Kelly Clark at the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Copper Mountain.
PARK CITY, UT (Aug. 31) – Strong international snowboarding and freeskiing fields are expected for the 2013 Sprint U.S. Grand Prix in a schedule announced by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association this week. The Grand Prix enters its impressive 17th season with dual FIS World Cup status for halfpipe snowboarding as well as the newly added Olympic sports of slopestyle skiing and snowboarding and halfpipe skiing. The Grand Prix has partnered with world-class resorts Park City Mountain Resort, Copper Mountain, and Canyons Resort due to their outstanding tenure in venue perfection from halfpipes to cross and slopestyle courses. Each stop will feature a deep and talented U.S. athlete base including Olympic champion Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT), two-time X Games gold medalist Tom Wallisch (Pittsburgh) and U.S. Champion snowboardcross athlete Jonathan Cheever (Saugus, MA).
Now in its 17th year, the longest running domestic series, the 2012-13 Sprint U.S. Grand Prix will feature a three-stop snowboarding and freeskiing tour including Utah’s Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons Resort, along with Colorado’s Copper Mountain - all leaders in the action sports industry that produce world-class venues.
The Sprint U.S. Grand Prix also incorporates the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix with skiing events at Park City Mountain Resort and Copper Mountain.
The upgrade to International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cup status for halfpipe and slopestyle skiing and snowboarding events at Park City and Copper Mountain will result in stronger international fields as Olympic qualifying events.
The Grand Prix will feature the addition of the new Olympic events of slopestyle skiing and snowboarding at Copper Mountain.
Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix events at Copper Mountain and Park City Mountain Resort will also be featured with Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) Platinum status – highest level in the world.
The Canyons tour stop will feature The North Face Junior Jam to showcase young up-and-coming freeskiing talent in a mini rail jam.
Long-term partner Paul Mitchell will host the Paul Mitchell Progression Session snowboarding exhibition at Park City as a special nighttime event.
Each Sprint U.S. Grand Prix tour stop will feature network TV coverage on NBC and NBC Sports Network, along with live streaming and other digital and cable coverage.
PARK CITY HIGHLIGHTS
With a longstanding history in action sports including the famous American snowboarding sweep of the 2002 Olympic halfpipe, Park City returns to the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix for the first time since naming the Olympic team in 2010.
Park City will kick off the holiday period with FIS World Cups halfpipes in both the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix and Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix, an AFP Platinum event.
Park City's award winning Three Kings Park, located adjacent to the Eagle Superpipe, will host the Paul Mitchell Progression Session under the lights.
COPPER MOUNTAIN HIGHLIGHTS
A strong regular tour stop, Copper Mountain moves to January and will be hosting its first FIS World Cup slopestyle snowboarding and skiing with the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix held in its top-rated Woodward Central terrain park.
Copper will double up with its perennial Main Vein halfpipe for both snowboarding and skiing.
Both Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix events will also have AFP Platinum status.
CANYONS RESORT HIGHLIGHTS
This will be the third season for the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix at Canyons Resort, a Talisker mountain destination in Park City, UT. This year Canyons will host both snowboardcross and skicross as U.S. Championship events with athletes vying for the coveted green jacket.
Canyons Resort offers a great course that focuses on creating large air features and finishes at Canyons’ vibrant and fan-friendly Ski Beach gathering area.
Features hometown athletes like U.S. Champion snowboarder Jonathan Cheever (Saugus, MA) and local favorite Faye Gulini (Salt Lake City) along with top U.S. skicross stars John Teller (Mammoth Mountain, CA) and Langley McNeal (Sun Valley, ID).
Kelly Clark, Olympic Halfpipe Snowboarding Champion The Grand Prix competitions were some of my first Pro level events growing up. They are some of the longest running high quality events out there. I am excited that they will be World Cups this season. It will help the U.S. riders get points to earn quota spots heading into the Olympic season. And having them be the FIS format will be good as well - it is always nice to do events that are run like the Olympics.
Tom Wallisch, 2012 AFP Slopestyle Champion I'm stoked that the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix will be at my home mountain of Park City Mountain Resort! It's an exciting time in our sport right now with the start of the Olympic qualifying period. I'm happy that my teammates and I have an opportunity to keep the Olympic nations' quota rolling on home soil at the Grand Prix and FIS World Cups. These events are vital to the success of freeskiing to help keep our sport growing and progressing.
Eric Webster, Grand Prix Tour Director We continue to partner with resorts that are known and respected for their commitment to these sports and construction of progressive and high level, well-maintained contest venues in the world. That is always the focus of the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix is to develop and maintain relationships with resorts that support snowboarding and freeskiing.
Jenni Smith, General Manager and President Park City Mountain Resort Action sports are an integral part of who we are. It started when the American's swept snowboarding in the 2002 Olympics and continues this year as we kick things off in December with the first stop of the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix. We are honored to be a part of the team's path to the 2014 Olympics.
Jesse True, Copper Mountain Vice President of Marketing and Sales With the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix adding World Cup status as well as slopestyle it allows Copper Mountain to share our world-class terrain and offerings with world’s best athletes on the international stage heading into 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Copper Mountain is honored to take place and make history this winter.
Mike Goar, Managing Director, Canyons Resort We're thrilled to partner with, for the third consecutive season, the U.S. Ski and Snowboarding Association and Sprint U.S. Grand Prix. This event allows us to showcase many great aspects of our resort – like our world-class course served by North America’s only enclosed heated seat chairlift and the home-snow advantage that athletes like Faye Gulini, Jonathan Cheever, Langely McNeal and John Teller enjoy when they race here.
2012-13 SPRINT U.S. GRAND PRIX
Park City Mountain Resort, Dec. 19-22, 2012 Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix – Halfpipe snowboarding Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix – Halfpipe skiing Paul Mitchell Progression Session
Copper Mountain, Jan. 9-12, 2013 Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix – Halfpipe and slopestyle snowboarding Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix – Halfpipe and slopestyle skiing Paul Mitchell Progression Session
Canyons Resort, Feb. 27-Mar. 2, 2013 Sprint U.S. Grand Prix – Snowboardcross and skicross (U.S. Championships) The North Face Junior Jam (mini rail jam)
FOLLOW US Twitter: USFreeskiing : USsnowboarding Facebook: USFreeskiing : USsnowboarding