January 24

Mainer Troy Murphy falls short in bid to make Olympics

The U.S. moguls team decides to take just two men, leaving the Bethel native without a spot.

By Mike Lowe mlowe@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Troy Murphy’s bid to make the U.S. Olympic men’s moguls team came up short Tuesday.

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In this 2011 file photo, Troy Murphy of Maine competes at the U.S. Freestyle Selections at Steamboat Ski Resort in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

REUTERS

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Troy Murphy

Staff File Photo

Murphy, a 21-year-old native of Bethel, was not among the skiers nominated by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association when it announced its selections for the U.S. aerials and moguls teams heading to Sochi, Russia, for the upcoming Winter Olympics.

The USSA selected only two men to the moguls team: Patrick Deneen and Bradley Wilson. Four women were selected to the moguls team.

The U.S. had 26 spots allocated to the Olympics in five disciplines and the slots were decided, said Todd Schirman, the U.S. Freestyle Director, “based on results.”

“It comes down to performance, you earn quotas through performance,’’ he said.

Murphy, a 2010 graduate of Gould Academy, was a long shot to make the Olympic team when the qualifying races began in December. But he achieved two fifth-place finishes in the four qualifiers he competed in to put himself in contention. His latest fifth came on Sunday, in an event where he wasn’t even supposed to be competing. Training at Park City, Utah, Murphy got a call on Saturday morning saying a spot had opened up in the last qualifier at Val St. Come, Quebec. He arrived in Quebec at 2 a.m. and had little time to prepare, getting in just two practice runs.

Murphy certainly opened some eyes with his qualifying runs. He earned a fifth in his first event, but finished 46th and 30th in his next two.

Schirman said that Murphy will join the U.S. team in the remaining World Cup events following the Olympics.

“It’s great to have him on our World Cup team,’’ he said.

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