Alaska skiers to take over Winter Olympics as US cross-country team announced
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The countdown to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing continue and several cross-country skiers with Alaska ties will be representing Team USA.
Eight of the 14 members of the men’s and women’s teams announced Thursday were either born and raised, or train in Alaska, including 2018 Olympian Rosie Brennan.
“I am honored to be representing Team USA in another Olympic Games,” Brennan said in a Team USA press release. I am very excited to be on this team and to be in a place where we can fight with the best. I am looking forward to getting there and getting the races started.”
Joining Brennan on the women’s team are fellow Alaska Pacific University teammates Hailey Swirbul (El Jebel, Colorado) and Hannah Halvorsen (Truckee, California).
“More than anything, I feel honored to represent my country on the world stage at the Olympics,” Swirbul is quoted as saying in the press release. “I have dreamed of the opportunity to do this since I was a kid and it hasn’t totally set in for me yet! I think it won’t feel real to me until we actually arrive in Zhanjiakou. I am really looking forward to finishing my preparations knowing I am ready to fight with everything I have out on the race courses. Going into my first Olympics, I’m not sure what to expect, but I am going to try to stay true to myself and do what I know how to do!”
“All of my emotions are on overload,” Halvorsen said in the release. “I am beyond proud, beyond grateful and beyond excited and honored to be on the 2022 Olympic Team.”
The lone Alaska-born athlete on the women’s team is South Anchorage High School graduate Caitlin Patterson, who currently skis for Craftsbury Green Racing Project in Vermont.
“I’m very excited to be heading to my second Olympic Games,” she is quoted as saying in the press release. “The U.S. is bringing a strong group of cross-country athletes and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do!”
Also competing at the Olympics February 4-19 is Caitlin’s sibling Scott Patterson, an Alaska Pacific University standout after his national championship performance in Utah earlier this month.
“Races at the 2022 Olympics have been on my goal list for a long time,” Scott said in the release. “I’m excited to return to the Olympics and build on the successes I had in 2018. We have a strong contingent of U.S. athletes and I look forward to being a part of it!”
Anchorage-raised skiers Gus Schumacher (Alaska Winter Stars) and Luke Jager (University of Utah/APU) will be competing in the Olympics for the first time, both 22 years old.
”I really have to stop and give myself some credit because it’s a lifelong dream coming to fruition, but at the same time my goals keep coming and just making the team isn’t the end of the road. I wanna race fast!” Schumacher said in the press release. “But overall I’m very excited for the opportunity to represent the U.S. on the highest level in my sport.”
“This is a dream come true for me! I remember being a little kid watching Kikkan (Randall) and Andy (Newell), Simi (Hamilton) and crew at the Olympics and getting so fired up,” Jager added in the release. “Feels pretty crazy to get to be here now a few years later with my best friends. I feel so thankful for all the people that have worked so hard over the years to help us get here!”
University of Alaska Anchorage skier and sprint specialist JC Schoonmaker, of Tahoe City, California, was named to Team USA with selections based upon World Cup results, World Cup rankings, SuperTour results, and the recently completed U.S. Cross Country Championships.
“I’m super pumped to be named to my first Olympics! Pretty crazy feeling,” he said in the release. “It’s still kinda hard to believe it! Can’t wait to get over there, enjoy the experience and race the best I can!”
2022 Olympic Winter Games cross-country schedule
Saturday, Feb. 5 - Women’s 15k Skiathlon
Sunday, Feb. 6 - Men’s 30k Skiathlon
Tuesday, Feb. 8 - Men and Women’s Freestyle Sprint
Thursday, Feb. 10 - Women’s 10k Classic
Friday, Feb. 11 - Men’s 15k Classic
Saturday, Feb 12 - Women’s 4x5k Relay
Sunday, Feb. 13 - Men’s 4x10k Relay
Wednesday, Feb. 16 - Men and Women’s Classic Team Sprint
Saturday, Feb. 19 - Men’s 50k Freestyle Mass Start
Sunday, Feb. 20 - Women’s 30k Freestyle Mass Start
2022 U.S. Olympic cross-country women’s team
Rosie Brennan (Park City, Utah) - Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center
Hailey Swirbul (El Jebel, Colorado) - Alaska Pacific University Nordic Center
Hannah Halvorsen (Truckee, California) - Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center
Caitlin Patterson (Craftsbury, Vermont) - Craftsbury Green Racing Project
Jessie Diggins (Stratton, Vermont) - Stratton Mountain School Elite Team
Julia Kern (Waltham, Massachusetts) - Stratton Mountain School Elite Team
Sophia Laukli (Yarmouth, Maine) - University of Utah
Novie McCabe (Winthrop, Washington) - Methow Valley Nordic Team
2022 U.S. Olympic cross-country men’s team
JC Schoonmaker (Tahoe City, California) - University of Alaska Anchorage
Luke Jager (Anchorage, Alaska) - University of Utah/Alaska Pacific University
Gus Schumacher (Anchorage, Alaska) - Alaska Winter Stars
Scott Patterson (Anchorage, Alaska) - Alaska Pacific University Nordic Center
Kevin Bolger (Minocqua, Wisconsin) - Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation
Ben Ogden (Landgrove, Vermont) - Stratton Mountain School Elite Team
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