Aspen’s Simi Hamilton is one of seven cross-country skiers named to the 2014 Olympic team by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) Wednesday who has previous experience competing at the Winter Games.
Aspen’s Noah Hoffman is one of another seven athletes named Wednesday who has no previous Olympic experience.
“We have a unique opportunity to make history in Sochi,” said head cross-country coach Chris Grover. “Our team speaks to years of dedication, experience and hard work with veterans setting the stage to turn that work into great results.
“Additionally, our younger athletes are fighting for results and have shown that they have earned their spots on this team. We’re ready for the challenge ahead.”
World Champions Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins will lead the women’s team. Randall, a two-time World Cup sprint champion, is going into the Games as a strong favorite.
The U.S. team has been heralded for the strength of its roster throughout the season thus far and is expected to challenge the strong international field for Olympic medals.
Vail’s Sylvan Ellefson, a recently crowned national champion, did not get the call for the Sochi Games.
“Go kick some tail USA!” Ellefson said in a classy post on his Facebook page Wednesday.
Internationally renowned and Vail-based mountaineer Ellen Miller commented: “Sylvan, I have grown and learned MUCH more from the mountains I did NOT summit, than the ones I did. Hold your head high, my friend, focus ahead and know that we are proud of you for representing our community.”
The formal naming of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team by the United States Olympic Committee is set for Jan. 27.