Mammoth, Park City and Copper to Host 2010 Snowboard Grand Prix and Olympic Qualifier Events

Posted By: The Ski Channel on July 2, 2009 9:04 am

The 2010 U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix tour schedule is set and will stop at Copper Mountain in Colorado, Mammoth Mountain in California, and Park City Mountain Resort in Utah. Each venue will sport 22-ft halfpipes (we’re talking super launchers) which will help determine the 2010 Olympic team.

“Copper, Mammoth and Park City are all classic Grand Prix sites and will provide a most fitting stage on which to name the Olympic halfpipe team for 2010,” said Grand Prix Tour Director Eric Webster. “They all have a proven track record in hosting world class snowboard events, which lends confidence to the riders and coaches in a season with so much on the line.”

The competition roster will be star studded, complete with the likes of Olympic gold medalists Kelly Clark, Hannah Teter, and Shaun White, along with fellow Olympic medalists Gretchen Bleiler, JJ Thomas, and Danny Kass all vying for another shot at Olympic glory. Grand Prix overall champions Steve Fisher and Louie Vito will also be in the mix.

Copper will host the first event, on December 11th and 12th. “I’m really excited to have the Grand Prix at Copper again because I personally love having my family and friends close, as well as having the support of my home mountain,” said Copper local and U.S. Snowboard athlete Clair Bidez. “I know that Copper is really going to put their all into making the Grand Prix great.”

Reps at the United States Ski and Snowboard Association concur. “Copper delivered an outstanding Grand Prix for us last year with an amazing pipe. It brings an incredible snowmaking capacity, and an ability and commitment to build an early season pipe,” said USSA Vice President of Events Calum Clark. “This year Copper has committed to having a 22-foot pipe, which pushes the envelope even further. We will have an Olympic quality pipe ready for competition in early December.”

Long-time favorite Mammoth Mountain is also back in the action as the second stop from January 6th through 10th. The resort actually held the first Olympic snowboard team announcement in 1998. “Mammoth has been a tremendous partner of ours for years. It has been a hotbed for growing a tremendous amount of talent out of their parks and pipes,” Clark said.

In addition to the halfpipe competitions, Mammoth will also hold a slopestyle event in true Cali style. “Mammoth is a great place to hold the Grand Prix. The park staff and night crew will make the terrain perfect for competition,” Mammoth (and U.S. Team) rider Greg Bretz said.”I think a lot of people will come up to watch the competition and the local crowd at Mammoth will make the event super exciting. It’s a great place to go for Olympic qualifications.”

Mammoth is happy about their participation, too. “It is so exciting to be a part of this history-making Grand Prix series,” Mammoth Mountain Youth Action Sports Marketing Director Oren Tanzer said. “I can’t wait to see the progression of snowboarding and to be a part of naming the U.S. Team for the upcoming Olympics. It doesn’t get any better than this!”

Back in Utah, the Olympic theme is old hat. But that doesn’t make it any less exciting. Park City will host the last stop on the tour (from January 22nd to 23rd) which will feature a reduced, pre-qualified field. “It’s the perfect place to close the story of the Olympic team selection,” Clark said. “The pipe has the tradition of being one of the best in North America. They put a tremendous amount of pride and energy into their venue.”