Killington World Cup tickets to go on sale Sept. 7

Killington Resort is welcoming back the Audi FIS Ski World Cup back to Vermont this Thanksgiving weekend. The 2016 event broke attendance records and sent a message loud and clear: alpine ski racing is alive and well on the East Coast. Like the 2016 event, general admission is free; however, a limited number of tickets will be available for premier viewing areas in two grandstands and a VIP zone.

Tickets will go on sale Sept. 7 at 9:00 a.m. and are expected to sell out quickly. New for 2017, a portion of the proceeds from Premier Grandstand tickets and VIP tickets will go to the Killington World Cup Committee (KWCC). The committee was created to support the women’s World Cup at Killington and to benefit local and regional youth development programs. The KWCC will work through Killington Resort in various ways including providing support for athlete housing and VIP events.

Ticket types are as follows:

Free viewing areas are located all around the base of the Superstar Trail and adjacent to the race course. Two video boards will provide top-to-bottom race coverage while approximately 35 percent of the course will be visible from these areas.

Two ticketed grandstands are located at the base of the Superstar Trail and provide an elevated view of the race course, along with views of two video boards showing top-to-bottom race coverage. Wheelchair access is available in the front row of one of the grandstands.

Guaranteed general admission to rows 1-20 of a grand stand
Commemorative World Cup access pass

Guaranteed general admission to the top five rows (21-25) of a grand stand
Commemorative World Cup access pass
A portion of the proceeds ($65) from this ticket support the Killington World Cup Committee fund

Guaranteed general admission to rows 1-20 of a grand stand
Commemorative World Cup access pass
Commemorative World Cup souvenir
Killington Adult One-Day Lift Ticket voucher valid any day during the 2017-18 winter season.

A Preferred Parking Pass will provide guaranteed parking in the K-1 Base Lodge parking lot. Parking will be available free of charge from other resort parking lots with complimentary shuttle service to the event.

The VIP Ticket provides access to a heated temporary structure located at the Roaring Brook Umbrella Bar and offers an unmatched vantage point of the course, along with televisions live-streaming the full event. Preferred parking, continental breakfast, gourmet lunch, deluxe premium open bar, commemorative access pass and a commemorative souvenir are also included. VIP Tickets are extremely limited and are expected to sell out within minutes. A portion of the proceeds ($275) from this ticket support the Killington World Cup Committee fund.

A venue map is available here.

Release from Killington Resort

Hirscher suffers ankle fracture during training

During his first day of skiing in the 2017-18 season, Marcel Hirscher sustained a fracture of his left ankle after an awkward mishap while training in a stubby gate course. The six-time World Cup overall winner hooked his inside ski on a stubby gate wh…

McMurtry joins team at Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame

The Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame’s full time staff was recently enhanced with the addition of Board and Hall of Fame member John McMurtry as the organization’s vice president of development.  McMurtry began his new role on Aug. 2.

Formerly the lead development officer for Vail’s Steadman Philippon Research Institute since 1994, the Denver native managed the planning and execution of the fund development and institutional relations program for SPRI.  His programs provided a substantial portion of the institute’s operating, capital and endowment revenue.

“We are extremely excited to have John joining our team at the museum,” explained Susie Tjossem, executive director of the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame. “Not only is John very familiar with our organization and its day to day operation, but he also brings an incredible history and passion for skiing to his new role that immediately shines through. He will be a great addition to the staff.”

From 1976-1984, McMurtry coached, developed and directed the U.S. Ski Team. During his tenure, the team won World Cup titles, Olympic medals and the first Nations Cup for any U.S. alpine team.

During his time at the ski team, McMurtry joined orthopedic surgeon Dr. J. Richard Steadman in South Lake Tahoe and resumed his work in sports medicine and science. Working with Dr. Steadman and his two partners, Topper Hagerman and John Atkins, the quartet founded S.P.O.R.T. Inc., a company focused on researching and developing innovative rehabilitation and injury prevention programs and projects.

