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Tuesday, January 26, 2010
On other teens and Olympic dreams

By Jon Mahoney
ESPN RISE

Rachael Flatt and Mirai Nagasu are headed to Vancouver. Here's an update on some other teen athletes who pursued spots in the Winter Olympics:

Faye Gulini

Women's Snowboarding
Gulini, who won't turn 18 until March 24, was the youngest of the 18 competitors named to the U.S. Olympic snowboarding team. A senior at Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy (Minturn, Colo.), Gulini will participate in snowboard cross.

Maddy Schaffrick

Women's Snowboarding
Though Schaffrick didn't earn a spot on the Olympic team, the Steamboat Springs (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) sophomore still managed to impress with top-10 finishes in all five U.S. Grand Prix events this winter and finished seventh overall in the competition that determined who'd go to Vancouver. Not bad for a 15-year-old.

Kate Hansen & Emily Sweeney

Women's Luge
Sweeney, a junior at Suffield (Suffield, Conn.), and Hansen, a senior at La Canada (La Canada, Calif.), lost in a race-off to Sweeney's older sister, Megan, for the final U.S. Olympic spot.

Trevor Jacob

Men's Snowboarding
Jacob wasn't able to qualify for the Olympic team during the U.S. Grand Prix. But the home-schooled 16-year-old won't turn 17 until August and clearly has a bright future in the sport.

Ben Watts

Men's Snowboarding
For a kid who's only a sophomore at Summit (Bend, Ore.), Watts turned in solid performances in the U.S. Grand Prix. But it wasn't enough to clinch an Olympic spot. Keep an eye on this rising star over the next four years.