Jon Olsson And Simon Dumont To Host The North American Open

Jon Olsson And Simon Dumont To Host The North American Open

Recent years have seen a sharp decline in credibility to existing open events. With a industry desire to restore a true open event to glory, Jon Olsson and Simon Dumont, in collaboration with rEvolution and Paul Mitchell, are set to put on the North American Open in Breckenridge, CO February 21 – 23. With Jon and Simon conjuring up a new format designed for fairness and creativity, the NAO will play host to Halfpipe and Slopestyle competitions for four days.

The Format: Jon and Simon wanted a contest where the athletes were given more of a chance to show their skills. So Rather than a two-or-three run contest format, there will be a jam session format for half the day and then a judged run for each of the competitors in the afternoon. Simon and Jon will be giving keys to those that they (and the judges) feel are worthy of moving on. Those chosen athletes will join a small cast of invited athletes in the finals, with a more traditional, three-run final to decide the winners.

And for those that think that Jon and Simon are just picking their friends to move on, it’s simply not true. With the exception of the few invited athletes, pros and amateurs are expected to compete alike in the session format, and whoever skis the best, will move on. The jam format not only allows for the best skiers to advance, but it allows for pros and ams alike to ski the same top notch course, as equals. Everyone is treated the same, making this a truly open event.

Jon’s take on the event:
“It is an open contest based on the same idea as the JOI. It is made by riders, for riders. We know how we want a contest to be run, what makes it fun, how much training we need, what formats riders want… it’s basically like the US Open, but made for the riders.”

Simon’s take on the event:
“I hope that everybody leaves the event with a good feeling, rather than regret. Even if you don’t do well, hopefully you’ll still have fun and get to hang out with pros. I think with Jon backing it, the course will be big, yet safe. I will fine tune the halfpipe so people can do their thing there. We want to let kids ski a course that they wouldn’t normally have a chance to.”

With a slope course manicured by Jon and the JOI people, a halfpipe fine tuned by the Dumont, there are no worries that this course will be impressive. With a new format, new ideas and renewed support in an open event, there is a chance that, with any luck, will restore an open event to former glory.

The Paul Mitchell North American Open is also the first stop in the Paul Mitchell Opens Freeski Tour. With stops in CA, CO and VT, this is the only unified, USSA sanctioned, open tour out there. And if you’ve never heard of rEvolution before, it includes Craig Elledge and Dan Skivington who have been running slopestyle and halfpipe events for 15 years. They were the company behind the American Freeski Tour, so you know the events will be top notch.

Stay tuned to Freeskier magazine and freeskier.com for all news related to the North American Open.

Registration to the North American Open will start on December 26, visit www.opensfreeski.com to register. You can get a year long USSA freestyle membership for $60 and can download membership forms at the Opens Freeski website.

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