News from the World Cup skiing circuit
June 3, 2010 —
ANTALYA, Turkey – The Beaver Creek/Vail 2015 bid committee, comprised of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, Vail Resorts and the Vail Valley Foundation, celebrated Thursday as the International Ski Federation (FIS) Council voted to award the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships to Colorado's Vail Valley. It will be the first time the Championships will be staged in America since Vail hosted in 1999.
The decision was announced by International Ski Federation President Gian Franco Kasper to a packed audience of over 1,000 delegates from 74 nations gathered for the biennial FIS Congress in Antalya. Beaver Creek/Vail was chosen over St. Moritz, Switzerland and Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. Europe and Scandinavia had been chosen to host the biennial event the past seven times, spanning 14 years. Beaver Creek/Vail received the majority of the 15 votes cast by the FIS council on the first ballot.
"Our nation is deeply honored to have been selected as the site of the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships," said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association President and CEO Bill Marolt. "It will be a great opportunity to expand participation in our sport nationwide through Beaver Creek/Vail's Engaging New Worlds program and to showcase our talented U.S. Ski Team athletes. We look forward to working with our strong partner, the Vail Valley Foundation, to produce a World Championships that is successful both athletically and as a catalyst for continued growth in our sport."
"We are proud to be able to represent the United States and the Vail Valley," said Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation. "We knew from the outset that we had our work cut out for us with three world class candidates and only one 2015 Alpine World Championships. We congratulate St. Moritz and Cortina on their campaigns. It was truly an honor to be considered along with these great resorts. We can’t wait to get home and share this with our community."
The Vail Valley has a storied history of hosting major international events. In addition to 1999, Vail also hosted the 1989 Championships and has been a celebrated mainstay on the FIS Alpine World Cup tour since the tour began in 1967. In addition the 1994 and 2001 World Mountain Bike Championships where staged at Vail and the Teva Mountain Games have been a part of the Vail Valley family since 2009.
Each event is embraced and driven by a passionate global community. Over 1,600 volunteers from around the world came together to help produce the 1999 Championships, while over 800 volunteers pitch in to make the men's Birds of Prey World Cup races a resounding annual success.
Beaver Creek/Vail's successful bid was built around a theme of engaging the world and bringing excitement globally in the sport when athletes gather at the Colorado resort in 2015. The championships will be used by Beaver Creek/Vail as a catalyst for growth in the sport with an additional focus on environmental sustainability. The 2015 Championships will continue this important mission for Vail Resorts and the Vail Valley Foundation, while setting a new precedent in sport as thousands from across America and the world converge on the Vail Valley for a carbon neutral two-week celebration of alpine skiing.
To ensure the highest quality facilities, Beaver Creek will reinvent the current men's Birds of Prey finish area with a larger stadium and easy transportation access. The current Red Tail Restaurant, which serves as the media center for World Cup events will also be removed and rebuilt as a two-story restaurant that will house the media center for both the Championships and World Cup.
Sharing this new stadium with the men’s course will be a new women’s downhill run. The terrain, which is located to skier’s right of Birds of Prey, will rival the challenging terrain of the men’s course and will host the women’s speed events, as well as the combined and nation’s team event.
The ladies technical races will move just a few minutes down the road to Vail, with its dramatic stadium, located in the heart of Vail Village. The women’s giant slalom and slalom races will take place on Giant Steps, along with qualification races and opening and closing ceremonies.
"We want to thank everyone throughout the Vail Valley community that supported us in this bid process," said John Garnsey, president of Vail Resorts. "This is the beginning of a new and exciting journey for all of us."
"We are especially appreciative of the efforts put forth by the Vail Valley Foundation and the bid committee in securing this nomination and we are thankful to the delegates who cast their votes in favor of bringing the 2015 Championships to Vail and Beaver Creek," said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. "Vail and Beaver Creek Resorts and the Vail Valley have demonstrated a meaningful commitment to the sport of ski racing producing the best competitions in the world. We are thrilled to focus international attention on our iconic slopes and community during the winter of 2015."
Preparations for the Championships will begin immediately with the Birds of Prey races operating as scheduled each December. This season's events will be held Dec. 3-5, 2010.This year's 2011 World Championships are set for Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany while the 2013 event will be in Schladming, Austria. The 2011 Freestyle World Championships will be held at Utah's Deer Valley Resort next February.
