Skiing: Decorated team heads to World Champs World Cup leader Hannah Kearney, reigning World Champions Patrick Deneen and Ryan St. Onge as well as 2011 Winter X Games champions Sammy Carlson and John Teller headline the USA's 2011 FIS team.
Photo Courtesy: 2.tecnicausa.com - After being out with an injury for most of last season, Hannah Kearney is having a stellar season on the Freestyle World Cup Circuit.
World Cup leader Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT), reigning World Champions Patrick Deneen (Cle Elum, WA) and Ryan St. Onge (Winter Park, CO) as well as 2011 Winter X Games champions Sammy Carlson (Portland, OR) and John Teller (Mammoth Lakes, CA) headline the USA's 2011 FIS Freestyle World Championship Team. The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association announced the 2011 roster Monday in a press conference at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, UT.
The USA will be represented by a strong crew of 37 skiers looking to compete with success on the World Championship stage. The four day event will showcase the USA's best including Olympic medalists, World Champions and X Games winners, as well as a new event to the World Championships, slopestyle skiing. Slopestyle as well as halfpipe skiing are being considered for the inclusion in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Among the Team members are 2009 World Champions St. Onge, Deneen and 2005 World Champion Kearney. The World Championships medalists also include 2009 bronze medalist Jen Hudak (Salt Lake City).
Kearney, who has been on a roll since the Olympics, is fronting a strong moguls team. The group alone consists of three World Champions, two Olympic medalists and nine 2011 World Cup wins and podiums. Contributing to the success of the veterans will also be the World Championship rookies.
"The Team has great momentum right now. We are in full stride and the athletes are prepared to peak," said Freestyle Program Director Todd Schirman. "The hard work and training this season paid off with early success and this has given the athletes confidence.
"The moguls team is very strong right now. Hannah [Kearney] is on fire and has inspired not only the women but the sport with her consistency and determination."
Deneen will look to keep the World Cup momentum going while Olympic bronze medalist Bryon Wilson (Butte, MT), who had a slow start to 2011, will be gunning for the podium in front of a hometown crowd. Wilson, was a member of the Wasatch Freestyle Ski Team, a program that regularly trains at Deer Valley Resort.
Heather McPhie (Bozeman, MT), the 2010 World Cup overall runner-up, earned her first World Cup win on the Deer Valley course last year. McPhie, who has been just shy of the podium in the pre-World Championship World Cups, is hoping to continue her streak out of Deer Valley.
St. Onge will be fronting a cast of seven in Friday's contest as he jumps to defend his World Championship title. Joining St. Onge in the ranks are four fellow Olympians including 2010 FIS Rookie of the Year Ashley Caldwell (Charleston, SC). Caldwell, just 17, won her first World Cup a week ago at the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup in Lake Placid, NY.
"Aerials is rolling right now. Ashley [Caldwell] has inspired