Guest opinion: The Deer Valley World Cup was a success. Amid COVID, that’s nothing short of extraordinary. |

Guest opinion: The Deer Valley World Cup was a success. Amid COVID, that’s nothing short of extraordinary.

Tiger Shaw
U.S. Ski and Snowboard president and CEO

Feb. 2-6 marked the first domestic World Cup competition U.S. Ski & Snowboard was able to host this 2020-21 season. Because of the commitment of our incredible partner in Deer Valley Resort, Summit County, all of the volunteers and the Park City community, the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team was able to compete on home snow on world-class venues. Most of the team calls Park City home. These athletes are always honored to represent their country in their own backyard at what is known as the premier international freestyle event on the World Cup tour.

This year has not been easy on anyone, and our athletes have learned to adapt to added stressors brought on by COVID-19: isolation to mitigate exposure risks, frequent testing and an unknown schedule, among others. On top of all of that, this is a critical season leading up to an Olympic year. To be able to provide World Cup competition this season at Deer Valley was nothing short of extraordinary.

Deer Valley took a huge leap of faith in committing to these events to mark 23 years of elite-level freestyle skiing competition. Their willingness to double down instead of opt out shows incredible resilience and trust in our partnership. Much like how Deer Valley has worked exhaustively to open this season, keep their lifts running and deliver their hallmark guest experience, so too have they delivered for U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

Our comprehensive COVID-19 mitigation plan enabled us to run a safe event without impacting public health resources. We tested early and often and scaled our internal “bubbling” concept to accommodate all participants including resort and event staff, volunteers and visiting nations.

Utah, Park City and Deer Valley showed the world again, much like in 2002, that if we can focus as a community, we can do amazing things. Deer Valley has a history of running major events that expand universes. Be it music, World Cups, Olympics — this is a tradition here that will never die!

Although we missed the fans and the lights, the core of the event remained uncompromised. Deer Valley’s courses were again perfect and provided an outstanding three days of competition, including the first domestic Olympic tryout event for any U.S. Ski Team athlete. We saw incredible success with the first-ever American sweep at a dual moguls World Cup and three Americans on the podium in aerials.

Cheers to all who pitched in and devoted themselves to show that in the face of COVID-19, we can deliver on a promise to athletes and fans. The impact was immeasurable and will go down in history of how to move forward despite adversity.

Your support directly impacts Olympic dreams. It is what Park City is all about!

On behalf of my staff and the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team, thank you.

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