Courtesy of USSA
June 1, 2010 —
ANTALYA, Turkey – The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association together with the Beaver Creek/Vail bid committee took a message of passion, partnership and growing the sport to the International Ski Federation Tuesday in presenting its candidacy for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Beaver Creek/Vail is one of three sites contending for the prestigious event. The FIS Council will make its decision on Thursday.
"The 2015 World Championships are more than an athletic competition. It's our opportunity to engage the world," said USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt, as he spoke to his FIS Council colleagues, leading off a 12 minute presentation. "It's an opportunity for a partnership – a partnership with the people in this room. It's about all of us joining together, coming together and engaging the world, growing our sport, creating excitement and making a difference in our future."
Beaver Creek/Vail's bid showcased a resort with a long history of success, dating back to the origins of the FIS World Cup in 1967 and continuing as a regular part of the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup. It was also the site of both the 1989 and 1999 World Championships – the last time the event was in North America. Since then, the FIS has selected seven straight European venues.
"Deeply engrained in the culture of our Vail Valley is a passion for hosting major events, especially our annual FIS World Cup," said Beaver Creek and Vail President John Garnsey, a veteran of the 1989 and 1999 Championships. "We will deliver a very successful 2015 World Championships."
Vail resident and Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn sent a personal message on video, talking about her own passion – kids.
"I know that all of the World Cup racers on the tour today would absolutely love to come to Vail for the World Championships in 2015," said Vonn. "But the biggest impact will be on the kids. I remember when I was a sideslipper for the 1999 World Championships in Vail how much I was inspired and motivated to become a World Cup ski racer. I truly think this will make huge impact and kids will be really inspired."
The Beaver Creek/Vail video presentation focused strongly on the Vail Valley's people, especially its kids – with direct video messages showcasing the passion in the hearts of local residents for the event.
"Your decision this week is less about the site you choose and more about the sport you support," said Vail Valley Foundation President Ceil Folz in her address to the FIS Council. "All three sites will do a great job. But by choosing to award the Championships to North America, you spread the word to continents that are hungry for that message."
A major part of the Beaver Creek/Vail bid was focused on a program to "Engage New Worlds," using the Championships to introduce new participants to the sport.
"We come to you with history and a future," she added. "We look for the opportunity to work in partnership to achieve great things. We come with a goal to reach out to new generations and nationalities and welcome them into our sport. We believe in the future of our skiing. And we believe in the World Championships."
The FIS Council also heard presentations from St. Moritz, Switzerland, which hosted the Championships seven years ago in 2003. Also bidding is Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, the 1956 Olympic site. Italy last hosted the Championships in 2005 at Bormio.
The FIS Council will make its decision Thursday. A public announcement is planned in Antalya for 7:00 p.m. local time (12:00 p.m. EDT). Over 1,000 delegates from 74 nations are in Turkey for the biennial FIS Congress.
June 1, 2010 —
Two-time Olympian Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT) plans to take his cross training to the competitive level this summer when the U.S. Alpine Ski Team athlete enters the First Ascent Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Surf Sprint at the Teva Mountain Games hosted by the Vail Valley Foundation in June.
The meteoric rise of SUP struck Nyman when Vail TV8 host Ken Hoeve took him down a mellow stretch of the Colorado River last November. It will be the sport debut at the annual Mountain Games.
"Hoeve told me about it and said it was good for balance and core so we hit up a section of the Colorado last November," said Nyman, while training at Mammoth Mountain, CA. "When I saw him later at Aspen during the U.S. Downhill Championships he told me about the Teva Mountain Games. It sounded like a lot of fun, so I said I was in."
The June 5 event won't be the first time Nyman has competed in SUP. Last summer, he participated in the Utah Summer Games on the Deer Creek Reservoir along with fellow U.S. Ski Team alum Erik Schlopy.
"It was a fun race, but I was third behind Schlopes and the winner was one of the top guys in the world," said Nyman, who has stood on the World Cup downhill podium multiple times during the Birds of Prey races at nearby Beaver Creek. "All the best guys in the world will be in Vail, so I'm not out there to win. It will be a cool challenge and it's more about staying fit and having fun. I'm going to try and give Hoeve a run for his money - that's my goal."
