Whitefish's Voisin officially an Olympic athlete


MISSOULA, Mont. - Whitefish's Maggie Voisin became one of the newest, and officially the youngest, athletes to be named to the 2014 United States Winter Olympics team Tuesday afternoon.

The 15-year-old slopestyle phenom will also be competing at the X-games this week in Aspen, Colorado from January 23 rd -26 th .

Voisin did not automatically qualify for the Olympic team, thus the Whitefish native was forced to wait a couple extra days before finding out if she would be heading to Sochi as part of the U.S. Olympic team.

It seemed likely that Voisin would be picked with Freeskiing head coach Mike Jankowsi saying earlier last week that he planned to take four women to Sochi for the slopestyle event. Based on the final point standings after all five Olympic qualifying events, Voisin was next in line (at 280 total points) of the Americans to earn an Olympic spot after the automatic qualifiers. However the coach's discretionary picks are never a sure and predictable thing, and Voisin was tied with 16-year old Julia Krass of New Hampshire in the category of their top two combined scores at 160 points. On Tuesday it was announced that both Voisin and Krass would both be making the trip to Sochi as American competitors.

"Getting the news today and knowing that it really happened was great," said spokesperson Lisa Jones of the Whitefish Convention and Visitors Bureau (one of Voisin's earliest ski sponsors). "Last night finding out that the AFP had ranked her 4th in the world certainly gave us a little extra confidence but today's the clincher, Maggie's going to the Olympics."

Besides being the youngest American athlete on the Olympic team, Voisin is competing in the youngest Olympic event as slopestyle skiing is making its Olymic debut in Sochi this year.

"You know she's just dedicated, she loves the sport," said Maggie's mother Kristin Voisin on Tuesday. "Skiing is her passion and you know for being 15 and having to hang right in there with everyone else she's just she's dedicated."

Meanwhile another western Montanan athlete, Darian Stevens of Missoula, came just short of her Olympic Dreams this time around. The 18-year old slopestyle athlete finished 5 th in the final Freeskiing total points standings for American women at 255 points. She also finished 5 th in the category of top two combined scores at 150 points.