The best up-and-coming freestyle mogul skiers in the United States, along with Olympic hopefuls from six other countries, are at Winter Park Resort through December 22 to compete in the 23rd annual U.S. Freestyle Selections with hopes of earning a ticket to the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. This marks the only moguls freestyle selection event held in the U.S. this year. At the same time, the world’s best Olympic hopeful freeskiers and snowboarders from across from 35 nations are battling it out out at Copper Mountain at the 2014 Sprint U.S. Grand Prix through Sunday, December 22.
Participants at Winter Park will compete in moguls on December 19 and December 21, with dual moguls competition scheduled for December 22. The competition is hosted and organized by the Winter Park Competition Center and will be run on Ambush, located right near the base of Winter Park Resort. The top two male and female U.S. finishers will earn a trip to the Freestyle World Cup at Deer Valley, Utah and Lake Placid, New York, where they will compete for a position on the U.S. Olympic Freestyle Team heading to Sochi in February.
Winter Park’s very own Bruce Perry, Jr, will compete alongside fellow U.S. Ski Team members Ali Kariotis and Troy Murphy for a chance to realize their Olympic dreams. They’ll be joined by some of the best mogul skiers from Australia, including Rohan Chapman-Davies, and Sam Hall as well as skiers from Japan, Denmark, Canada, Germany, and even Iran, who are competing for International Ski Federation points that are instrumental in making their respective Olympic teams.
This event is just the latest major skiing competition held at Winter Park Resort, who hosted the U.S. Alpine Championships in 2012. For more information on the U.S. freestyle selections or on Winter Park’s Competition Center, considered one of the best skiing and riding programs in the country, please visit: http://www.winterparkresort.com/events-and-activities/competition-center.aspx
Top U.S. Freeskiing and U.S. Snowboarding athletes competing at Copper through the weekend include two-time Olympic snowboard gold medalist Shaun White (2006, 2010), Olympic snowboard halfpipe gold medalist Kelly Clark and others such as Louie Vito, Danny Davis, Bobby Brown, Keri Herman, and Tom Wallisch, are all expected to compete on the 22 ft. Main Vein Olympic-sized Superpipe and the World Cup Slopestyle course in Woodward at Copper’s Central Park terrain park. Freeskiing and snowboarding athletes compete in both halfpipe and slopestyle events in this Olympic qualification event.
Points earned at Copper Mountain qualify athletes for the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) selection process and determine eligibility to compete at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Winter Olympic debuting disciplines featured at Copper Mountain include slopestyle skiing, halfpipe skiing and slopestyle snowboarding disciplines. NBC Sports Group will feature coverage of the freeskiing slopestyle and snowboard halfpipe events on Sunday, Dec. 22, at 2 p.m. ET on NBC. Continued coverage, including snowboarding slopestyle, will air on NBCSN on Friday, Dec. 27.
The competition kicked off on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 8:30 a.m., with freeski slopestyle and snowboard halfpipe qualifiers and continues through the weekend with finals on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 20 – 22. Guests can conveniently catch the action in the Main Vein Superpipe, which is walking distance from Burning Stones Plaza in Center Village, or access the competition on skis or snowboard via the Main Vein trail. The best slopestyle vantage point is the Central Park spectator viewing area, located to the skiers right of the slopestyle course, accessible for skiing or riding guests only via Loverly trail off of the Union Peak Quad chairlift. Slopestyle viewing will be completed with food and beverage service during finals, Saturday 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Full event schedule is available here.
Burning Stones Plaza in Center Village transforms into the Grand Prix Vendor Village on Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. with sponsor tents featuring Paul Mitchell, The North Face, GoPro, Zeal Optics and many others handing out free samples to guests.
Don’t want to miss any of the action? Last Chance Lodging is still available, book your nights and save up to 33%. Visit CopperColorado.com for terrain updates, snow reports, lodging deals, event details and more. Stay connected all season long at www.facebook.com/CopperMtn or @CopperMtn on Twitter.