Heavenly to Host 2013-14 U.S. Freestyle Championships
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) announced Thursday (April 26) that the U.S. Freestyle Championships will return to Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
The announcement comes just three weeks after it was made public that nearby Squaw Valley will host the 2013 U.S. Alpine National Championships. The Lake Tahoe area will be a spring skiing hot spot as the alpine racers compete March 17-23 before the freestyle skiers take over with aerials, dual moguls and moguls events March 29-31.
Heavenly last hosted the championships in 2004 and is one of only a handful of resorts to do so two years in a row. Recent peers include Stratton Mountain Resort (2011, 2012), Squaw Valley (2009, 2010) and Killington (2006, 2007).
Aerials competitions will again be held at night under the lights while the competition finish lines will sit in direct view of the California Lodge, located at the base area.
"Building on our heritage of freestyle skiing and competition that dates back to its roots in the 1970’s, we’re excited and honored to host the 2013 and 2014 U.S. Freestyle Championships at Heavenly on Gunbarrel," said Pete Sonntag, Heavenly’s general manager. "Gunbarrel is the most iconic moguls run in North America and has spawned such great skiers as Glen Plake and current U.S. Freestyle Ski Team athlete Sho Kashima. It’s the ultimate challenge for America’s top freestyle skiers."
A hotspot for freestyle skiing since the sport’s inception, Heavenly is no stranger to the development of elite athletes. Many of the United States’ top freestyle skiers hail from the resort including Brooke Ballachey, Chris Hernandez, Ryan Hickey, Anna Park, current U.S. Ski Team athlete Sho Kashima and Glen Plake, an icon of 1990s skiing culture. Heavenly is also home to the legendary Gunbarrel moguls run, a popular competition venue, and features two man-made terrain parks that include jumps, bank turns, table tops, rollers, hits and rail slides, providing optimally-diverse training opportunities for up-and-coming skiers and pros alike.
"I can’t think of anything more inspiring than competing on my home hill during such an exciting time in the winter sports world,” said Kashima. “Heavenly provides excellent support to its freestyle athletes and I am proud of the resort’s selection as host of the U.S. Freestyle Championships.”
For more information on the U.S. Freestyle Championships, or the USSA, please visit www.usskiteam.com/freestyle.
Image by Kirk Paulsen