In 1984, with just four months’ notice, the Park City Resort asked McMurtry to organize the first men’s and women’s alpine World Cup races held in the state of Utah. These races proved to be a showcase event for Utah’s bid to win the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. In 1986, McMurtry was invited by the late Bob Parker to be part of the first U.S. ski industry delegation to visit the People’s Republic of China.  He was inducted into the Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame in 1995 and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 2014.

McMurtry was honored by Colorado Governor Richard Lamm and Denver Mayor W.H. McNichols Jr. on November 13, 1982, for his contributions to Colorado and skiing as the state officials proclaimed John McMurtry Day in Colorado. A 1973 graduate of the University of Denver (DU) in political science, McMurtry received his master’s from DU in sports science and physical education, while earning his M.B.A. in Business in 1993 from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.

The Colorado Snowsports Museum, located in the Vail Transportation Center, is currently under construction on a $2.4 million privately funded transformation that will refurbish the 24-year-old facility, add new exhibit space and modernize exhibits with interactive technology. Skiing and the 10th Mountain Division are the cornerstones of Vail’s history and success, which the museum preserves and celebrates year-round. The museum has been one of the favorite family-friendly visitor attractions in Vail for 41 years and, with these improvements, the museum will be the best and most comprehensive ski museum in the world.

Release from Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame

Hintermann injured in downhill training

Last Sunday, 22-year-old Niels Hintermann injured himself during downhill training in Zermatt, Switzerland. The Swiss athlete put his left arm through a gate and dislocated his shoulder. The winner of 2017 Wengen alpine combined was flown by helicopter to the hospital for diagnosis and treatment.

“As it turned out, I suffered a quick luxation of my left shoulder,” the Swiss athlete explained on Instagram. “Luckily no bones or anything is hurt. Even if most of it looks good, I suffered a damage of my nerves throw out my arm. Part of my muscles aren’t react[ing] as they should and the feeling isn’t here yet. At the moment, it’s not sure yet how long my break will continue, but I will keep you updated as soon as I have some fresh news.

According to the team doctor Walter O. Frey, a reliable diagnosis can only be made from the course of the healing. A further study will follow to get clarity on the extent of the nerve damage.

Release from the Swiss Ski Federation

South American Cup races kick off in Argentina

South American Cup (SAC) competition began last week with tech races in Cerro Catedral, Argentina. Coupled with Argentina’s national championship slalom and GS races, it made for an exciting series with some challenging winter conditions.

On day one, things started with the national championship giant slalom. Nuria Pau of Spain took the win on the ladies’ side with a total time of 1:32.24. Frenchwoman Lorelie Coulet was hot on her heels, 0.19 seconds off the pace in second place. Nicol Gastaldi of Argentina rounded out the podium in third place, becoming the national champion in the discipline.

In the men’s giant slalom, Tomas Birkner De Miguel of Argentina took the win over fellow countryman Sebastiano Gastaldi by 0.31 seconds to earn the national title. Frenchman Alexandre Coltier skied to third place in his first race of the 2017-18 season.

Racing continued on Aug. 8 with the ladies’ SAC giant slalom. Gastaldi charged to victory, beating the previous day’s winner by 0.55 seconds. Salome Bancora of Argentina rounded out the podium in third place.

After the men’s SAC giant slalom had to be canceled on Aug. 9 due to adverse conditions, the slalom took place as planned the next day. A 100-percent Argentinian podium topped the field of 76 racers from 11 different nations. Gastaldi won the day ahead of World Cup veteran Cristian Javier Simari Birkner, who has won the SAC overall title 13 times in his career. Birkner De Miguel proved to be a serious contender in slalom as well, landing in third place.

On the ladies side, Kim Vanreusel from Belgium won her first Continental Cup just months after racing in her first World Championships last winter in St. Moritz. She was 1.35 seconds faster than Bancora, who claimed the South American Cup slalom title the last three years. French athlete Coulet finished third.

On the final day of racing, the men and women competed in the national championship slalom. The ladies’ race had a surprise winner. Argentina’s Francesca Baruzzi Farriol took the win after barely cracking the top 10 the previous two days. Argentina’s new slalom national champion won with a total time of 1:30.68, besting Coulet, who came in second place. Vanreusel skied onto the podium yet again, finishing in third place.

