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14 U.S. Athletes to Compete at 2022 Olympic Venue

By Andrew Gauthier
December, 17 2018
Hunter Hess
Hunter Hess at the 2018 Toyota U.S. Grand Prix Finals. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Sarah Brunson)

Constructed in 2011 and home of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, Secret Garden, China will host 14 U.S. athletes for a FIS Snowboard and Freeski World Cup halfpipe and slopestyle competition Dec. 19 - 22. It’s too early to call this a test event, but with a young group of athletes heading to this relatively new venue, there will definitely be some chatter in the air as potential future Olympians get their eyes on the terrain and atmosphere for the first time. Freeskiers will compete in halfpipe Dec. 20-22, while snowboarders will compete in both halfpipe and slopestyle Dec. 19-21.

“When I was first invited to the contest in China I didn’t immediately know that it was going to be the venue for the 2022 Olympics,” said U.S. Snowboard Rookie Team Member Jason Wolle (Winter Park, Colo.). “When I did find out it made me even more excited to go. The Olympics have always been a major goal of mine and to be able to go and check out the venue is a real treat. It is an almost surreal feeling going to Secret Garden now because my main goal for the next couple of years is to go there again and represent the United States at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.”

Other U.S. Snowboard Team athletes competing include pro team members Chase Blackwell (Longmont, Colo.), Ryan Stassel (Anchorage, Alaska), Ryan Wachendorfer (Edwards, Colo.) and Lyon Farrell (Haiku, Hawaii). In addition, U.S. Rookie Team athlete Sean Fitzsimons (Hood River, Ore.) will participate, along with American Joshua Bowman (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.).

The U.S. Freeski Team athletes competing include new rookie team member Eileen Gu (San Francisco, Calif.), and Abigale Hansen (June Lake, Calif.) for the ladies. For the men, Hunter Hess (Bend, Ore.), Jaxin Hoerter (Breckenridge, Colo.), Sammy Schuiling (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) as well as Americans Cassidy Jarrell (Aspen, Colo.) and Lennon Vaughan (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) will all be battling it out in the halfpipe.

“I’m super excited to be going to China,” said Hess. “It will be fun to see how skiing is over there, the mountains, terrain, and the people. I’m blown away with how far skiing has been able to take me. It will be amazing to get an idea of how the next Winter Olympic venue will look and be able to start the process of trying to go back.”

The athletes will travel across the globe to China for the first FIS Snowboard World Cup slopestyle, and the second FIS World Cup halfpipe for snowboard and freeski slopestyle of the 2018-19 season. Be sure to tune in as U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes give us a glimpse of the future 2022 Olympic Winter Games only 144 miles from Beijing.

HOW TO WATCH
*All times EST

FREESKI
Wednesday, Dec.19
10:00 p.m. - Men and women’s halfpipe, Secret Garden, CHN - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
10:30 p.m. - Men and women’s halfpipe, Secret Garden, CHN - Olympic Channel-TV

Thursday, Dec. 20
7:30 a.m. - Men skicross qualification, Innichen, AUT  - OlympicChannel.com
8:45 a.m. - Women skicross qualification, Innichen, AUT  - OlympicChannel.com

Friday, Dec. 21
7:30 a.m. - Men and women’s skicross, Innichen, AUT  - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold

Saturday, Dec. 22
5:15 a.m. - Men and women’s ski cross, Innichen, AUT  - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold

SNOWBOARD
Thursday, Dec. 20
5:00 a.m. - Men’s snowboardcross qualification, Cervinia, ITA - OlympicChannel.com
8:30 a.m. - Women’s snowboardcross qualification, Cervinia, ITA - OlympicChannel.com
8:30 p.m. - Men and women’s halfpipe, Secret Garden, CHN - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold

Friday, Dec. 21
12:00 a.m.  - Men and women’s slopestyle, Secret Garden, CHN - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
5:30 a.m. - Men and women’s snowboardcross, Cervinia, ITA - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold

Saturday, Dec. 22
5:40 a.m. - Men and women’s snowboardcross, Cervinia, ITA - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold