Friday, September 09, 2005

Steamboat Springs is Hosting the Freestyle Skiing OlympicTeam Trials Dec 30 & 31st

Here is a heads up to check this out if you are in town or watch the action unfold at your favorite resort on national TV if you can't be here in person. You can count on me being there to watch this in person with my camera in hand.

Steamboat to Host U.S. olympic Team Trials in Freestyle Skiing By CO skiing News

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colorado — The U.S. Ski Association, the century-old organization which serves as the national governing body of Olympic skiing, and Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation announced that the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for aerials and moguls skiing will take place Dec. 30-31, 2005, in Steamboat-Ski Town U.S.A. ® NBC Sports will televise the event with a 90-minute show, including aerials and same-day coverage of moguls airing on New Year’s Eve day at 2 p.m. EST.

"The Steamboat Springs community has a strong skiing spirit and established Olympic heritage. To bring the U.S. Olympic Team Trials here is exciting for us and our athletes," said Bill Marolt, USSA president & CEO. "It allows us to give back to a community that has supported the Team for so long and to provide some exciting ski competition for athletes vying for the 2006 Olympic Team."

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials is essentially a wild-card opportunity for athletes to make the Olympic Team, as two winners (male and female) from each freestyle discipline (aerials and moguls) will be named to the 2006 U.S. Olympic Freestyle Team. The remaining athletes will qualify for the Olympic Team through a season-long series of existing World Cup competitions. The entire 2006 Olympic Freestyle Team will be named Jan. 25, 2006.

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Ski Town, U.S.A. will include men’s and women’s aerials under the lights at historic Howelsen Hill on Friday, Dec. 30th, and men’s and women’s moguls on the Voo Doo trail at the Steamboat Ski Area during the morning on Saturday, Dec. 31st.

"Freestyle is clearly one of the hottest sports in all of skiing, consistently generating some of the highest television viewership ratings in the sport," said Andy Wirth, vice president of marketing & sales for Steamboat. "Freestyle skiing always has been, and remains a huge part of Steamboat’s claim to Ski Town USA, and we are excited to be hosting the U.S. Olympic Team Trials."

Three reigning World champions, two defending World Cup champions and three reigning Olympic medalists are just part of the unprecedented depth on the 38-member U.S. Freestyle Ski Team who are expected to compete for an early Olympic Team spot. Among the top competitors will be 2005 World Cup champions Jeret 'Speedy’ Peterson (aerials) and Jeremy Bloom (overall, moguls), along with World champions Nate Roberts, Hannah Kearney and Toby Dawson.

While this is the first official Olympic Team Trials event for the U.S. Ski Team, Steamboat athletes are no strangers to early selection to Olympic Teams. Both Ann Battelle and Travis Mayer secured their spots on the U.S. Olympic Team during wild-card competitions. A discretionary pick for World Cup action to start the 2002 Olympic season, Mayer clinched an Olympic berth on New Year’s Eve and went on to win an Olympic silver medal in moguls less than two months later.

Steamboat has a long tradition in the sport of freestyle skiing and is currently home to freestyle athletes and coaches such as Nelson Carmichael, 1992 Olympic bronze medalist; Ann Battelle, 1999 World champion and four-time winter Olympian; Kris Feddersen, three-time Olympian and World Cup winner; Ryan St. Onge, World Cup winner and two-time U.S. aerials champion; Travis Mayer, 2002 Olympic silver medalist; Don St. Pierre, current U.S. Ski Team moguls head coach; Jeff Good, former U.S. Ski Team head coach, who coached four Olympic medalists; and Park Smalley, athlete, former U.S. head coach and driving force behind the Olympic status freestyle skiing enjoys today. In addition, Steamboat hosted the U.S. Olympic Freestyle Team’s 10-day pre-Olympic camp in 2002 before the Team came to Salt Lake City and won three Olympic medals.

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