Freestyle returns to famous moguls of Gunbarrel
South Lake Tahoe, Calif./Nev. – April 26, 2012 – Heavenly Mountain Resort will host the U.S. Freestyle Championships in 2012-13 and 2013-14. The two-year deal brings the women’s and men’s moguls, aerials and dual moguls back to South Lake Tahoe for the second time. Heavenly also hosted the U.S. Freestyle Championships in 2004, as well as FIS World Cup Freestyle events in 1999 and 2000.
Beginning March 29-31, 2013, the nation’s top moguls and aerials athletes will compete for the U.S. Freestyle National title at Heavenly’s freestyle arena located at the California Lodge base area, with the moguls competition commencing on Heavenly’s famous Gunbarrel run. The women’s and men’s aerials competition will be held at the base of World Cup run in California, adjacent to Gunbarrel. Heavenly is one of only a handful of resorts to recently host the championships two years in a row, joining Stratton Mountain Resort (2011, 2012), Squaw Valley (2009, 2010) and Killington (2006, 2007).
“Building on our heritage of freestyle skiing and competition that dates back to its roots in the 1970’s, we’re excited and honored to host the 2012-13 and 2013-14 U.S. Freestyle Championships at Heavenly on Gunbarrel,” said Pete Sonntag, Heavenly’s general manager. “Gunbarrel is the most iconic moguls run in North America and has spawned such great skiers as Glen Plake and current U.S. Freestyle Ski Team athlete Sho Kashima. It’s the ultimate challenge for America’s top freestyle skiers.”
Because the U.S. Championships event falls after the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, spectators will also have the opportunity to watch U.S. Olympic athletes compete after they return from the Games.
“Heavenly will provide a great combination of spectator-friendly venues, plus a rich heritage of freestyle skiing,” said USSA Vice President, Events Calum Clark. “The U.S. Freestyle Championships will showcase our most accomplished freestyle skiers both as they prepare for and return from the Olympics in Sochi.”
"Heavenly has a tradition of hosting the biggest Freestyle events in the land, dating back to the 1970s Hot Dogging contests,” said Glen Plake. “The 2013 Freestyle Nationals belong at Heavenly, and for the competitors, what a pleasure to be competing on such hallowed ground!"
The moguls of Gunbarrel have been home and training ground for several amateur and pro mogul skiers, including Chris Hernandez, Brooke Ballachey, Travis Woodcock, Christy Tibbetts and Travis Cabral, as well as current U.S. Ski Team Member Sho Kashima, and rising stars Ryan Hickey and Anna Park.
“I'm very excited that the next two U.S. Championships will be held on my home mountain,” said Sho Kashima, current U.S. Freestyle Team athlete. “This event brings the best moguls and aerials skiers in the nation to the best freestyle skiing venue in the world. It will be a great event for the community of South Lake Tahoe, especially with the 2013-14 Championships being held at Heavenly leading up to and immediately following the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.”
“We have hosted many major freestyle events over the years at Heavenly, including World Cups, Nationals, Junior Nationals, pro freestyle events and countless regional freestyle competitions. The first major freestyle contests in the 70s were at Heavenly,” said Jere Crawford, Heavenly Ski & Snowboard Foundation freestyle head coach and the 2012 USSA Freestyle Coach of the Year. "Rick Buxton and his staff at Heavenly always do a first-class job.
“Gunbarrel run is possibly the finest mogul venue on the planet. You can drive right up to it and see it from all over town. When we build an aerial site right next to it, you have the greatest show on snow. Throw in all the lodging, dining, night life, scenery and ease of access, it’s no wonder this is the competitors' favorite place to compete. Who wouldn't want to go to Tahoe in late March?”
Event admission will be free and spectator seating will be available on a limited basis.