Cook, Caldwell earn spots on Olympic team in aerials

Ashley Caldwell competes in the women's freestyle World Cup aerials competition on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, in Lake Placid, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Freestyle skier Emily Cook is going to her third Olympics after landing a spot on the U.S. team on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old aerialist finished 19th at the 2010 Games and 11th in 2006. She also was nominated to the 2002 team but missed because of an injury. She was given a spot on this year's freestyle team after the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association went through dozens of calculations and possibilities.

Several spots are awarded based on how athletes finish in qualifying events. A few are held out for those who don't qualify based on their results but are still considered potential medalists based on their history and current performances. Cook got one of the discretionary picks, in part because she has finished in the top 10 and been the top American finisher in the last four World Cup events.

Also on the aerials team is Ashley Caldwell, who finished 10th at the 2010 Games. She's one of five women in the world, Schirman said, who try triple-flipping jumps.

Cook and Caldwell are the only two women among the world's top 12 who aren't from either Australia or China.

Another discretionary spot on the freestyle team went to halfpipe skier Torin Yater-Wallace, who broke his ribs while training for the first qualifying event and hasn't skied competitively since. Wallace is a three-time X Games medalist and is expected to be healthy for Sochi.

Also added to the team were Annalisa Drew (halfpipe), Joss Christensen (men's slopestyle), Julia Krass and 15-year-old Maggie Voisin (women's slopestyle). John Teller earned a skicross spot by winning a World Cup event last week.

Olympic speedskater Tucker Fredricks (500 meters) is heading to the Winter Games. But he asked his family to stay home in Wisconsin because of security concerns.

He will be competing in his third and last Olympics after finishing 12th in the 2010 Vancouver Games. He finished second at the U.S. Olympic Trials.