December 21, 2014
STONEHAM, Quebec (AP) - Graham Watanabe has secured his spot on
the U.S. Olympic snowboardcross team with a second-place finish at
a World Cup event in Canada.
Watanabe finished behind Pierre Vaultier of France on Thursday in the final qualifying event of the season. This will be his second Olympics. He made the 2006 Games after heading to Turin as a wax technician, then grabbing a spot when a teammate got injured.
Watanabe joins Nate Holland in earning an automatic spot on the team. Defending Olympic champion Seth Wescott should earn a spot when the full team is announced Monday.
Shaun Palmer, the 41-year-old snowboarding pioneer, finished third Thursday, making him a longshot to make the Olympics.