The Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix presented by The North Face has invaded Park City Mountain Resort. Of the five Olympic qualifiers to take place on North American soil this season, three are now in the books, and the final two take place here at PCMR on Friday and Saturday. The US Olympic team naming ceremony will take place following the conclusion of Saturday’s events.
“We’re stoked to host another Grand Prix and the final chance for athletes to qualify for the first ever US Olympic freeskiing team,” says Jeremy Cooper, I Ride Park City park manager and chief of competition for the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix presented by The North Face at PCMR. “The pipe’s looking great, the slopestyle course is dialed, and we’re ready for a great weekend culminating with the team naming ceremony on Saturday night.”
With freeskiing’s Olympic debut just around the corner, only three U.S. athletes have punched their tickets to Sochi: Nick Goepper (men’s slopestyle), Maddie Bowman (women’s halfpipe) and David Wise (men’s halfpipe); those athletes are a mathematical lock based on three overall podium finishes and two first place finishes among the American field thus far, throughout the qualifying events. The details can certainly get a bit confusing, but we’ve broken things down for you in a separate post, found here. What’s important is this: the next two days will be big, and it’s anyone’s game when it comes to earning a chance to represent the Red, White and Blue next month.
For the past two days, athletes have been training here at PCMR. This morning, we had a chance to get up on the hill ourselves, where we spent some time lapping the slope course. After speaking with many of the athletes, the general consensus is one of great satisfaction with the course features, and overall flow. Among those we spoke with was Matt Walker, who had this to say:
Walker, like many Americans, hopes to secure an Olympic berth this week in Park City
This evening, we’ll head up to the superpipe to check out another training session. For regular updates from Freeskier, be sure to follow along on Twitter and Instagram. For up-to-the-minute coverage from finals, follow @FreeskierLive on Twitter.
Coming Soon: This post will be updated with video. Stay tuned.