Sochi, Russia • Steven Nyman says he’s never worked harder for an Olympics and never been in better shape.
It paid off Friday.
The Provo native and Sundance resident landed the final starting spot for the men’s downhill Sunday, edging out Salt Lake City’s Jared Goldberg and Park City’s Erik Fisher in a decision by the coaches. It will be Nyman’s third Olympic downhill. He finished 19th at the 2006 Turin Games and 20th at the 2010 Vancouver Games.
Nyman also raced the combined and super-G in Vancouver, finishing 29th and 43rd, respectively.
Nyman finished 18th in the last training session before the decision, tied with teammate Travis Ganong, who already had locked up one of the four spots. Five-time Olympian Bode Miller and Salt Lake City resident Marco Sullivan are the other two ticketed to start, though the U.S. Ski Team had not made any official announcement before the opening ceremony Friday night.
At a news conference earlier, Nyman said he "choked" at his first Olympics in Turin, then didn’t expect to make the next one in Vancouver and "skied just for fun." This year, he had high expectations, but "I haven’t really lived up to them," which is why he cut his long hair into a buzz cut.
"To punish myself," he said.
The decision surely was most painful for Fisher, who lost the final starting spot in Vancouver to Nyman, too, not long after suffering a broken hand and a concussion. At the same news conference where Nyman spoke, Fisher told reporters he didn’t want to get left out again.
- Michael C. Lewis
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