The massive 22-foot halfpipe at Copper is ready for the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix. (Copper Mountain)
COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO (Dec. 6) – A record field will be in the 22-foot halfpipe with the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix at Copper this week, the first major international competition since halfpipe skiing was added to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Simon Dumont (Bethel, ME ) and Jen Hudak (Salt Lake City), both medalists at the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships last seasons, will lead the U.S. Freeskiing Pro Team into its first competition. They will face a strong field of over 110 athletes from 13 nations in the opening FIS Freestyle World Cup and AFP Platinum level event.
The Visa U.S. Freesking Grand Prix is an Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) Platinum Level event and opens the International Ski Federation's (FIS) FIS Freestyle World Cup.
Full event coverage will be showcased on NBC (Dec. 18, 12:30 p.m. ET) and Versus (Dec. 24, 3:00 p.m. ET). Live webcast will be available on major freeskiing websites.
X Games medalists Simon Dumont and Jen Hudak lead a strong U.S. Freeskiing Pro Team into its first competition.
X Games champion Kevin Rolland of France and World Champion Mike Riddle of Canada will be among favorites in the men's halfpipe, along with former AFP tour champion Jossi Wells of New Zealand.
X Games champ Sarah Burke of Canada will be a contender in the women's field.
Other top U.S. skiers will include U.S. Freeskiing Pro Team athletes David Wise (Reno, NV) , X Games silver medalist Torin Yater-Wallace (Snowmass, CO) and 2011 AFP leader Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, CO) for men with 2011 AFP tour leader Devin Logan (W. Dover, VT) and X Games silver medalist Brita Sigourney (Carmel, CA) for women.
2010 Champions: Men: Justin Dorey, Canada (Dumont 3rd); Women: Rosalind Groenwoud, Canada (Hudak 2nd); NOTE: Dorey not competing due to injury
Men's qualification heats are Wednesday with finals Friday from 12:00-1:30 p.m. MT. Women qualify Friday morning
The Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix is a part of the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix, which also includes halfpipe snowboarding Saturday. The series will also feature a Visa U.S. Halfpipe Grand Prix event at Mammoth Mountain, CA in March.
TV NBC – Sunday, Dec. 18 12:30-2:00 p.m. Versus – Saturday, Dec. 24 – 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 9 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Women's qualifying heats 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. – Visa U.S. Halfpipe Grand Prix finals 2:00-3:00 p.m. – The North Face Junior Jam 4:00-5:00 p.m. – U.S. Freeskiing public team announcement (Burning Stones Plaza)
U.S. FREESKIING PRO TEAM Men Simon Dumont (07/09/1986; Bethel, ME) David Wise (06/30/1990; Reno, NV) Torin Yater-Wallace (12/02/1995; Snowmass, CO) Tucker Perkins (01/05/1991; North Hampton, NH) Gus Kenworthy (10/01/1991; Telluride, CO)
Women Devin Logan (02/17/1993; West Dover, VT) Jen Hudak (09/07/1986; Park City, UT) Jess Reedy (06/04/1983; Avon, CO) Brita Sigourney (01/17/1990; Carmel, CA)