Troy Murphy’s bid to make the U.S. Olympic men’s moguls team came up short Tuesday.
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: Hannah Kearney, Heidi Kloser, Heather McPhie and Eliza Outtrim.
“It’s disappointing; I’m a little bummed,’’ said Murphy by phone after a training session in Park City, Utah. “But it’s nothing I can worry about. I can’t dwell on it.”
Murphy wasn’t sure why the USSA took only two men. But Todd Schirman, the U.S. freestyle director, said the slots were “based on results.”
The U.S. had 26 spots allocated to the Olympics in five disciplines and those slots were “allocated on results per discipline,” said Schirman.
The athletes who were nominated have shown they have the potential to medal.
“Every athlete on this team has shown they can ski onto the podium against international fields and are well prepared to compete in Sochi,” said Schirman.
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 Sunday, in an event where he wasn’t even supposed to be competing. Training at Park City, Murphy got a call 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.
“I still had a good season and accomplished everything I wanted to, except Sochi,” said Murphy. “I’m still happy and feel I have a good future.”
Schirman said 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. “Troy is an incredible skier and has done a great job on the World Cup for us.”
Murphy began the season on the ‘C’ team for U.S. moguls but earned his way to the World Cup circuit with some impressive efforts.
He 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 before the fifth in Quebec.
Asked if a better result in those two middle races could have earned him a spot on the Olympic team, Murphy said he didn’t know.
“I pretty much did everything I could,” he said. “I could have used a better result, for sure, but you can’t always get that.
“It’s hard to look back and say if I had a good result in those races I probably would be going. It would have had to have been better than a fifth. It hurts, sure, but I’m still new to the World Cup and as long as I’m moving up, I’m happy.”
Mike Lowe can be reached at 791-6422 or at firstname.lastname@example.org