Five athletes with New England ties were named to the U.S. freestyle ski team for the 2021-22 season with eyes on the Olympics in Beijing.
Hannah Soar, a native of Somers, Conn., and a product of Killington Mountain School, finished the 2020-21 season as the No. 3-ranked mogul skier in the world. The 22-year-old qualified for the national team during her junior year in high school, and earned her first World Cup podium in 2019.
Fellow KMS output Alex Lewis, of Carlisle, Mass., made the men’s team. In 2019 he took first place at the Val St. Come NorAm and third place in dual moguls at the 2019 Junior World Championships. This will be the third year on the U.S Ski Team for the 21-year-old.
Pelham, N.H.’s Eric Loughran, who trained with the Loon Mountain Freestyle team, made his first Olympic appearance in 2018, when the 25-year-old finished 25th in aerials.
Megan Nick, of Shelburne, Vt., is in her sixth year on the U.S. Ski Team. The former gymnast finished the last two seasons ranked in the top six overall in the world in aerials.
Olivia Giaccio returns for her sixth season. The 21-year-old native of Redding, Conn. trained with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. She was the No. 26th-ranked moguls skier last season.
“We are excited to be in the final stages of the 2022 Olympic preparation,” said moguls head coach Matt Gnoza, once the freestyle program director at KMS. “This preparation didn’t just start during this past offseason, Olympic preparation takes a full four years, so we have been at this for a while. Every one of these athletes is very talented or they wouldn’t be here, it’s the combination of talent and hard work that can make you great. We look forward to this final prep period ahead of the World Cup Opener next month.”
The FIS Freestyle World Cup openers are in Ruka, Finland, Dec. 3-4.