In the men’s competition, Coltier won the slalom with a final time of 1:21.24, while Birkner De Miguel was crowned national champion as the top Argentinian. He was 0.38 seconds off of Coltier’s pace in second place. Simari Birkner found his way onto the podium in third place, 1.09 seconds away from the win.

Complete results are available here.

Releases courtesy of FIS and Argentina Ski Federation

New foundation to support legacy of snow sports at iconic Minnesota ski area

Longtime home to winter sports in Minnesota, the Buck Hill Ski Area has found a new ally to support, foster and perpetuate active outdoor lifestyles in the Minneapolis area. The ski area is home to a renowned alpine ski racing program under longtime program director and U.S. Ski Hall of Fame inductee Erich Sailer. The newly formed Buck Hill Foundation aims to provide opportunities to aspiring outdoor sports athletes, to promote a lifelong love for sport via active outdoor lifestyles, as well as support programs to develop strong personal character. The initial focus of the foundation will include support to alpine programs such as the Buck Hill Ski Racing Team.

“The Buck Hill Foundation’s purpose includes charitable and educational efforts in support of youth and athlete development, particularly in alpine snow sports, and to promote positive character development and sportsmanship as a basis for individual growth,” said Doug Nordmeyer, president of the Buck Hill Foundation. “We believe that sound values learned through sport contribute to goal setting, self-discipline, commitment and success in all of life’s endeavors.”

Financial demands of alpine snow sports often pose a barrier for entry and continued involvement. As such, the foundation will target a racing program that has produced numerous Olympians, collegiate champions, and junior champions.  The ski area is home to thousands of alpine racers including notables such as Lindsey Vonn, Kristina Koznick, Tasha Nelson, Paula Moltzan, Michael Ankeny, Cory Carlson, Lori Greeley, Susan Holes, Mike Meleski, Biere Marceau, Joe Levins, Tim Hanson, Martina Sailer, and Sterling Grant, all of whom were, or are, on the U.S. Ski Team. The success of the program over the years is due in large part to the efforts of Erich Sailer. This success was further validated in 2008 with Buck Hill being recognized as the Ski Team of the Year by U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

The foundation recently announced its inaugural event to occur on Aug. 25 to honor longtime coach Erich Sailer.  The evening will include a social hour, dinner, and a special recognition for Sailer. Having coached more than 25,000 young ski racers throughout his illustrious career at Buck Hill, and as director of the Erich Sailer Ski Racing Camps, the event will acknowledge one of the great ambassadors in the history of U.S. skiing.

Special guest, Buck Hill Alumnae and Olympic Gold medalist Lindsey Vonn will attend, discuss her storied career and recognize Sailer. Supporters can reserve tickets or make a tax deductible donation to the Buck Hill Foundation on the event website.

Release courtesy of Buck Hill Foundation

Europeans dominate New Zealand Championship slalom races

The 2017 New Zealand National Championship slalom races were held at Coronet Peak on Thursday after Wednesday’s racing had to be postponed due to inclement weather. Thankfully, organizers were able to get the men’s and women’s slaloms off without a hitch for a packed international field.

The women’s race went to Switzerland’s Bettina Schneeberger with a winning time of 1:39.20 seconds. Second place went to American and University of Denver Pioneer Storm Klomhaus, 1.14 seconds back, and third place went to first-year FIS athlete and New Zealander Alice Robinson, who finished 2.89 seconds off of Schneeberger’s winning time all the way from bib 49.

Robinson also won the NZ GS title in stunning fashion on Monday. Despite her third-place finish, top Kiwi honors on the day gave Robinson the slalom title as well. Not a bad start to what will hopefully be a long, successful career.

“I wasn’t expecting to win the slalom title. I’ve been more focused on training GS,” she told SnowSports NZ. “I’m pretty excited. It’s a good bonus.”

