Copper dedicates center to US downhill training
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and Colorado's Copper Mountain Resort today (July 20) announced a long-term partnership to create the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper. The exclusive early-season, on-snow alpine ski racing venue will be designed to provide full-length downhill training by early November each season, beginning this fall.
The annual project will be managed by the U.S. Ski Team and Copper Mountain from Nov. 1-Dec. 10 each winter. The infrastructure development involves an automated snowmaking system and all the safety, communications and timing equipment necessary to create the only full-length downhill training available worldwide during that time of year.
The U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper will be open to both Audi FIS Alpine World Cup athletes like Olympic champions Bode Miller, Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso and Ted Ligety, but will also serve as a facility for USSA clubs and regional programs.
"The U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper will be a game changer for U.S. athletes," said USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt. "It will provide unparalleled training for our elite athletes prior to the World Cup season and play an integral role in our strategic development plan for the next generation."
Located in the Super Bee area, which includes Rosi’s Run, Andy’s Encore and Oh No, the steep, north facing slopes, high base elevation and early season temperatures will provide a continuation from summer training in Chile and New Zealand.
"This is a very exciting project for Copper. The natural attributes of the Super Bee pod, combined with an internal Copper team that has experience with race training and a proven track record on snowmaking, were very appealing to the U.S. Ski Team," said Gary Rodgers, President of Copper Mountain Resort. "This long-term relationship will further enhance Copper’s role in early season race training."
"Copper Mountain is a cornerstone in the long-term plan for preparing our elite teams for the World Cup season and in providing top-level training for our development pipeline," said USSA Executive Vice President Athletics Luke Bodensteiner. "The U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper will give us an advantage in providing the early-season training volume that we've struggled to achieve prior to the opening of the World Cup season."