Snowmass to host U.S. Grand Prix before 2018 Olympics | PostIndependent.com

Snowmass to host U.S. Grand Prix before 2018 Olympics

Erica Robbie
The Aspen Times

2017-18 U.S. GRAND PRIX SCHEDULE

Copper Mountain

Dec: 6: Halfpipe skiing qualification

Dec. 7: Halfpipe snowboarding qualification

Dec. 8: Halfpipe skiing finals big air snowboarding qualification

Dec. 9 Halfpipe snowboarding finals

Dec. 10: Big air snowboarding finals

Breckenridge

Dec. 15: Slopestyle skiing and halfpipe snowboarding finals

Dec. 16: Halfpipe skiing and slopestyle snowboarding finals

Snowmass

Jan. 10: Halfpipe skiing and slopestyle snowboarding qualification

Jan. 11: Slopestyle skiing and halfpipe snowboarding qualification

Jan. 12: Halfpipe skiing and slopestyle snowboarding finals

Jan. 13: Slopestyle skiing and halfpipe snowboarding finals

Jan. 14: Slopestyle skiing qualification and finals

Mammoth Mountain

Jan. 17: Halfpipe skiing

Jan. 18: Slopestyle skiing finals

Jan. 19: Halfpipe and slopestyle snowboarding finals

Jan. 20: Halfpipe skiing finals

Jan. 21: Slopestyle skiing finals

Information is courtesy of the U.S. Ski Association and subject to change

For the first time in 20 years, Snowmass will be a stop on Olympic hopefuls’ road to the PyeongChang Games.

Snowmass Village, which celebrates the 50-year anniversary of its ski resort this winter, will host five Olympic-qualifying events via the U.S. Grand Prix from Jan. 10-14, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association announced Wednesday.

“It’s right at there with the big events,” Aspen Skiing Co. spokesman Jeff Hanle said. “We’ve got X Games, World Cup races, Word Cup events, and to have a Grand Prix and have it right before the Olympics is a big deal.”

Prior to its Snowmass tour, the Grand Prix will stop at Copper Mountain and Breckenridge. After Snowmass, Mammoth Mountain will host the final leg of the Olympic-qualifier series.

See sidebar for a complete schedule of events and competitions for the U.S. Grand Prix.

USSSA will announce the Olympic teams for all sports after the competitions in Mammoth.

“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,” U.S. Grand Prix director Nick Alexakos said in a statement. “With Snowmass returning to the tour, we have three world-class resorts setting the stage for another exciting Olympic-qualifying season.”

The last time Snowmass Mountain was home to an Olympic qualifying event was 1998, with one of the first snowboard halfpipe Olympic qualifiers and a snowboard big-air exhibition.

The Winter X Games in Aspen are slated for Jan. 25-28; the Olympics in South Korea start Feb. 9.

“With an Olympic year, there’s an extra degree of excitement around this and more eyeballs around the world,” Hanle said. “We’re excited to be able to host this.”

erobbie@aspentimes.com