Three-time Olympian Steven Nyman seized the fourth and final American spot in Sunday’s men’s downhill by placing 18th in Friday’s training session on the Rosa Khutor course, beating out teammates Jared Goldberg and Erik Fisher.
Nyman will join Bode Miller, Marco Sullivan and Travis Ganong in the opening Alpine race of the Sochi Olympics. The American coaching staff selected the 32-year-old, who hasn’t finished better than 19th in a World Cup downhill race this year, after considering not only the result of Friday’s training run – in which Goldberg finished 22nd and Fisher 23rd – but the entire body of the skiers’ work.
“I skied a lot better today,” Nyman said. “I felt a lot more comfortable, a lot more out over my skis.”
Nyman, who admitted to crumbling in his Olympic debut in 2006, has one World Cup downhill victory to his credit, in 2012 in Italy.
Miller was sixth Friday, Ganong tied with Nyman for 18th and Sullivan 35th in the second of three training runs.
Switzerland’s Fabienne Suter was the fastest in the second women’s downhill training session. Stacey Cook was the top American in sixth, followed by three-time medalist Julia Mancuso in 10th and Olympic rookie Jackie Wiles in 12th.
The women’s competition doesn’t begin until Monday with the super-combined, which is followed by the downhill on Wednesday.