VERNON, New Jersey ??вЂќ Mountain Creek is thrilled to announce the return of the Chevrolet U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix. The excitement will be even greater this year as the event will also include the final halfpipe qualifier and naming of the U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team.
The three-stop Grand Prix series, now celebrating its 10th year as the premier snowboard series in North America, will open in Breckenridge, Colorado, December 13-17, then blast into Mt. Bachelor, Oregon, January 5-8, before concluding at Mountain Creek. The excitement will build throughout the series as results from the first three halfpipe contests will determine the elite field of riders at Mountain Creek, where the 2006 U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team (including alpine and snowboardcross riders) will be announced.
Once again, the 2006 Grand Prix season features one of the largest overall purses for a snowboarding series, prizes total more than $340,000 and include two new Chevrolet Colorado trucks awarded to the male and female overall Grand Prix winners, along with the best broadcast package for the sport on NBC, America’s Olympic network, and OLN, the leader in action sports and outdoor adventure programming. NBC will air a one-hour special of the Mountain Creek Grand Prix and Olympic announcement the following day, on Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 3:00 p.m. ET. OLN will broadcast more Mountain Creek during it’s ???Ten Weeks to Torino’ programming, Sunday, Jan. 22, at 5 p.m. ET. Pat Malendoski of Planet Snow Designs, who was responsible for shaping the 2002 Olympic halfpipe, will be building the pipes at all three Grand Prix venues.
The U.S. Olympic Snowboard Halfpipe Team will qualify exclusively through the three Grand Prix events, with scoring based on the best two out of five contests. Fields for Breckenridge and Mt. Bachelor will be made up of about 100 men and 50 women. The elite field at Mountain Creek will include approximately 20 men and 10 women best qualified to make the Olympic Team. Athletes expected to compete at Mountain Creek include 2002 Olympic medalists: local Danny Kass (silver-Vernon, NJ), Ross Powers (gold-South Londonderry, VT), Kelly Clark (gold-Mount Snow, VT), plus Tommy Czeschin (Mammoth Lakes, CA),Keir Dillon (Carlsbad, PA), Shaun White (Carlsbad, CA), Hannah and Abe Teter (Belmont, VT), Tricia Byrnes (Stratton, VT), Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton, VT), Steve Fisher (Breckenridge, CO), Elena Hight (Zephyr Cove, NV),Gretchen Bleiler (Aspen, CO), and Luke Mitrani (Stratton, VT) among others.
“The Grand Prix series has been the cornerstone of U.S. Snowboarding competition for 10 consecutive years,” said Eric Webster, director of the Grand Prix series. “We are fortunate to have three great host resorts that support U.S. Snowboarding’s goal of fielding the best possible team at the Olympics. The excitement at Mountain Creek will be centered around qualification for the Olympic halfpipe team. Deciding who goes to Torino will definitely come down to the last event.”
“Mountain Creek is thrilled to host our third Chevrolet U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix, and this year the excitement is greater than ever,” said Shannon McSweeney, Mountain Creek Communications Manager. “Not only will the overall Grand Prix champions be determined right here in Jersey, but also the U.S. Olympic Halfpipe Team as well. We’re honored to host the live naming ceremony for the U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team and to have the opportunity to provide this once in a lifetime experience for our guests to see an Olympic preview right in their own backyard!”