Tahoe athletes named to national snowboard, freeski teams

FILE — Double Olympic gold medalist Jamie Anderson competing in the 2020 Land Rover U.S. Grand Prix slopestyle finals at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.
Sarah Brunson / U.S. Ski & Snowboard

PARK CITY, Utah — The remainder of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s national teams have been announced, adding to a list of local athletes that have already been selected to the national program in alpine and cross-country.

The Tahoe area will have one athlete making her debut on a national team and several returning veterans of their respective sports for another year of competition on the slopes.

Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team

This year’s U.S. Snowboard Team will feature a roster of 54 athletes competing in halfpipe, slopestyle, and big air.

South Lake Tahoe’s Jamie Anderson, 33, will return to Slopestyle / Big Air Pro Team after missing last season due to the birth of her daughter. One of the most decorated snowboarders in history, Anderson is a three-time Olympian, two-time gold medalist and owns 21 Winter X Games medals. She hasn’t competed since the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.

Hailey Langland, 23, lived in the Lake Tahoe area early on in her snowboarding career, and joins Anderson on the Women’s Pro Team. Langland posted a fourth and sixth place in World Cup slopestyle last season as her top finishes. She also finished runner-up in big air at a World Cup event at Copper Mountain.

Tahoe snowboarder Hahna Norman, 18, captured a U.S. national title in slopestlyle last year and following the season told the Sierra Sun she had high hopes of landing on the national team.

“It would be super cool to make it and I’d be super honored,” said Norman. “But at the end of the day, I’m still going to keep snowboarding and doing what I do.”

Norman, who finished third in the Nor-Am Cup slopestyle / big air standings last season, was named to the program’s Rookie Team.

The season gets underway in Chur, Switzerland on Oct. 20-21. Three World Cup events will be held in the U.S., including at the end of February at Mammoth Mountain.

Stifel U.S. Freeski Team

Reno’s David Wise headlines the U.S. Freeski Team’s list of 39 athletes selected to the program and will return as a member of the Halfpipe Pro Team.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time Olympian has been part of the program since 2013. Last season, Wise, 33, had two top-five finishes in World Cup halfpipe competition, including a third place at Mammoth Mountain in February. Wise also picked up his fifth X Games gold medal last season by winning SuperPipe.

In slopestyle / big air, Truckee skier Cody LaPlante has been named to the program’s Pro Team. LaPlante, 21, had three top-10 finishes in World Cup slopestyle last season, and finished the year ranked 11th in the event in the World Cup standings.

“We’re excited to kick off the 2023-24 season!” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Freeski Sport Director Skogen Sprang, in last week’s announcement.”We have a great roster of athletes on the halfpipe and slopestyle/big air teams and are looking forward to a great year of pushing the sport of freeskiing. With some new blood as well as finely tuned veteran athletes supporting and motivating each other, the possibilities are limitless, and we can’t wait to see what this group can accomplish this winter.”  

The season officially kicks off in Chur, Switzerland on Oct. 20. Three World Cups will be held in the U.S., including at Mammoth Mountain on Feb. 31.

Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team

Only one of the 29 athletes on the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team has ties to the area.

Reno’s Megan Smallhouse, 22, has been on the women’s aerials team since 2020. Last season she posted a trio of first-place finishes at Nor-Am Cup events. She was also a runner-up nine times and third place five times. Smallhouse finished the season in second place in the Nor-Am Cup aerials standings.

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