Bethel’s Simon Dumont continues quest for US Olympic team berth in ski halfpipe

Posted Dec. 20, 2013, at 2:45 p.m.
Simon Dumont of the United States skis during the Freestyle Skiing FIS World Cup-men's halfpipe qualifying round at Copper Mountain in Colorado.
Nathan Bilow | USA Today Sports
Simon Dumont of the United States skis during the Freestyle Skiing FIS World Cup-men's halfpipe qualifying round at Copper Mountain in Colorado.

Freestyle skiing halfpipe specialist Simon Dumont of Bethel is scheduled to continue his pursuit of a berth on the U.S. Olympic team during a World Cup stop at Copper Mountain, Colo.

Event finals are slated for Friday night, and will be broadcast at 2 p.m. Saturday on the NBC Sports Network.

This Copper Mountain Grand Prix marks the second of five selection events for the U.S. Olympic freeskiing team that will travel to Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Winter Games that begin in early February.

Selection to the Olympic freeskiing team will be made from among U.S. competitors with two top-three finishes against the entire field in the selection events. Those athletes then will be ranked based on their best two qualifying events compared to other U.S. athletes.

Additional qualifying events are scheduled in January for Northstar California, Mammoth Mountain in California and Park City, Utah, although the Northstar stop may be moved because of a lack of snow.

Having five races to gain two top-three finishes is especially important for Dumont because he failed to place in last week’s opening qualifier, the Dew Tour stop in Breckenridge, Colo., due to injury. He was diagnosed with a concussion after losing a ski during a practice run and hitting his head against the halfpipe.

Americans David Wise of Reno, Nev., Aaron Blunck of Crested Butte, Colo. and Lyman Currier of Boulder, Colo., swept the top three spots at the Dew Tour race to gain an early advantage in the Olympic selection process, while both Dumont and fellow U.S. favorite Torin Yater-Wallace of Basalt, Colo., did not compete due to practice-run crashes.

Dumont, a 27-year-old graduate of Telstar Regional High School, is considered a legend in the sport of halfpipe, having won two gold, two silver and three bronze medals at the Winter X Games.

The ski halfpipe is slated to make its Olympic debut this year, as is ski slopestyle and snowboard slopestyle. The U.S. team rosters are slated to be announced in late January with up to four athletes selected in each event.

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