A snowboarder with deep ties to the Bristol Bay region will miss out on a return trip to the Olympics.
Girdwood’s Callan Chythlook-Sifsof had hoped to make the U.S. snowboardcross team but when the team was announced on Saturday she was left off.
Chythlook-Sifsof is now 24-years old and she grew up in Aleknagik and Dillingham before moving with her mother to Girdwood to be closer to the Aleyeska Resort. She was in the running for one of the 3 spots on the women’s snowboardcross team but was edged out by two snowboarders from Vermont and a snowboarder from Utah.
Chythlook-Sifsof was hoping for a return trip to the Olympics. She made the snowboardcross team in 2010 and became the first Alaska Native to compete in the Olympic Winter Games.
Via Facebook, Chythlook-Sifsof issued a statement about missing the Olympics. In that statement she noted that she has been struggling through two consecutive seasons of injury and recovery and she labeled this as one of the toughest seasons yet. She stressed that she’s looking forward to cheering on her teammates in Sochi.
Chythlook-Sifsof suffered a season ending knee injury in February of last year and she battled other injuries this season.
While Chythlook Sifsof will miss the Olympics, she was able to compete in the just-completed X-Games in Aspen. She placed 10 in the women’s snowboardcross competition.
The members of the snowboard cross team that will head to the Olympics were selected based on their World Cut results and Chythlook-Sifsof had finishes of 15th, 19th, 23rd, and 24th.
There are 4 members of the men’s snowboardcross team. Two of the riders are from California, one is from Vermont and the final rider is from Maine.
The head coach of the Olympic Snowboardcross team is Peter Foley who said the U.S. will have a strong team with a mix of seasoned veterans plus some new athletes who are riding very fast.