Madison's Mac Bohonnon made the U.S. Olympic Freestyle Skiing Team, it was announced Tuesday night.
"The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association announced the nomination of nine moguls and aerials athletes to represent the USA at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The team will be led by reigning Olympic Champion Hannah Kearney and 2010 Olympians Patrick Deneen, Heather McPhie, Emily Cook and Ashley Caldwell. The athletes were nominated based on results on the International Ski Federation World Cup," said the announcement on teamusa.org.
Bohonnon, 18, will represent the U.S. in Men's Aerials.
He said Tuesday night that he didn't do it alone, and he appreciates all the support he has received.
"I can’t thank my family and my teammates and my coaches and my entire team enough" he said. "And all my friends and the entire community of Madison. It's definitely pretty tough to leave in the middle of eighth grade and not be able to go to high school, and not be able to see them every weekend at the football games. But the entire community has been unwavering in its support. It means the world to me. I am proud to be able to represent our awesome town, and the state itself, and the United States as well."According to his website, Bohonnon has been dreaming about representing his country in the Winter Olympics as a Freestyle Aerialist since he was 13 years old.
"For the past three years, he has been the youngest athlete, living and training full time with the U.S. Ski Team’s Elite Aerial Program at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) in Lake Placid, New York," his website says.
In addition to training about seven hours a day, he also is going to high school online. When he got the call Tuesday afternoon from his coach, letting him know he was going to the Olympics, Bohonnon was working on an AP Lit research paper on Ernest Hemingway's "For Whom The Bell Tolls."
Bohonnon said the call Tuesday afternoon capped off an exciting week that included a career highpoint exactly a week ago, when he took his career first podium after his second-place finish at the Val St. Come World Cup in Quebec.
On Sunday, Bohonnon was named International Ski Federation (FIS) Freestyle Rookie of the Year, after he finished 13th in the men’s aerial competition at Lake Placid, N.Y. Saturday night, according to the website SnoCountry.
On his Facebook page Tuesday, Bohonnon said he could not be more excited.
"Holy cow, dreams do come true. I couldn’t be more excited to say that I’ll get to represent the US in a few short weeks at the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia! This is the most incredible opportunity I could have ever imagined. I can’t thank all of my family, friends, coaches, teammates and everyone in between enough for the unyielding support over the years. Go USA!" he said.
The full roster for the team announced Tuesday includes one other Connecticut native, Eliza Outtrim from Hamden, CT.
Outtrim, on her Facebook page, said she was thrilled to be on the team.
"My Olympic dream has come true! I am proud to say that i will be representing the United States of America as a female mogul skier at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Thank you Mom and Dad for your unwavering support, especially in these last couple of weeks. And thank you family, friends, coaches, sponsors, PT's, Doc's, and fans. You know who you are. This is so crazy!!!!!!"
Here is the full roster:
Patrick Deneen, Cle Elum, WA (12/25/1987) *
Bradley Wilson, Butte, MT (6/5/1992)
Hannah Kearney, Norwich, VT (2/26/1986) *
Heidi Kloser, Vail, CO (9/18/1992)
Heather McPhie, Bozeman, MT (5/28/1984) *
Eliza Outtrim, Hamden, CT (7/18/1985)
Mac Bohonnon, Madison, CT (3/27/1995)
Ashley Caldwell, Ashburn, VA (9/14/1993) *
Emily Cook, Belmont, MA (7/1/1979) *
* Competed in past Olympics