FIS confirms return of World Cup ski races in Aspen
LJUBJANA, Slovenia – Five U.S. resorts were confirmed this week as sites of 2011-12 International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cup ski and snowboarding events.
Aspen, Beaver Creek and Telluride, Colo., along with Deer Valley Resort in Utah and Lake Placid, N.Y. highlight the calendar announced by the FIS after its annual meetings in Portoroz and Ljubjana, Slovenia.
"Our World Cup events are the ultimate showcase for our athletes," said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) Executive Vice President, Athletics Luke Bodensteiner. "They're an opportunity for our athletes to compete on the home field and at our nation's best venues, in front of American fans and viewers."
The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup will return to Aspen Nov. 26-27 for a women's giant slalom and slalom showcasing U.S. stars Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) and Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA). The following weekend action continues on the Birds of Prey in Beaver Creek with a Dec. 2-4 men's downhill, super G and giant slalom highlighting Olympic medalists Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) and Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY), along with World and Olympic Champion Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) who was a winner in the Beaver Creek GS last December.
Vail/Beaver Creek will be the site of the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.
Olympic stars Seth Wescott (Sugarloaf, ME) and Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, VT) will headline the field when the FIS LG Snowboard World Cup returns to Telluride for the third straight year. The Dec. 14-17 event will feature a parallel GS event plus the season opener for snowboardcross. The World Cup will also feature the new World Championship competition of team snowboardcross for the second time.
Freestyle returns to perennial hosts Lake Placid Jan. 19-21 and Deer Valley Feb. 2-4. Fans can watch for World Cup and Olympic champion Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT) returning in moguls, with last year's aerials winner at Lake Placid Ashley Caldwell (Charleston, SC) looking to repeat in her adopted hometown. The Lake Placid schedule will feature a pair of night aerials events under the lights plus daytime moguls. Deer Valley will showcase night aerials and dual moguls plus daytime moguls. Deer Valley was the site last year of the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships.
Each of the U.S. stops will be broadcast nationally and also to tens-of-millions worldwide.
"Our media partners are a critical element to bringing the excitement of our sports to our fans," said the USSA's Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer Andrew Judelson. "It's an important opportunity for our event, resort and corporate partners to increase awareness of their brands worldwide."
The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup will open Oct. 22-23 with the traditional glacier races in Soelden, Austria and close with World Cup Finals in Schladming, Austria, site of the 2013 World Championships.
Freestyle will open with moguls in Ruka, Finland Dec. 10. Aerials will open Jan. 14 in Mont Gabriel, PQ. Skicross begins Dec. 17 in San Candido, Italy. The final freestyle schedule will be finalized later to accommodate the inclusion of halfpipe skiing, one of the newest Olympic disciplines.
Snowboarding will hold a halfpipe World Cup in Cardrona, New Zealand in August, with Telluride kicking off the snowboardcross season in December.
Women's ski jumping, recently added to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, will make its debut at the World Cup level. The women will open Dec. 12 in Lillehammer, Norway with a joint event with the men's tour and end with them at Holmenkollen in March.
Nordic combined opens Nov. 25-26 in Kuusamo, Finland and is back to a traditionally full schedule after a significant decrease in the number of World Cups last year during the World Championship season.
Cross country opens Nov. 19-20 in Beitostolen, Norway with Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) seeking to move up from her third place season long finish in sprint last year. The opening sprint is a week later in Kuusamo. Finland.
Complete schedules are available at www.fis-ski.com.
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