will be well-represented on the slopes in South Korea.
Missoula’s Darian Stevens and Butte’s Bradley Wilson will join Team USA in the upcoming Winter Olympics. The two skiers joined Maggie Voisin of Whitefish, who had already clinched a spot.
The 21-year-old Stevens makes the cut in women’s slopestyle skiing, the same event Voisin will compete in. Stevens took sixth place in the final qualifying event this past weekend, but American Caroline Claire took third, so Stevens fell from third to fourth in the U.S. standings.
The Montanan’s performance, though, over the past couple years was enough to make her the coaches’ choice for the fourth and final spot on Team USA. Stevens just missed out on a trip to Sochi four years ago when slopestyle debuted in the Olympics.
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Voisin clinched a spot in the Olympics with a title and two second-place finishes in slopestyle qualifying events. She finished No. 1 in the American standings. Voisin will compete against Stevens and the rest of the world’s best on Feb. 17 in PyeongChang.
Another Missoula skier just missed out on a trip to South Korea. Quinn Wolferman came out of nowhere to put himself in the running in men’s slopestyle. The 20-year-old entered the final weekend of qualifying tied for third in the U.S. standings, but he couldn’t put together a good run on Mammoth Mountain in California. Wolferman took 59th and 20th in the final two Grand Prix events, slipping to fifth place. He was not one of the four American men selected for the Olympic team.
Meanwhile in moguls skiing, Butte’s Wilson will make his second straight Olympic team. The 25-year-old ranked in the top four after eight qualifying events, earning a ticket to PyeongChang. Wilson finished in 20th place at the 2014 Games in Sochi and then suffered an ACL tear later that year. He has climbed back to the top of his sport in the past couple of years. Wilson’s older brother Bryon won a bronze medal in Vancouver eight years ago.
Wilson will hit the slopes for the qualifying round on the second day of the games, Feb. 9. The men’s moguls finals take place on Feb. 12.
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Reporting by Derek Buerkle for Montana Sports