Skiers Left Off Olympic Team Appeal
DENVER (AP) _ Two skiers left off the U.S. Olympic freestyle team asked an arbitrator on Thursday to hear their appeal to be added to the squad.
Stacey Blumer, seven-time U.S. champion and defending overall World Cup champion, filed the appeal for herself and moguls skier Jim Moran after they were left off the freestyle team.
The appeal was filed with the Colorado office of the American Arbitration Association, which said a decision wasn’t expected before Friday morning.
Appeals had been filed with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association in Park City, Utah and the U.S. Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs.
Blumer, 28, of Greenwich, Conn., was one of the first women in the world to complete a triple somersault in World Cup competition and is ranked No. 2 on the U.S. team in women aerials according to World Cup points.
She and Moran, of Stowe, Vt., thought they were going to Nagano, Japan, for the Winter Olympics Feb. 7-22 as part of a 14-member U.S. team. They learned on Monday that only 11 of the 14 slots were filled and that they hadn’t been named to the Nagano roster.
Blumer said her coach, Wayne Hilterbrand, told her only that she did not meet the qualifying criteria.
``We basically went with the criteria and those who qualified were selected,″ Hilterbrand said when the team was announced.
Blumer said the coach had told her earlier this year she should have no trouble making the team.
Blumer, who walked away from a nasty fall this year at Lake Placid, said she would have incorporated more difficult jumps into her skiing routines during World Cup competition had she known there was a chance she would not make the Olympic team.
``I guess if you have about an 80 percent landing rate, you’re doing pretty well,″ Blumer said.
A lawyer representing the skiers, Mark Levinstein of Washington, D.C., did not immediately return a call requesting comment. Levinstein represented figure skater Nancy Kerrigan in the Tonya Harding incident four years ago.
Attempts to reach the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association for comment were not immediately successful.