January 21, 2018 / 2:46 AM / a year ago

Snowboarding: Americans Mack, Marino secure Olympic spots in Mammoth

MAMMOTH, California (Reuters) - American snowboarder Kyle Mack made up for a disappointing first trip down the slopestyle course on Saturday with two impressive runs to win the U.S. Grand Prix in Mammoth and qualify for next month’s Olympics in Pyeongchang.

It will be the first Olympics for the 20-year-old Mack, who will join fellow Americans Chris Corning and Red Gerard on the combined slopestyle and big air Olympic team.

“Feeling just amazing, unbelievable feeling right now,” he said. “I’m just excited to go and be a part of it and represent my country.”

Americans Julia Marino and Hailey Langland reached the podium in the women’s slopestyle snowboarding final at the World Cup event to qualify along for Pyeongchang with U.S. Grand Prix winner and Sochi gold medalist Jamie Anderson.

“This is a really surreal moment right now, it definitely hasn’t sunk in,” Marino said.

Torin Yater-Wallace and Alex Ferreira also qualified for the U.S. Olympics team in halfpipe skiing and will join 2014 gold medalist David Wise after impressive runs under the lights on Friday.

Pyeongchang will offer Yater-Wallace another chance to add an Olympic medal to his sizable collection of Winter X Games medals after the 22-year-old came up empty-handed in Sochi in 2014.

“I am really happy to be feeling better and skiing like myself again,” said Yater-Wallace, who made the team after overcoming a liver infection in 2015 during which he spent 10 days in an induced coma.

Pyeongchang will be Ferreira’s first Olympics after narrowly missing the 2014 Sochi Games.

“I can not believe it, I seriously can not believe it. I am the happiest human in all the land,” the 23-year-old said.

Brita Sigourney also qualified for the U.S. Freeski team after defeating compatriot Devin Logan and Sochi gold medalist Maddie Bowman.

Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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