Ramos remains in driver’s set for final spot going into selections
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — While Jeremy Bloom took care of business, the fate of the U.S. fourth men’s Olympic freestyle moguls spot may be in the hands of team coaches and officials.
Bloom of Loveland, Colo., realized his dream of making the Olympic team by winning the final Olympic selection World Cup moguls event Saturday at the Gateway U.S. Freestyle Classic.
South Lake Tahoe’s Ramos, who entered the final pre-Olympic freestyle event in the team’s fourth slot, finished a disappointing 46th.
“I got a rare thing — a disqualification — because I went around a control gate,” Ramos said. “It’s been a recurring problem the last few competitions of me not landing in the best spot off my bottom airs. I’ve been drifting to one side and it’s been affecting my score, and this time it affected my ability to finish the course.”
However, no team member behind him was able to meet the team’s Olympic criteria by finishing on the podium. So, Ramos with third- and fourth-place World Cup finishes or Evan Dybvig, who was third and sixth in the past two events, will likely get the final berth when the team is announced on Tuesday.
“If I wasn’t going to be on top of the podium, the best people were for my ability to make the Olympic team,” Ramos said. “The team has been known in the past to try and pull discretionary and political stuff. (My being on the team) is not a sure thing, but it’s very likely.
“If that’s the case, my next thing is to work really hard to iron out the flaws in my runs. I’m sure the coaches are disappointed in my last few meets, but I also know I can pull it together when it counts.”
Travis Cabral, also of the South Shore, bowed out of Olympic contention by finishing 40th. It was only Cabral’s second World Cup start of the season.
Bloom, a 19-year-old wide receiver for the Colorado Buffaloes, was in the middle of the pack as the top 12 finishers from the first run moved into the finals.
He hit a heli-mute-grab and a quad twister jump on the bottom for 27.96 points while Gold Cup winner Travis Mayer of Steamboat Springs, Colo., was runner-up with 27.79.
U.S. head coach Jeff Wintersten shook his head as he looked at the scores. “Incredible … imagine telling an athlete, ‘You have to score 28 points to be on the podium.’ We saw some great skiing with a lot of skiers going big.”
Ramos couldn’t believe what he was watching, either.
“It’s one of the best competitions I’ve ever watched,” Ramos said. “The level of competition was just throught the roof.”
Bloom, the World Cup leader but still in danger of losing an Olympic spot coming into the event , said, “I’ve tried to be consistent all season and before the second run I figured it was time to transition beyond that. It was time to put it on the line. I’d be first or I was gonna be 12th, but I wasn’t holding back.”
Although he had top-3s in the first two World Cup meets of the season, Bloom said he knew his Olympic spot wasn’t guaranteed.
“If two guys (beside himself and Mayer, whose Gold Cup win guaranteed him a berth) went 1-2, I was out. I knew it wasn’t a done deal. I just wanted to ski to win today, and if I messed up that would be the price I’d have to pay.
“It feels great to win today but I want to be on top in February. I’ll soak this in for today and then get back to work tomorrow.”
Bloom had been a coaches’ discretionary choice before the opening World Cup in November. Mayer had been a discretionary choice before the Sprint U.S. Grand National in December in his hometown.
“I was a development team skier four weeks ago. I didn’t think I would be one of the top guys on our team,” said Mayer, who is a student at Cornell University when he’s not training or competing. “Going to the Olympics is way more than I could ever have expected, let alone predicted.”
Jillian Vogtli of Ellicotville, N.Y., claimed her Olympic spot with a third-place finish as U.S. women took five of the top seven places. Norway’s Kari Traa won with a score of 27.12, with Hannah Hardaway of Moultonborough, N.H., second with 26.14.
The U.S.’s depth showed as Ann Battelle of Steamboat Springs, Colo., was fourth; Donna Weinbrecht of Killington, Vt., sixth; and Shannon Bahrke of Tahoe City, seventh.
“I got a rare thing, a disqualification, because I went around a control gate. recurring problem last few competition of not landing in the best spot off my bottom airs.
I’ve been drifting to one side, and it’s been affecting my score and this time it affect my ability to finish the course. I’ mk ind of bummed out, I have potentio to win these things, and I’ve scred up last four competition.
same t ime, I probably made the olympic team.
if wasn’t going to be on top of odium, the best peopel wre for my ability to make the olyumpic team.
official on tuesay.
way criterior, team has been now in past to try pull discreention and politcia suttt. I’t snot a sure thing, but it’s very likely.
if that’s case, my next thing is to work really hard to irion flaws in my runs right now. I feel confident that I will be able to do.
Olympic training center in Lake Placid, here on Tuesday.
“sure coaches are also dispaointe din last few meets, but I aslo know I can putll it together when it cournts.
lot of mixed feelings going on right now. Yesterday
One of best competiions I’ve ever watched. THe level of comeptition was just through the roof.