Sunday, March 24, 2019
Sun Valley Snowboarder Could Be Headed to Olympics
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Chase Josey could find out today whether he’ll be eating Korean Kimchi Stew and Chicken Ginseng Soup in a couple of weeks.
 
Monday, January 22, 2018
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Shades of Kaitlyn Farrington!

Another Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation snowboarder could be headed to the Olympics in a scenario that seems to be playing out very much like Farrington’s.

Halfpipe Snowboarder Chase Josey dazzled them this weekend, throwing down a 94.50 on his opening run to win the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain.

 
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Sun Valley photographer Tal Roberts took this soaring picture of Chase Josey in competition.
 

And, while his win didn’t assure him an automatic berth on the Olympic team, the 22-year-old from Hailey made sure that those who saw his moves wouldn’t soon forget them.

One spot remains on the team heading to Pyeongchang, South Korea. And that will likely be announced today—Monday, Jan. 22—said Josey’s SVSEF snowboard coach Andy Gilbert, now rookie halftime coach for the U.S. Snowboarding team.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White has already locked up an automatic qualifying spot, as has Jake Pates and Ben Ferguson.

Josey has a good chance, as he passed Danny Davis, who had been the leader in the competition for the discretionary pick, with Saturday’s victory. Davis was injured during the event at Mammoth.

TEAM USA swept the halfpipe podium with Ben Ferguson taking second with 92.25 points and two-time Olympian Greg Bretz placing third with 81.50 points.

It was Josey’s first Grand Prix win and the second major win of his career. He won the Laax, Switzerland, World Cup in January 2017, and he has a silver and bronze World Cup medal, as well.

The 5-foot-10, 140-pound snowboarder landed a silver in the Mammoth Mountain Grand Prix in 2016. He followed that up with a bronze medal at the inaugural X Games in Oslo.

Taught to snowboard by his father on Dollar Mountain at age 5, Josey has a huge technical bag of tricks that sets him apart from his competition, said Gilbert, who was among the SVSEF coaches who began coaching Josey when he was 9.

Those tricks includes a switch double crippler, switch Michalchuk and switch backside 900.

“He’s very talented and has a unique perspective on putting tricks together the things he wants to do,” said Gilbert, who got to see Josey’s run at Mammoth. “He kind of thinks outside the box as far as putting his runs together and I think that definitely sets them apart. He can do all the toughest stuff right now, and he’s also got a bag of tricks that’s big.”

Having a big bag of tricks is essential at the level that Josey competes, Gilbert added.

“That’s because you have to make adjustments accordingly depending on the conditions and who is in the field and things like that,” he said.

Josey’s win is reminiscent of 2014 when Sun Valley Snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington dazzled the crowd at Mammoth Mountain in the halfpipe’s final Olympic selection event to land a berth on the Olympic team.

She went on to prove just as dazzling at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as she landed a gold medal with a switch, backside 900 and plenty of clean landings.

The Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, starts Feb. 9.

Sun Valley's Hilary Knight has already secured a spot on the USA Women's Hockey Team in what will be her third Winter Olympics.

OTHER SUN VALLEY ATHLETES HEADED OVERSEAS:

Biathlete MAX DURTSCHI has been selected by the U.S. Biathlon International Competition Committee to compete in at the IBU Open European Championships. Durtschi will join Jake Brown, Sean Doherty, Paul Schommer, Jake Ellingson and Alex Howe at the event being held Jan. 23-28 in Ridnaun, Italy.

RYDER SARCHETT, a member of the USSA team, has been selected as one of six U.S. athletes to compete in this year’s Seven Nations Cup held Feb. 8-9 at Malbun, Liechtenstein. The Seven Nations Cup is a good test for U.S. U16 athletes because of deep competition from the European nations.

And Sun Valley athletes JOHNNY HAGENBUCH and SYDNEY PALMER-LEGER are representing the United States at the U18 Nordic National Championships, which started on Sunday and run through Jan. 31 in Finland.

 

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