COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO – The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and Colorado’s Copper Mountain Resort announced a long-term partnership to create the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper in Colorado. The exclusive early-season, on-snow alpine ski racing venue will be designed to provide full-length downhill training by early November each season. The training center will be ready for the USSA beginning this fall. Copper has also been a long standing host of the U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix and will be a halfpipe host for the series through the 2014 Olympic year.
The annual project will be managed by the U.S. Ski Team and Copper Mountain from November 1 to December 10 every year. The infrastructure development involves a new automated snowmaking system and all the safety, communications and timing equipment necessary to create the only full-length downhill training available worldwide during this time of year.
“The U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper will be a game changer for U.S. athletes,” said USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt. “It will provide unparalleled training for our elite athletes prior to the World Cup season and play an integral role in our strategic development plan for the next generation.”
The U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper will be open to both Audi FIS Alpine World Cup athletes like Olympic champions Bode Miller, Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso and Ted Ligety, and will also serve as a facility for USSA clubs and regional programs. It will be located in the Super Bee area including Rosi’s Run, Andy’s Encore and Oh No, the steep, north facing slopes, high base elevation. However, early season temperatures will provide a continuation from summer training in Chile and New Zealand.
“This is a very exciting project for Copper. The natural attributes of the Super Bee pod, combined with an internal Copper team that has experience with race training and a proven track record on snowmaking, were very appealing to the U.S. Ski Team,” said Gary Rodgers, President of Copper Mountain Resort. “This long-term relationship will further enhance Copper’s role in early season race training.”
The U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper continues the existing partnership and commitment from the ski resort, and its parent company Powdr Corp., to build innovative training and competition venues. In 2009, the resort opened the ski and snowboarding training facility for park and pipe progression – Woodward at Copper. Woodward at Copper has already been utilized by U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing athletes as they build towards the debut of slopestyle and skiing halfpipe at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
“Copper Mountain is a cornerstone in the long-term plan for preparing our elite teams for the World Cup season and in providing top-level training for our development pipeline,” said USSA Executive Vice President Athletics Luke Bodensteiner. “The U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper will give us an advantage in providing the early-season training volume that we’ve struggled to achieve prior to the opening of the World Cup season.”