For the first time since the early nineties, the U.S. Alpine Championships will return to the Colorado Rocky Mountains when Winter Park Resort hosts the event March 31-April 3, 2011. Athletes expected to compete include Olympic medalists Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso, Ted Ligety and Andrew Weibrecht.
Winter Park hosted a string of championships from 1992-94 and has been an integral host to early season technical races on the NorAm circuit for over a decade. The U.S. Alpine Championships opens the weekend following the Nature Valley NASTAR National Championships, a culmination of the largest recreational ski and snowboard race program in the world.
“It’s clear that Winter Park has an exceptional desire and pride to host the U.S. Alpine Championships,” said Calum Clark, Vice President Events for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. “Their competition center sets the standard in snow preparation and has been a key partner in organizing early season races on the NorAm circuit for well over a decade. I have no doubt that experience will translate into outstanding conditions for the U.S. Championships.”
The four-day series opens Thursday, March 31 with men’s giant slalom followed by women’s GS on April 1, men’s and women’s super G on April 2 and closes with slalom on April 3. The U.S. downhill championship will be held earlier in the winter in conjunction with the NorAm stop at Aspen, Colo., on Feb. 16 in order to ensure solid winter snow conditions and maximize use of the already prepared speed track.
“Winter Park Resort has established itself as a world-class snow sports competition venue and we are honored to host the 2011 U.S. Alpine Championships featuring the nation’s finest alpine racers,” said Gary DeFrange, president/chief operating officer at Winter Park Resort. “Our brand and reputation for excellence and our commitment to competitive ski racing continue to grow by hosting events such as this, allowing us to showcase the diverse capabilities of Winter Park Resort on the national stage.”
Set in the Vasquez Mountains of the Arapaho National Forest, Winter Park is the closest major ski resort to Denver. During its 71-year history, the resort has grown from a mountain park to one of the most popular ski and ride destinations in the world, boasting over 3,000 acres of varied terrain.
2011 U.S. Alpine Championships Schedule
* Wednesday, Feb. 16 – Men’s and Women’s downhill*
* Thursdy, March 31 – Men’s giant slalom
* Friday, April 1 – Women’s giant slalom
* Saturday, April 2 – Men’s and Women’s super G
* Sunday, April 3 – Men’s and Women’s slalom
* The U.S. downhill championships will take place at Aspen, Colo.