U.S. Ski Team and fans seriously pumped for Beaver Creek World Cup

Posted By: The Ski Channel on November 23, 2009 11:17 am

Everyone’s a buzz as the 2010 Olympic season getting under way. After the U.S. Ski Team men head to Lake Louise this week, they’ll return to the States for one of the most marquee events of the season. Yup, it’s just eight quick days away.

On December 4-6 the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup speeds into Beaver Creek for the Audi Birds of Prey Race Week, the only men’s alpine World Cup stop on American snow and our men are pumped.  

“There’s nothing like ripping Birds of Prey,” said 2006 Olympic gold medalist Ligety, a three-time Birds podium finisher. “Beaver Creek is our only home game and the entire Team gets amped to perform in front of our friends and family. It’s not that often where the entire finish area is your cheering section.”

Ligety’s teammate, Marco Sullivan knows a thing or two about fans. “My sister tells me the ‘Marco Rocks’ fan club will be rolling pretty deep again this year,” said Sullivan. “They’ve rented three condos and will definitely be the 30 to 40 loudest people around that week.”

“Birds of Prey is the full package,” added men’s alpine Head Coach Sasha Rearick. “The guys are stoked to race in front of their fans and nobody puts together a World Cup event better than Beaver Creek. Plus the race hill is just awesome and includes every single aspect of modern downhill. From speed to turns to big air, it’s all there and is such a fun track for our guys to perform on.”

The Team has been training throughout the Vail Valley prepping for upcoming World Cups.
”The training has been awesome,” said Sullivan. “By the time we get to Birds, we’ll have two solid weeks under our belts in Colorado and a few races from Lake Louise before we crank things up in Beaver Creek.”

As for Beaver Creek, officials are pumped, too. Longtime Birds of Prey Chief of Course Greg Johnson reports that over 85 percent of snowmaking is completed with crews priming the final touches on the course. “This is one of our best year-to-date efforts ever,” said Johnson.

“It is the unique combination of amazing terrain, state of the art infrastructure and technology plus a passionate and knowledgeable volunteer race crew that makes the Audi Birds of Prey such a special race,” said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Vice President Events Calum Clark. “Each year, the race crew takes hill preparation to a new level of excellence which allows the athletes to excel.”

“It’s not often that you can say you have one of the world’s best downhill courses in your own backyard,” offered Michael Imhof, Vice President of Sales and Operations for the Vail Valley Foundation, “but that’s exactly what we have with Birds of Prey. Through the years, this race and course have provided many great moments and memories, from Aksel Lund Svindal’s comeback last year to Maier’s eight wins to the string of American victories. Birds of Prey is a special course and event, and we are proud to be able to call it our own.”


photo: bcworldcup