Freeskiing Programs

Visa U.S. Grand Prix Heads to Breckenridge

by
USSA
2014-01-06 16:16
 

BRECKENRIDGE, CO (Jan. 6) – The nation’s leading freeskiing athletes continue the battle for Olympic team spots Jan. 8-12 when the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix presented by The North Face heads to Breckenridge for the third of five Olympic qualification events. The athletes will compete in the FIS World Cup event with top international athletes, while also continuing the hunt for spots on the first-ever U.S. Olympic Team for halfpipe and slopestyle skiing. X Games gold medalist Nick Goepper (Lawrenceburg, IN) is the only athlete that has mathematically secured a team spot, bringing the competition down to the wire for a heavy hitting core of U.S. athletes. NBC and NBCSN will air coverage of both halfpipe and slopestyle finals.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The nation’s leading freeskiing athletes continue the battle for Olympic team spots Jan. 8-12 when the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix presented by The North Face heads to Breckenridge for the third of five Olympic qualification events.
  • The athletes will compete in the FIS World Cup event with top international athletes, while also continuing the hunt for spots on the first-ever U.S. Olympic Team for halfpipe and slopestyle skiing. It is also the second stop of the 18-year-old Sprint U.S. Grand Prix Tour.
  • X Games gold medalist Nick Goepper (Lawrenceburg, IN) is the only athlete that has mathematically secured a spot, bringing the competition down to the wire for a heavy hitting core of U.S. athletes.
  • Selection to the Olympic freeskiing team will be made from athletes who have two top-three finishes against the entire field in the selection events. Those athletes will be ranked with their best two of five qualifying events using World Cup scoring (100 point scale), comparing only USA athletes. The Olympic team will be formally nominated on Jan. 18.
  • In addition to a spot on the Olympic team and FIS World Cup points, athletes will be competing for a total tour prize purse of $514,000, with the Breckenridge Grand Prix winners receiving $8,500, while runners up in each men’s and women’s event will receive a total of $11,500 in prize money.
  • At the end of the tour, each overall winner will be awarded an additional $2,500. In the 18 years of the tour, over $7 million has been awarded to athletes.
  • The tour stop for the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix was moved from Northstar Resort in California to Breckenridge because of its competition-ready venue already in place. The region was not getting sufficiently cold temperatures for snowmaking teams to ensure the huge production of snow required for building a competition halfpipe and slopestyle venue.
  • Breckenridge recently played host to the opening qualifier at the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships, so the athletes will be familiar with the venue and ready to go big for a chance at Sochi.
  • NBC and NBCSN will air coverage of both halfpipe and slopestyle finals. See below for a full television schedule.

HALFPIPE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, CO), Maddie Bowman (S. Lake Tahoe, CA) and Brita Sigourney (Carmel, CA) all have two top-three finishes but have not mathematically secured their spots on the Olympic halfpipe team, so the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix Halfpipe competition will be the fiercest yet.
  • Blunck is currently the top-ranked man in halfpipe followed by David Wise (Reno, NV), Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, CO) and rookie Lyman Currier (Boulder, CO), who will all be gunning for a second top-three result. Ten-time X Games medalist Simon Dumont (Bethel, ME) is also more than capable to put down explosive halfpipe runs at Breckenridge.
  • Bowman is currently the top woman followed by Sigourney, Angeli Van Laanen (Bellingham, WA) and Devin Logan (West Dover, VT). Van Laanen and Logan still need one more podium result to meet qualification criteria.
  • Logan and Gus Kenworthy are the only U.S. freeskiing athletes vying for spots on both the halfpipe and slopestyle teams.
  • Rookie Annalisa Drew (Andover, MA) and other athletes are hungry for podium results, and with only three chances left, every athlete will bring their A game to the Breckenridge Grand Prix.

SLOPESTYLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • So far, X Games gold medalist Nick Goepper is the only athlete who has mathematically secured his Olympic Team spot, as he is the only athlete to have earned two podiums and two top results for the USA.
  • Goepper is the top-ranked man followed by Breckenridge local Bobby Brown, McRae Williams (Park City, UT), and Tom Wallisch (Pittsburgh, PA), who will all be going big to score their first of two required podiums at the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix Slopestyle.
  • Rookie Maggie Voisin (Whitefish, MT) is currently the top woman in slopestyle followed by rookie Darian Stevens (Missoula, MT), Devin Logan and Keri Herman (Bloomington, MN).
  • No woman has yet secured two top-three finishes, and with only three chances left, every athlete will pull out their best tricks to impress the judges.
  • Voisin, Logan, Stevens and Grete Eliassen (Salt Lake City) have all secured a single podium result, and will be fighting hard to meet the basic qualification criteria on the familiar Breckenridge slopestyle course.

QUOTES
Mike Jankowski, U.S. Freeskiing Head Coach
The rookie teams have been working so hard on these runs that they are throwing down. Now things are really clicking when it counts. These next few events are going to be super exciting to watch as the rookies keep pushing the pros to respond and try and hold their ground.

OLYMPIC QUALIFIER STANDINGS
Men’s Halfpipe
Women’s Halfpipe
Men’s Slopestyle
Women’s Slopestyle

VISA U.S. FREESKIING GRAND PRIX AT BRECKENRIDGE EVENT SCHEDULE
Wed. Jan. 8 – Men’s and women’s slopestyle qualifiers, 8:00 a.m. – 3:05 p.m. MST
Thurs. Jan. 9 – Men’s and women’s halfpipe qualifiers, 9:30 a.m. – 2:25 p.m. MST
Fri. Jan. 10 – Men’s and women’s slopestyle finals, 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. MST
Sun. Jan. 12 – Men’s and women’s halfpipe finals, 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. MST

Click here for full Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix Event Schedule.

BROADCAST SCHEDULE
Sun. Jan. 12, 1:00 p.m. EST – Slopestyle finals, NBC
Mon. Jan. 13, 9:00 p.m. EST – Halfpipe finals, NBCSN

Re-Air Times:
Sun. Jan. 26, 12:00 a.m. EST – Slopestyle finals, NBC
Mon. Jan. 13, 2:00 a.m. EST – Halfpipe finals, NBCSN

VISA U.S. FREESKIING GRAND PRIX LINKS
Website: www.breckenridge.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Breckenridge
Twitter: @breckenridgemtn
Hashtag: #BreckGP

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