The Winter Teva Mountain Games presented by Eddie Bauer kicked off in spectacular fashion yesterday. The worlds greatest athletes have assembled in Vail to compete in a variety of disciplines with the hopes of glory and a $60,000 cash purse. To commence the three-day festival of sport and spectacle competitors assembled to face off in Nordic skiing and mixed climbing events for day one of the games.
For the 10k Nordic freestyle race, Olympian Leif Zimmerman took the title for the men’s division, while Rebecca Dussault took the first place podium on the women’s side.
Zimmerman, a four-time national champion and member of the 2006 U.S. Olympic team, had an absolutely flawless race in the 10K at the Vail Nordic Center. Taking an early lead, Zimmerman secured a comfortable victory with a time of 22:48. Josh Smullin in second place at 23:03 and Lars Flora rounded out the podium in third place at 23:15.
Dussault, who was also a member of the 2006 Olympic team, proved her strength by out-skating Morgan Arritola at the line and winning by just one second at 25:19. Lenka Palanova came in third place at 25:52.
In the 5K Nordic race, Shane Sluder won for the men and Audrey Powell won for the women.
Later on in the day, illuminated by the structures radical lighting system, Sam Elias and Dawn Glanc secured the men and women’s Eddie Bauer Mixed Climbing Competition.
The invitational featured 20 of the world’s top mixed climbers, Sam Elias beat Stanislav Vrba in a final head-to-head race on the wall to claim overall victory. Dawn Glanc overtook Emily Harringtion to win the women’s competition.
There’s even more action to come during the weekend. Saturday morning will see the start of the Mountain Click Photo Competition, followed by some ski mountaineering, telemark, and trick bike competitions.