For the men, the podium was dominated by Europeans as Czech World Cup regular Krystof Kryzl took the victory with a time of 1:33.46 seconds, a razor-slim 0.03 seconds ahead of Austria’s Richart Leitgeb in second and 0.21 seconds clear of Germany’s Julian Rauchfuss in third. New Zealand’s Adam Barwood landed in fifth place overall and top Kiwi, giving him back-to-back national slalom titles. Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club’s Benjamin Throm was the fastest American on the day in 13th.

“I’m really happy to keep the title,” said Barwood. “After missing out on the GS on Monday, it’s a bit of a relief. The result should help improve my world ranking as well.”

For complete slalom results click here.

Robinson stuns field in New Zealand National Championship GS

With racing action in the Southern Hemisphere well underway, the New Zealand National Championships began at Coronet Peak on Monday with men’s and women’s giant slalom.

In the women’s championship, first-year phenom and New Zealand native Alice Robinson claimed the second victory of her young career wearing bib 54, besting the field with a combined time of 1:50.99 seconds for a 14.90 FIS result, a slim 0.14 seconds ahead of runner-up and University of Denver student Storm Klomhaus. Swiss athlete Bettina Schneeberger rounded out the podium finishers in third, 1.31 back of Robinson.

“I’m really happy,” Robinson told Snow Sports NZ of her impressive win. “I came here today really wanting to claim the title so it’s awesome. Third position is a good place to attack from on run two, and I’ve been skiing well on the second runs so I was feeling pretty good.”

On the men’s side, the race was won by Slovakian World Cup skier Andreas Zampa with a combined time of 1:48.06. New Zealand’s Willis Feasey finished in second place, 0.98 seconds back and the Czech Republic’s Krystof Kryzl landed in third, 1.05 seconds off of Zampa’s pace. Dartmouth College athlete Thomas Woolson was the fastest American on the day in sixth place, 2.48 seconds back. By virtue of his runner-up finish as the fastest Kiwi, Feasey was crowned New Zealand national GS champion.

“I’m happy to take the title, but I really wanted the win,” he lamented after the race.

Day two of the series saw another FIS GS take place as Slovakia’s Barbara Kantorova took the women’s race with a winning time of 1:54.72 . Slovenia’s Neja Dvornik — another first-year FIS athlete — claimed second place from bib 54, 0.82 seconds off the pace and Anja Schneider of Switzerland was third, 1.43 seconds back. Fastest American honors went to Ski Club Vail‘s Allie Resnick, who charged from bib 48 to finish an impressive sixth in only her second FIS start, 2.97 seconds shy of the win.

For the men, Austria racer Magnus Walch took his first win of the 2018 season with a combined time of 1:49.35, an impressive 1.75 seconds ahead of Dutch racer Maarten Meiners in second. Zampa managed to find his second podium in as many days with a third-place finish, 1.92 seconds back. Green Mountain Valley School‘s Tim Gavett was the fastest American on the day in 11th place, 3.43 seconds off of Walch.

The series at Coronet Peak continues with the men’s and women’s New Zealand National Championship slalom races Aug. 10.

For complete GS results, click here.

Lester Keller joins Mt. Hood Race Team & Academy staff

Dr. Lester Keller, the president and founder of Journey Sports Consulting, will join
Mt. Hood Race Team & Academy (MHRTA) as an academy coach and team sports psychologist.

Keller currently runs his own youth sport consulting service assisting teams and individual athletes on the mental aspects of sports performance. Keller was the U.S. Ski & Snowboard national regional alpine development director and also served as the sports psychology coordinator. Most recently, Keller was the alpine program director at Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club in Jackson Hole, W.Y.

“We are very excited and honored to have someone of Lester’s caliber join our program,” Seth McCadam, the current MHRTA program director. “His experience and knowledge will create a unique opportunity as we continue to build elite level programming on Mt. Hood. Lester is definitely someone who sees the potential that exists here at MHRTA, his creativity and innovation will add an additional tier to our program.”

“The addition of a Ph.D. mental training specialist on staff at MHRTA is unique among U.S. ski programs and adds an important key component to helping our athletes reach their ultimate potential,” added McCadam.

