Salt Lake City, Utah, January 7, 2009 â€“The longest standing open freeskiing event in the world, the US Freeskiing Open (USFO), returns to Copper Mountain, Colorado, February 26-28, 2009, followed by a Junior Halfpipe Jam on March 1, 2009. The world’s best professional and amateur skier halfpipe athletes from around the world will battle it out for a prize purse of $20,000. Traditionally a three-discipline event, Mountain Sports International (MSI) has consolidated the 2009 USFO due to the difficult sponsorship sales climate. The 2009 USFO will be more streamlined, providing a world-class event, a first-class halfpipe venue, more athlete practice, increased athlete hospitality, as well as a two full days of live webcast. The USFO remains freeskiingâ€™s ultimate proving ground and will return to its full schedule in the future
â€œCopper is pleased to be the home of the US Freeskiing Open for the third year,â€ said Copper President and COO Gary Rodgers. â€œCopperâ€™s Superpipe will be home to yet another world class competition hosting freeskiingâ€™s top talent, while each competitor gets a taste of Woodward at Copper â€“ the first training facility dedicated to terrain park and pipe progression.â€
Due to high demand, registration for the US Freeskiing Open will be conducted via a lottery system. A single entry per person will be allowed and a $5 charge will apply for entering the lottery. Registration begins January 7, 2009, at noon MST and ends on January 21, 2009. Winning lottery participants will be contacted via email on January 23, 2009. Athletes must register via the lottery unless they are pre-qualified. There will be no team, academy or industry registrations. For more information and to register please go to usfreeskiingopen.com.
PRE-QUALIFIED ATHLETE LIST
The US Freeskiing Open
Halfpipe – February 26-28, 2009
Junior Halfpipe Jam â€“ March 1, 2009
All athletes over the age of 13 are invited to register for the USFO. Continuing to invest in the future of the sport of freeskiing, MSI has created the Junior Halfpipe Jam, which accepts 6 to 12 year olds. In fostering a new generation of freeskiers and providing a competition platform, even the youngest of athletes is able to gain the experience to someday reach the Olympic Games and beyond.
â€œThe US Open gives aspiring kids the chance to become professional skiers,â€ said US Open Big Air Champion TJ Schiller. â€œThe event was built and designed so young amateurs could come test their skills against the best. Without the US Open I wouldnâ€™t have been able to achieve what I do today.â€
Since the early 1980s Camp Woodward has been working with top athletes to design and implement progressive freestyle training methods and tools. Copper Mountain and Camp Woodward have teamed up to offer a first of its kind training facility, winter programs, summer camps and more, all dedicated to terrain park and halfpipe progression. Skiers from around the globe flock to Woodward at Copper to gain awareness and master technique on a series of features including trampolines, foam pits and spring floors before heading out on the hill. Participants in the 2009 USFO will have access to Woodward at Copper facilities.
â€œWe are pleased to have Woodward at Copper as this yearâ€™s presenting sponsor of the US Freeskiing Open,â€ said MSI President Adam Comey. â€œWoodward at Copper is an innovator of action sports skill-development which makes the partnership between the USFO, the athletes and Camp Woodward a perfect fit. We are also excited to offer athletes access to the world-class Woodward at Copper facilities.â€
Two full days of live video webcast coverage of the US Freeskiing Open will begin at 10am MST, on February 27, at usfreeskiingopen.com, with the finals airing live on Saturday afternoon. Daily photo and blog updates will accompany the webcast, offering fans around the world a virtual multimedia experience.