Vancouver Olympics Qualifier, U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix Stops Announced

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on July 6, 2009 11:19 am

<img style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" src="../image/news/20090706_copper_mountain_snowboarder_350.jpg” alt=”Copper Mountain snowboarder” />

Olympic dreams will be given hope or unceremoniously squashed during the 2010 U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix.  Five comps at Copper Mountain, Mammoth Mountain, and Park City serve as the pathway to Vancouver 2010 for one of the marquee events, snowboarding halfpipe. 

Who ends up on that team is currently unanswerable by the best of prophets, as only four slots will be doled out to both the men and women.  Four slots!  Yeah try and predict which four in men’s halfpipe will qualify from this list of superstars:  Scotty Lago, Danny Davis, Louie Vito, Shaun White, Kevin Pearce, J.J. Thomas, Mason Aguirre, Danny Kass, and Steve Fisher. 

It may well end-up being somebody who’s not even listed there. The Grand Prix is really the Olympics before the Olympics.  In previous Olympic years, the competition has been more fierce at the Grand Prix qualifiers than at the Olympics themselves.  It will be a pressure-filled scene filled with fascinating drama on the 2010 U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix.

First stop will be December 11-12 at Copper Mountain.  With the new Woodward at Copper Barn and Copper’s 19,000 square feet of park and pipe, Copper Mountain (pictured right) rightfully gets the Grand Prix underway.  “I’m really excited to have the Grand Prix at Copper once again because I personally love having my family and friends close, as well as having the support of my home mountain,” Copper local Clair Bidez said. “I know that Copper is really going to put their all into making the Grand Prix a great event.”

Then it’s on to Mammoth Mountain, January 6-10.  Mammoth’s Unbound Crew maintains top-notch, world class terrain parks and three distinct halfpipes.  “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!”

Last stop of the Grand Prix will be the site of previous historic Olympic glory.  Park City, January 22-23, will have back-to-back night comps to be followed by the naming of the U.S. Olympic snowboard halfpipe team.  By the time the Grand Prix lands at PCMR, the field will be narrowed down to the highest scoring athletes from the other stops.  “It’s the perfect place to close the story of the Olympic team selection,” said Olympic gold medalist Kelly Clark. “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. They are very excited to have this here.”

There you have it.  Three stops, five comps, all with 22-foot halfpipes serving as the stage from which Olympic dreams will be fulfilled or crushed.  High drama unfolding starting in December!

Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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