The Trail To
Soldier Hollow, February 2002
A Who, When, Where, and How (we all know What and Why).
the Olympic team be chosen?
The following document is the US Ski
Team's criteria for choosing the Cross Country Olympic Team.
2002 Cross Country Olympic Team Selection Criteria
the Olympic Trials?
There is a US Ski Team Gold Cup at Soldier
Hollow from December 28-30 and the winner of that pursuit race automatically
makes the team. But other than World Cup races and the Gold Cup, which
is more of a publicity stunt than anything else, there are no trials
per se. Instead, all the USSA points races between January 21, 2001
and January 20, 2002 will be used to select the team. Therefore, the
most important races are the Continental Cups and US Nationals.
Nor-Am Continental Cup Schedule: November 2001- January 2002
US Cross Country Nationals: Bozeman,
MT January 5-13, 2002
WHO is going
to make it?
the first spots will go to the Gold Cup winner and World Cup point
scorers, most people's hopes lie with the National Ranking List.
See how we all stack up right now:
Olympic Qualifying List
Olympic Qualifying List
Having said that, there are still
a lot of politics involved. Here is how I evaluate things as of
The following people have
clearly been the top skiers in the country over the past year and
are skiing well right now. They will definitely be on the team.
Wadsworth (won Gold Cup)
Kemppel (won Gold Cup)
there are the following athletes, all who have a legitmate claim,
competing for the remaining spots:
of the people above who are "on the bubble," the most
recent buzz is that they will take:
Men: Nash, Koos, Bauer
Women: Aelin, Tessa and Kikkan
raced against all these people for years, I think they should
Men: Bauer, Weaver, Lars Flora, and whoever wins the 50K classic.
Bauer has been the best skier in the country for the last month.
Weaver has been consistently good for the past year. Lars proved
at Nationals that he can ski both the sprints and the long distances.
My guess is that most of the main guys will be focused on the earlier
races. The 50K classic will be an afterthought and the US, as usual,
probably won't even start 4 guys. So I say, take the Nationals winner
and have them focus solely on the 50K during the games.
I don't think you take Marcus because he has been out most of the
season with a shoulder injury. I don't think they should take a
pure sprinter, like Koos, because the best sprinter in the country,
Carl Swenson, is already on the team and can do longer races as
Women: Tessa, Kikkan, Aelin, Barb, Julie, Melissa
Kikkan is an excellent sprinter who is also very good in distance
events. Ditto for Tessa and Aelin. Barb is one of the best distance
skiers in the country and should start the 15K and 30K races. Melissa
has quitely been posting top results all year and has had a great
Nationals. She can race any of the distances well. The final spot
is a classic matchup of youth vs. experience. Both Lindsey and Julie
could fill this spot well. I chose to go with Julie because she
is a master of long races and this team is short on long distance
experience. I say take her specifically for the 15&30K.
I don't disagree with any of the likely US team's female choices,
I just think they should take more people. At every recent World
Championships and Olympics, by the end of a very hard week of racing,
the racers are always tired and sick. I think that if you take a
full team, you have more fresh legs for the later events, like relays
and 30Ks, and reduce the effects that sickness can have on a team's
results. The US can take up to eight skiers, so I say fill the team.
If nothing else, skiers will get experience for the future.
big show taking place?
Soldier Hollow, just outside Midway
, Utah will be the site of the cross country events for the Olympics.
Hollow Olympic Info
Cross Country Schedule
Hollow Course Maps
From 2001 World Cup at Soldier Hollow
Soldier Hollow General Info
Hollow Current Weather Conditions (only in Winter)
My report from Soldier
Hollow in August
Perhaps the ugliest, least useful picture of Soldier Hollow ever,
but hey the technology they used to come up with it must have cost
Degree View of Soldier Hollow