Grand Prix returns to PCMR |

Grand Prix returns to PCMR

Virginie Faivre of Switzerland lands a trick in the Eagle Superpipe at PCMR during the 2013 U.S. Grand Prix event. Park Record File Photo

Spots on the first-ever U.S. Olympic Freeskiing Team will be on the line at Park City Mountain Resort next weekend when the U.S. Grand Prix rolls into town.

After being accepted as Olympic sports ahead of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, the top slopestyle and halfpipe skiers from around the world will descend on PCMR on Jan. 17 and 18 for two separate competitions.

PCMR communications manager Andy Miller said the stakes will be high, as time to qualify for Sochi is running out.

"We’re expecting another really strong international field this year," he said. "It’s the last chance for athletes from several countries, including the U.S., to qualify for Olympic teams."

A strong U.S. squad, including halfpipe stars Devin Logan, Maddie Bowman, Simon Dumont, Gus Kenworthy, David Wise and Torin Yeater-Wallace will be on hand, as will slopestyle giants Ashley Battersby, Nick Goepper, Alex Schlopy and Tom Wallisch.

With such a loaded roster, Miller advises getting an in-person look at the nation’s top talents before they head overseas.

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"Our finals events will largely represent the finals you’ll see in Sochi," he said. "It’s really going to be a great chance for people to come out and get a look at some of the athletes who are going to be really big stars in a couple weeks."

Since the weekend’s festivities won’t include snowboarders, as it did last year, the skiers will each have two competitions a slopestyle and halfpipe event on Friday and a slopestyle and halfpipe event on Saturday.

Both slopestyle finals start at 12 p.m. and go until 1:30 p.m. Friday’s halfpipe final starts at 7 p.m., while Saturday’s halfpipe final begins at 6:30 p.m.

Due to light snowfall last year, the Grand Prix was delayed until early February, which coincided with Deer Valley’s Freestyle World Cup event. Because of that, PCMR hosted all Grand Prix events during the day as a courtesy to the nighttime starts at Deer Valley.

This year, PCMR is happy to reinstate nighttime halfpipe events.

"It’s always kind of fun to put something like that under the lights," Miller said.

After Saturday night’s halfpipe final, the U.S. Olympic slopestyle and halfpipe skiing teams will be announced. O.A.R. will also hold a performance following the festivities.

All the weekend’s events will be free to the public.

U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix Schedule

Friday, Jan. 17

  • 9-11 a.m. Slopestyle qualifiers
  • 12-1:30 p.m. Slopestyle finals #1
  • 4-6 p.m. Halfpipe qualifiers
  • 7-8:30 p.m. Halfpipe finals #1

    Saturday, Jan. 18

  • 9-11 a.m. Slopestyle qualifiers
  • 12-1:30 p.m. Slopestyle finals #2
  • 3:30-5:30 p.m. Halfpipe qualifiers
  • 6:30-8:30 p.m. Halfpipe finals #2
  • 8:30 p.m. Performance by O.A.R. and announcement of Olympic Team