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The Cup stops here

Jen Watkins, Of the Record staff

Nate Roberts is ready to come home. The Parkite and U.S. Ski Team veteran said he is looking forward to competing at the Visa Freestyle International World Cup at Deer Valley Resort Jan. 14-16. Roberts will compete on Thursday, Jan. 14, at the men’s mogul competition and again on Saturday, Jan. 16, under the lights at the men’s second mogul competition.

"Deer Valley is one of the best resorts in the world," Roberts said. "And there’s nothing better than skiing under the lights."

Roberts said skiing in his hometown always adds more pressure, but he competes better under pressure.

"I always get nervous," he said. "A lot of people in Park City support me. I expect to do my best because the whole town seems to come out and I’m grateful for that."

Roberts said he will also attend an autograph signing at 7 p.m. Thursday at the concert on lower Main Street as part of the freestyle celebration.

But Roberts isn’t the only athlete excited to come to Utah. Olympic qualifier and Park City resident Lacy Schnoor, who grew up in Draper, will be competing at the freestyle aerial competition on Friday, Jan. 15. The semifinal competition will take place at 1 p.m. and the finals will be held at 8 p.m.

And while Schnoor said she likes skiing under the lights – it’s usually less windy and easier to see the landings – she doesn’t like the cold.

"It’s hard to wear a lot of layers when you’re trying to jump and twist, and moving your arms," she said.

But she said she is looking forward to competing at "most everyone’s favorite stop on the tour."

"(We) always have a great crowd at Deer Valley so that’s always a lot of fun," she said. "The jumps are built really well (and) the staff and volunteers are amazing."

Schnoor said now that she has made the Olympic team by winning the competition in Steamboat, Colo. on Christmas Eve, she plans on using the Deer Valley World Cup to practice a new, harder, jump: A double-full-full that she described as a triple-twisting double back flip.

"I just started doing some more difficult jumps," she said. "Those are so new to me, (I’m still) working out the bugs. Last week I was doing my easier jumps really well. The more difficult ones I didn’t land. I’ve only landed it seven times."

Residents are invited to watch Roberts and Schnoor, as well as the 300 other athletes compete at Deer Valley. The World Cup will be the second-to-last stop for the freestyle athletes before the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) will announce its U.S. Freestyle Olympic team (aerial, mogul and ski-cross disciplines) just after the Lake Placid event on Jan. 26 at Deer Valley.

How to watch

Submitted by Deer Valley Resort

Thursday, Jan. 14

Deer Valley Resort will host the ladies’ and men’s mogul competition on Champion ski run. Ladies’ mogul qualifications will take place from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. Men’s moguls qualifications will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Moguls finals for both ladies and men will take place from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m., with awards immediately following at about 2:30 p.m.

An evening celebration will begin at 7 p.m. on Park City’s Historic Main Street, including live entertainment by The Bravery followed by fireworks. Free parking will be available Deer Valley Resort. Please utilize the free Park City bus transportation to and from Main Street.

Friday, Jan. 15

The ladies’ aerial qualifications take place on Deer Valley’s White Owl ski run from 1 to 1:50 p.m., and the men’s aerial qualifications from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. Ladies’ aerial finals will be held from 8 to 8:20 p.m. and the men’s aerial finals will be held from 8:25 to 8:45 p.m. Awards for both ladies’ and men along with a fireworks display will immediately follow the competition at about 8:55 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 16

Deer Valley Resort will host a second mogul competition on Champion ski run at night under the lights. Ladies’ mogul qualifications will take place from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m.; men’s mogul qualifications will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Mogul finals for both ladies’ and men will take place from 8 to 9 p.m., with awards and a fireworks display immediately following at about 9:15 p.m.

Cost

All events are free to the public. For those guests looking for an enhanced spectator experience, Freestyle Feast tickets are still available for Thursday’s moguls competition for $65. The ticket includes lunch in the VIP tent and a commemorative gift. Freestyle Feast tickets for Thursday may be purchased by calling 435-645-6510 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Where

Champion and White Owl ski runs are located on Deer Valley’s lower Bald Eagle Mountain, just above Snow Park Lodge.


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