Park City, UT (July 1) – Olympic dreams will be made and broken during the 2010 U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix as the tour makes three stops in its 14th season. A total of five Olympic qualification competitions will take place at Copper Mountain in Colorado’s Summit County and Mammoth Mountain in the Mammoth Lakes region of California. The tour will make its final stop at Park City Mountain Resort, the venue for the 2002 Olympics, to announce the 2010 Olympic halfpipe team.
The Grand Prix series, which will feature 22-foot halfpipes at each of its venues, will narrow down the competition for Olympic spots through its first two tour stops and solidify the 2010 team at the final event in Park City.
“Copper, Mammoth and Park City are all classic Grand Prix sites and will provide a most fitting stage on which to name the Olympic halfpipe team for 2010,” said Grand Prix Tour Director Eric Webster. “Copper, Mammoth and Park City all have a proven track record in hosting world class snowboard events, which lends confidence to the riders and coaches in a season with so much on the line.”
The competition will heat up as Olympic gold medalists Kelly Clark (Snow Mountain, VT), Hannah Teter (Belmont, VT), and Shaun White (Carlsbad, CA), along with fellow Olympic medalists Gretchen Bleiler (Aspen, CO), JJ Thomas (Golden, CO) and Danny Kass (Portland, OR) all look for another shot at Olympic glory. Joining them in the hunt will be Grand Prix overall champions Steve Fisher (Breckenridge, CO) and Louie Vito (Sandy, UT) as well as Grand Prix podium performers Ellery Hollingsworth (Stratton, VT), Clair Bidez (Minturn, CO) Greg Bretz (Mammoth Lakes, CA) and Olympian Elena Hight (South Lake Tahoe, CA).
NBC, the Olympic network, and Versus will broadcast the competitions. Go211.com will webcast the Grand Prix live from each stop.
Copper Gets Things Started
For the second straight year Copper Mountain, which is known as one of the top resorts for snowboarding in the U.S., will play host to the first stop of the Grand Prix Dec. 11-12. Copper, which is at the epicenter of snowboarding development with variable terrain and more than 19,000 sq ft of park and pipe progression tools in the new Woodward at Copper Barn, has a longstanding history with the Grand Prix tour, having hosted events in 1998 and 1999.
“I’m really excited to have the Grand Prix at Copper once again because I personally love having my family and friends close, as well as having the support of my home mountain,” Copper local Clair Bidez said. “I know that Copper is really going to put their all into making the Grand Prix a great event.”
Copper Mountain, which lies a convenient 75 miles from the Denver area, is known for traditionally having the first superpipe open in the U.S. and continually providing the best conditions for riders to compete in. Another great feature of Copper’s superpipe is the location – it will provide a very entertaining and intimate experience for spectators because it is located just steps away from the Village at Copper and Burning Stones Plaza.
Look for the action in Copper to continue when the sun goes down as the mountain hosts a Paul Mitchell Progression Session under the lights.
“Copper delivered an outstanding Grand Prix for us last year with an amazing pipe. It brings an incredible snowmaking capacity, and an ability and commitment to build an early season pipe,” said USSA Vice President of Events Calum Clark. “This year Copper has committed to having a 22-foot pipe, which pushes the envelope even further. We will have an Olympic quality pipe ready for competition in early December.”
Mammoth Mountain Returns to Grand Prix<