Keller has been a leader in performance innovation, a professional advisor, coach and mentor for organizations and individuals involved in performance sports. Keller said he is thrilled to join the MHRTA staff exploring cutting edge ideas for coaching and teaching.

“I think there is real opportunity here to implement some very creative ideas,” Keller said. “And I’m very inspired by the focus and enthusiasm that this group of athletes brings to their training every day.”

Keller will join the team full-time in November when the team travels to Canada for their fall training camp and will continue his sports psychology consulting services on a part-time basis.

Release from Mt. Hood Race Team & Academy

Burke Mountain and Burke Mountain Academy announce collaboration on new lift and trail improvements

Burke Mountain – home to Burke Mountain Academy’s world-class alpine ski racers – has announced new planned investments in the ski area in collaboration with Burke Mountain Academy (BMA). The iconic northern Vermont ski resort, which is currently being managed by SEC-appointed receiver Michael Goldberg, received court approval on joint plans to dramatically improve skiing and race training on the mountain.

“These exciting improvements highlight the ambitious collaborative vision we have with Burke Mountain and support our recent designation as an official U.S. Ski Team Development Site & High Performance Center,” said Willy Booker, incoming head of school at Burke Mountain Academy. “Most importantly, they significantly improve what was already one of our countries best alpine training and racing venues and BMA’s most important strategic asset.”

Burke Mountain is moving forward in collaboration with BMA and its supporting organization, Burke Racing, on key projects including the installation of a new T-Bar surface lift, terrain enhancements to the Warren’s Way trail and installation of new snowmaking on both the Upper Doug’s Drop and McHarg’s trails, subject to the court’s final approval which is expected within days. The McHarg’s trail, with snowmaking and select trail widening, will add a dedicated slalom race hill to Burke/BMA’s iconic race and training venue on Warren’s Way, further improving the already world class ski racing venue offered at Burke Mountain.

According to BMA and Burke Mountain representatives, replacing the World War II-era Poma lift with a new, state-of-the-art high speed Lietner-Poma T-Bar lift will increase uphill capacity by more than five times and dramatically improve reliability. The lift’s new, higher mid-station will provide better public access to numerous intermediate and expert trails. Additional trail work and snowmaking will increase public access and training opportunities by making snow conditions more reliable. All the improvements are expected to be in place for next season. The Mountain and BMA also plan to offer several free clinics for local children during the coming winter to introduce surrounding area community youth to skiing and give them an opportunity to meet and learn from the aspiring world class athletes at BMA.

“Together with the U.S. Ski Team designation, these improvements will help position Burke Mountain as an unrivaled ‘ski racer destination resort’- attracting ski racers and their families from around the East – which will help fill the hotel and bring revenue to the ski area and local economy,” added Booker.

“All of these projects and our relationships with BMA, Burke Racing and the U.S. Ski Team are about supporting a stronger Burke Mountain,” said Kevin Mack, director of resort services at Burke Mountain Resort. “It’s more than just a name that we share. It’s also a responsibility for our skiers, riders and students, the community and the mountain environment. We are excited to be in a relationship that is wasting no time in defining the future with these responsibilities guiding us.”

The new T-Bar project, which alone represents an investment of $1.5 million, is being financed in part by a grant to BMA’s “Burke Racing” from the Northern Borders Regional Commission with the remainder funded by private contributions raised by BMA, as well as forgiveness by BMA of a substantial long-standing obligation owed to the school in connection with its 2005 sale of the mountain. BMA’s interest in the project has been managed by Board Vice Chairman Ken Graham.

“The U.S. Ski Team partnership and these creative financing measures were the tangible way that we felt we could make a positive impact to reenergize Burke Mountain after some challenging years,” he explained. “We’d like to thank the many supporters of this vision including the State of Vermont, the Northern Borders Regional Commission, the U.S. Ski Team, Friends of Burke Mountain, and, of course, Michael Goldberg and Burke Mountain Resort. Local support for this project from individuals and businesses has also been great. It’s amazing to see what this community can do when faced with a challenge.”

Release courtesy of Burke Mountain Academy

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