The United States men’s national bobsled team for the 2017-2018 season has been announced with Codie Bascue, Justin Olsen and Nick Cunningham awarded the three pilot positions.
The team was announced following the completion of the final qualification events in Lake Placid.
Bascue earned his place after winning the two-man trials and finishing second in the four-man race.
Two-time Olympian Cunningham finished third in two-man trials and won the four-man race to claim his place in the squad.
Vancouver 2010 Olympic gold medallist Olsen was named as the third pilot by the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (USBSF) Selection Committee, which utilised discretion per the criteria.
Olsen departed for international training on the Olympic track in Pyeongchang on Wednesday (October 18), forcing him to miss the four-man race.
The four-man trials competition was originally scheduled for October 14, but was delayed until Friday (October 20) due to unseasonably warm weather.
Olsen finished second to Bascue in the two-man race last weekend.
A total of 12 competitors have been named as a pool of push athletes to compete with the three pilots this season.
Among those on the team are Olympic bronze medallist Chris Fogt and two-time Olympic bronze medallist and world champion Steve Langton.
Fogt and Langton were team-mates at Sochi 2014, winning bronze in the four-man event.
Both athletes took time off after Sochi 2014 and returned last season to make a bid for Pyeongchang 2018.
Earning their first national team berths are Summer Olympian Ryan Bailey and active US Army Special Forces soldier Nathan Weber.
Bailey, fourth in the men’s 100 metres at London 2012, was given a backdated six-month doping ban in August after failing a drugs test earlier in the year.
The 28-year-old, who switched to the winter sport last year from athletics, was handed the sanction after testing positive for the banned stimulant dimethylbutylamine on January 10 at the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) North American Cup.
As a result of the backdated ban, Bailey’s results from the six-month period starting on January 10 were disqualified.
Returning national team veterans in this year’s US men's bobsled squad include Hakeem Abdul-Saboor, Christopher Kinney, Sam McGuffie, Sam Michener, Jimmy Reed, Nic Taylor, Carlo Valdes and Evan Weinstock.
Weinstock has already set a push record this season as Olsen’s brakeman in the two-man trials.
Last season, McGuffie, Reed and Valdes came second in the overall World Cup standings as members of the late Steven Holcomb’s crew.
"I am beyond impressed by the talent of the push athletes on the men’s team," Darrin Steele, chief executive of the USBSF, said.
"We expect to have competitive push teams heading into the Olympic season, but we rarely see this depth; and it’s a testament to the commitment of the athletes and coaches that we have come so far with so many new faces.
"I did not expect the selection of this team to be anywhere near this difficult.
"That’s a good problem to have, but it’s hard knowing that there are some fantastic athletes that did not get named to the national team.
"The Olympic dream is not over for them, but their jobs just got tougher."
This year is the first time in two decades that the national team has not featured Holcomb, the three-time Olympic medallist and five-time world champion who unexpectedly passed away in May.
"It’s been a challenge for the team to move forward without the security of knowing we could count on Steven Holcomb to pull us through," Steele added.
"Every one of these athletes and coaches has accepted this unfamiliar dynamic for finding success at the Olympic Games with an unspoken mantra; 'If it’s to be, it’s up to me'.
"I’m proud of the character they’ve shown and I look forward to seeing what they can do on the world stage."
The US women’s bobsled team has already been confirmed for the upcoming season.
The three pilots are world champion Elana Meyers Taylor, World Cup champion Jamie Greubel Poser and Brittany Reinbolt.
The six push athletes named to the team include Maureen Ajoku, Olympic and World Championship bronze medallist Aja Evans and 2016 World Championship bronze medallist Lauren Gibbs.
Completing the list are Briauna Jones, world champion Kehri Jones and Olympic 100m hurdler Lolo Jones.
The IBSF World Cup tour is due to start in Lake Placid, where action is scheduled for November 9 and 10.
It will be followed by an event in Park City in Utah from November 17 to 18.