Olympic spots on line at Toyota U.S. Grand Prix
Snowbird left off next year’s list after hosting last season
U.S. Snowboard Team and U.S. Freeski Team athletes will be competing to punch their tickets to the Olympic Winter Games in the 2017-18 iteration of the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix, marking Toyota’s second consecutive year as the events’ title sponsor. Colorado’s Copper Mountain and Aspen Snowmass, along with California’s Mammoth Mountain will host stops on this season’s tour. U.S. Ski & Snowboard has also partnered with the Dew Tour for an additional Olympic qualification event.
Long-time Grand Prix partners Copper Mountain and Mammoth Mountain return once again to host the world’s best skiers and riders for a total of eight Olympic qualifying events. Halfpipe skiing, halfpipe snowboarding and big air snowboarding will kick off at Copper Mountain Dec. 6-10. Athletes will light up Mammoth’s Unbound terrain park January 17-21 with halfpipe snowboarding, halfpipe skiing, slopestyle snowboarding and two slopestyle skiing competitions. The Olympic teams for all sports will be named after the Mammoth event.
A new addition to the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix’s resort lineup this season is Aspen Snowmass, coming on to host five qualification events Jan. 10-14. Snowmass, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this season, is home to an award-winning park and pipe set up. The resort previously hosted one of the first halfpipe snowboarding Olympic qualification events and a big air snowboarding exhibition event in 1998.
“Copper and Mammoth have been Grand Prix resort partners for over 10 years and continually go above and beyond to put on these events for the athletes,” said Nick Alexakos, Toyota U.S. Grand Prix Director. “With Snowmass returning to the tour, we have three world-class resorts setting the stage for another exciting Olympic qualifying season.”
In addition to the three Toyota Grand Prix stops, U.S. Ski & Snowboard has partnered with the Dew Tour to host halfpipe and slopestyle skiing and snowboarding Olympic qualifying events as part of the tour’s 10th year at Breckenridge. The Dew Tour also hosted Olympic qualification events prior to the 2014 Games in Sochi.
“These four host resorts are home to world-renowned parks and pipes best suited to showcase the world’s skiers and riders and our USA Olympic hopefuls,” said Calum Clark, U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Vice President, Events. “The Dew Tour and our partner resorts have not only demonstrated strong support for our elite events but have also committed to producing outstanding venues for all generations of athletes.”
U.S. Ski & Snowboard partners with the International Ski Federation (FIS), Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) and the World Snowboard Tour (WST) for sanctioning of all Grand Prix events including FIS World Cup, WST Elite and AFP platinum level competitions.
The Toyota U.S. Grand Prix continues to produce some of the highest-rated winter action sports broadcasts. U.S. Ski & Snowboard, in partnership with NBC Universal, will once again present over 15 hours of coverage from all the Grand Prix events on NBC and NBC Sports Network. A full TV schedule will be released fall 2017.
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