Breckenridge to host The North American Open

Breckenridge to host The North American Open

Designed by two of the world’s top freeskiers, the new North American Open in Breckenridge is the first stop on the Paul Mitchell 2008 Opens Freeski tour.

This season Jon Olsson and Simon Dumont, in collaboration with rEvolution, producers of the Paul Mitchell 2008 Opens Freeski tour, JOI and Freeskier Magazine, are creating a new open freeski championship event: The North American Open. Acting as the first stop on the Opens Freeski tour, the NAO will take place February 22-24 and will serve as an event for emerging freeskiing talent; another true open competition for the masses. Breckenridge Ski Resort in CO, was selected as the location for the North American Open because it plays host to one of the top-ranked pipes and parks in the world, in addition to its consistent snowfall and skiing conditions.

“Our goal is to create the biggest and best open event in the world,” said Olsson, an eight-time Winter X-Games medalist. “We envision an event where amateurs can ride under a stress-free environment that will bring out their best skills to challenge the pros and maybe beat them, and possibly jump start a professional career.”

“The North American Open will be made by riders, for riders,” said Dumont, a two-time X Games gold medalist “We know how we’d want a contest to run, what makes it fun, how much training we need, what formats riders want, etc. Even if you don’t finish in the top, we hope all the riders still have fun.”

As an “open” event, registration for the North American Open will be available to both men and women, including professional and amateur competitors. Riders can register online at www.opensfreeski.com. On-site registration will be held at the North America Open office trailer at the Base of Peak 8 on February 20, from 8 AM to 5 PM. The North American Open event schedule is as follows:

· Thursday, February 21, 2008 – Registration and Practice

· Friday, February 22, 2008 – Slopestyle qualifier

· Saturday, February 23, 2008 – Slopestyle final

· Sunday, February 24, 2008 – Halfpipe qualifying and final

The North American Open kicks off the 2008 Opens Freeski, formerly the Paul Mitchell American Freeski Tour, and is a newly sanctioned platform of freeski events, providing high level competitions in half pipe and slopestyle for men and women. Paul Mitchell is continuing its support of emerging freeskiing talent by serving as the title sponsor of Opens Freeski and has been an avid supporter of freeskiing since 2004. Other confirmed Opens Freeski sponsors include Navy, Spyder and Freeskier magazine. The remaining Opens Freeski events are as follows:

· Big Bear Open
Bear Mountain Resort, Big Bear Lake, Calif.
March 8-9, 2008

· Mount Snow Open
Mount Snow Resort, West Dover, Vt.
March 22-23, 2008

Each Opens Freeski event, including the North American Open, will have a $20,000 event purse paying through all athletes who make the finals. All Opens Freeski events will be televised on Fuel TV, the only action sports network in the United States. The North American Open will be highlighted in two, 30-minute original broadcasts on Fuel, scheduled to air in the spring and again in the fall of ’08, leading into the new season

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