(Updated to include Darian Stevens of Missoula).
Butte skier Brad Wilson has skied into Olympic history by being the first man named to the Team USA moguls squad for a third time.
The announcement came Friday from United States Olympic sources as the U.S. team was finalized for the 2022 Winter Olympics, to be held at Beijing, China, on February 3. Wilson, 29, and a 2011 graduate of Butte Central Catholic High School, competed in the 2014 Winter Olympics held in Sochi, Russia, and in the 2018 Winter Olympics held in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Wilson will be part of a four-man men’s moguls team, all nominations for which were announced Friday. The women’s team, also four members, was announced earlier in the week. They will all be part of the United States’ freestyle skiing team.
Wilson, who competed in tennis as a Maroon, is one of at least five Montanans picked for the United States Olympic team this time around. He has won three World Cup events and five United States championships. Wilson was voted the Federation of International Skiing “Rookie of the Year” in 2012.
“My biggest motivating factor is enjoyment,” Wilson is quoted in his profile on the usskiandsnowboard.org site. “I’m here to do what I love – competing, having fun winning and having fun skiing.”
He previously announced that he plans to retire from competition following the current World Cup season, which is on hold until after the Olympics.
Wilson’s older brother, Bryon, Bronze Medalist in the 2010 Winter Olympics at Vancouver, British Columbia, is the moguls coach for the ski team, and goes as part of the contingent. Also, two Whitefish athletes, skier Maggie Voisin and hockey player Jake Sanderson, were selected for United States Olympic team, as was Missoula athlete Darian Stevens.
Bryon Wilson retired as a competitor prior to the 2020-21 moguls season after a successful, yet injury-hampered career in World Cup moguls skiing. The 33-year-old, is a 2006 Butte High grad and played American Legion baseball while a teenager. They group up in the 2000 block of Wall Street in The Mining City and are the sons of Bryon and Jeanette (Harrington) Wilson. They have lived in Park City, Utah, or divided their residencies between there and Butte, for much the last 15 years to be part of the Team USA Freestyle Skiing Program for the United States Olympics Organization.
Wilson, Team USA’s leading Olympic qualifier, from the selection procedure of totaling the past two seasons of World Cup points to date, is joined on the men’s moguls team by first-time Olympians Cole McDonald and Nick Page, both of Park City, Utah, and Dylan Walczyk of Rochester, New York. The women’s team is composed of Olivia Giaccio of Redding, Connecticut, Jaelin Kauf of Alta, Wyoming, Kai Owens of Vail, Colorado, and Hannah Soar of Killington, Vermont. Soar will be experiencing her second Olympics while Giaccio, Owens and Soar are in the Winter Games for the first time.
Finals in the event are scheduled for February 5 for the men and February 6 for the women.
Voisin is also part of the freestyle team, but in the slopestyle/Big Air competition, as is Stevens. Voisin is on the Olympic team for the third time, also, and just missed a medal with a fourth-place finish in 2018. She broke an ankle in training at the 2014 Winter Games and was unable to compete. She was the team’s youngest member then at 15. Stevens is picked for the second time, having missed the 2018 Games, though, because of injury.
— compiled by Bruce Sayler from information on pertinent sites, including usskiandsnowboard.org and Fis-Ski, along with research and other sources.