Nyman also thanked the Vail Valley Foundation for helping him out with VIP passes to the outdoor celebration that also features kayaking, trail running and rock climbing, among other outdoor sports.
"We were all very excited when we heard that Steven was going to compete in the Teva Mountain Games," offered Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation. "Not only is he a great ski racer, as he has demonstrated at Birds of Prey, but he is a very accomplished all-around athlete. It's always fun to have him around and we are looking forward to his debut at the Mountain Games to help us introduce Stand Up Paddling to the event."
"The Vail Valley Foundation has always been good to me," added Nyman. "Birds of Prey is the best World Cup weekend we have all season. They're just really good at putting on big events. I'm sure the Mountain Games will be awesome."
Currently, Beaver Creek/Vail is bidding for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships with a final decision to be announced by the FIS Council in Antalya, Turkey this Thursday at 12 p.m. ET.
Beaver Creek/Vail 2015 fans can follow the action from Turkey by checking out the daily blogs, photos and videos on the Vail Valley Foundation website, www.vvf.org. The website will also feature video of the announcement of the host site for the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships.
March 22, 2010 —
Vail’s Sarah Schleper has won her fourth U.S. slalom title and her first U.S. crown since '05.
"This title is really the icing on a hard two years. It was a lot of fun, I love my teammates and I loved being here," Schleper said.
After having a child two years ago, coming back to professional racing had been difficult for Schleper, but the past season put her right where she wanted to be.
"This whole thing started two years ago when I had my son Lasse. It was a big obstacle and my first year back was really tough because I didn't have results like I had when I left skiing. That was really tough on me emotionally and psychologically. But I stayed persistent, kept fighting and kept training," Schleper said. "I was happy with the results I did score. That got me my spot in the Olympics and that was the goal.
"I was pleased with how I skied, I thought I skied passionately and with a lot of heart and showed how much I loved skiing."
Schleper was joined by fellow Olympian Tommy Ford, who took his first U.S. title with the slalom win at the 2010 Visa U.S. Alpine Championships at Whiteface on Sunday.
"I was just letting it go, and that's what I've been doing in the last few weeks of slalom and it's really improved. I kept it up through the race and I'm happy with it," Ford said. "It's the best I've done in slalom in a while."
Following Ford in the men's race was Dave Chodounsky in second and Nolan Kasper in third.
According to the new champion, his Northwest roots gave him the advantage on somewhat tricky snow conditions on the slalom course Sunday.
"The conditions definitely favored me because everyone here is used to injection and clean courses on their World Cups and I'm used to running ruts. I've been running them my whole life and I actually kind of like skiing them sometimes," Ford said. "The first run was tough with random rhythm and the second run was a lot more rhythm based down the fall line."
Now, with the added confidence in his court, Ford says with some ore training he could be poised to keep the momentum up through the 2011 season.
"I turned it on at the end of the year. That's what I've been doing the last few years. If I get some more training, I'll be in there for the whole season. I felt strong all the way through even though I was tired," Ford said.
In the women's field second went to Canadian Erin Mielinski and third was Hailey Duke, to mark her third slalom podium at the U.S. Championships after a third in '07 and second in '08.
Sunday's race also determined U.S. combined titles, which went to Ford for the men and Megan McJames for women.
Julia Ford took the honor of top junior racers in both the slalom and combined races. Colby Granstrom took the men's junior title for slalom and Jared Goldberg earned the combined honor.
After the slalom and combined races, the West leads the Tom Garner Regions Cup with 2,363 points, followed in second by the East with 1,408, and in third the Rocky/Central with 777.
Racing in Lake Placid continues on Monday with the men's giant slalom.
2010 Visa U.S. Alpine Championships
Lake Placid, NY - March 21, 2010
1. Tommy Ford, Bend, OR, 2:02.17
2. David Chodunsky, Crested Butte, CO, 2:02.94
3. Nolan Kasper, Warren, VT, 2:03.35
4. Leif Hauggen, Norway, 2:03.94
5. Chris Frank, Windham, NY, 2:04.94
1. Sarah Schleper, Vail, CO, 2:03.67
2. Erin Mielzynski, Canada, 2:03.80
3. Hailey Duke, Boise, ID, 2:04.85
4. Megan McJames, Park City, UT, 2:04.92
5. Malin Hemmingsson, Sweden, 2:04.97