July 1, 2009
PARK CITY, UT - 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.
Park City's Olympic Pipe Rides Again
The historic pipe where U.S. athletes swept the men's podium and won gold in the women's event during the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002 will entertain the masses with Olympians again. The Grand Prix makes its final stop at Park City Mountain Resort for back to back night competitions, after which the winners will be crowned and the 2010 Olympic halfpipe team will be named.
Among the athletes stoked to hit the Park City pipe is White who, after having dinner with PCMR owner John Cumming, took to his Twitter page to spread the good news.
"Had dinner with John Cumming," White wrote. "Super nice guy, he told me Park City is having Olympic qualis mid Jan! booyeah!"
A reduced field comprised of the highest scoring athletes from previous tour stops will throw down the best tricks in their bag in an attempt to be one of the few named to the Olympic halfpipe team when the event is over.
"It's the perfect place to close the story of the Olympic team selection," Clark said. "The pipe has the tradition of being one of the best in North America. They put a tremendous amount of pride and energy into their venue. They are very excited to have this here."
In addition to hosting the Olympic halfpipe competition in 2002, Park City also held a Grand Prix the following December in which the Olympic medalists all returned for competition in their glory stomping ground.
With well over 100 national athletes expected to compete for a shot at the Olympic team, the 2010 Grand Prix series will be the hottest series of halfpipe competitions across the U.S.
2010 U.S. SNOWBOARDING GRAND PRIX SCHEDULE:
Dec. 11-12, 2009, Copper Mountain
Jan. 6-10, 2010, Mammoth Mountain
Jan. 22-23, 2010, Park City Mountain Resort
About Park City Mountain Resort
Park City Mountain Resort, the most accessible mountain resort in North America, is located in the heart of Park City, Utah and is only a 40-minute drive from the Salt Lake City International Airport. With 3,300 acres of unspoiled terrain, the Resort offers groomed Signature Runs™, bumps, powder, trees, eight peaks, nine bowls, four terrain parks, and the Eagle Superpipe. For more information, visit parkcitymountain.com or call (800) 222-PARK.
Events and Sponsorship Manager