Rigby Olympic snowboarder Jessika Jenson competed in her fifth and final Olympic qualifier event last weekend and is “95 percent sure” that she will secure the fourth spot to go to Pyeongchang, South Korea, next month.
The final decision determining whether Jenson will be chosen and even if there will be a fourth snowboarder representing the U.S. in the slopestyle/big air event will be made after Jefferson Star press time, but Jenson is optimistic.
“I think I’m sitting in a good position. I’d be surprised if they didn’t take four,” Jenson said in an interview following Saturday’s televised finals competition.
Three snowboarders have already clinched a spot on Team U.S.A. All three have had podium finishes during the five qualifiers. Jamie Anderson was the first to clinch her spot. Hailey Langland and Julia Marino were named Saturday. Both of them had podium finishes at the first Olympic qualifier in Mammoth Mountain, Calif., where this last qualifier was also held.
Jenson had hoped for a podium finish on Saturday. An overnight snowfall, however, made an already slow course nearly impossible.
“The runs were just pathetic,” Jenson said. “It was really rough for everyone. A majority had a hard time getting over the first jump.”
Jenson modified her run, planning a trick that would at least get her past the first jump. But it didn’t work out.
“I probably had the worst performance of my season,” she said. “I’m bummed they even ran the event. It sucks that it’s all about the TV time and not what the riders want.”
Although the weekend’s competition didn’t go well, it didn’t affect Jenson’s position. She is still tied with Langland and Marino with 1600 points.
“I currently have the fourth spot,” she said.
Only the top three spots were announced on Saturday. If they can take a fourth, Jenson expected to be notified on Monday.
“I talked to my coaches and it sounds like I will be the one selected,” she said.
Jenson is used to the short notice.
“Four years ago I knew 10 days prior to leaving for the Olympics,” she said.
Jenson plans to train in Colorado this week, head home for a few days and then go to South Korea.