Elite snowboarders stoked for Dew Tour and 2021-22 winter season
Summit County ski areas have begun to open for the season, signaling the return of elite-level ski and snowboard competitions to Summit County.
This year, two of those competitions, which happen to be Olympic qualifiers, will take place at Copper Mountain Resort.
Copper will host halfpipe skiers and snowboarders at the Toyota Grand Prix from Dec. 9-11 and will serve as host the very next weekend for the 2021 Winter Dew Tour from Dec. 16-19. Dew Tour will feature halfpipe and slopestyle competitions, snowboard adaptive competitions and a nighttime street-style jam session. Both events are free and open to the public.
Two athletes who are scheduled to compete in Dew Tour — alongside Shaun White, Julia Marino, Alex Hall and Maggie Voisin — are Danny Davis and Summit County local Red Gerard.
Gerard and Davis have spent the past few weeks in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, putting in training for the 2021-22 competition season, which offers not only the promise of two Olympic qualifiers in Colorado but also the 2022 Winter Olympics from Feb. 4-22, 2022, in Beijing.
“I spent about a month in Europe training,” Gerard said. “Training went well. We had really good, safe builds with good snow, which isn’t always the case as a lot of times you can go there and it’s really icy. Everyone there was eager to get training after a long summer.”
While in Switzerland, the two snowboarders found themselves in the grind of preparing for the upcoming competition season. Davis and Gerard said they would routinely wake up, eat a meal and then train until about midday out on the snow. The rest of the day was then spent recovering by stretching, getting worked on by physical therapists and going to the sauna in order to ensure they could wake up and do the same thing tomorrow.
“Body maintenance is a big part of the sport that many people may not realize,” Davis said. “We are constantly trying to get the body right after travel, training or a string of competitions.”
Both Gerard and Davis are regulars to the Dew Tour, competing in the competition for the past several years. Davis, who is originally from Highland, Michigan, won the first Dew Tour superpipe competition in 2008 at Breckenridge.
Davis said he plans on competing in superpipe at this year’s Dew Tour, while Gerard is planning on competing in slopestyle and perhaps streetstyle, which he said he was recently invited to.
This winter’s Dew Tour also brings the return of spectators after a year when they were absent due to COVID-19.
“Nothing really changed for us last year during the pandemic in terms of being able to still get outside and do what we love to do,” Davis said. “But that crowd aspect of the competitions was missing, and doing contests without people is a bit lame. It will be nice to have everyone back, to see the stoke, and it makes us feel like true athletes when people are there to high-five us at the end of a run.”
“The Dew Tour especially always does an amazing job for the spectators,” Gerard added. “Even when we are not competing, there is always something for the fans to be doing in the Dew Village.”
Gerard and Davis expressed how much they enjoy the proximity of the village to the competition that Copper offers each year at Dew Tour.
“We don’t have to drive very much, which not every competition allows for,” Davis said. “We can wake up, walk to breakfast, walk to dinner, walk to the lift. It is a nice little village making it a nice competition for us.”
Dew Tour aside, both snowboarders plan to compete at several competitions this season. Davis said he plans to attend a few competitions and then focus on making some snowboarding films. Gerard plans to compete four to five times this season and hopefully be named to the 2022 U.S. Olympic team by scoring enough points at Olympic qualifying events.
“To be able to compete at Copper Mountain in an Olympic qualifier in front of my friends and family makes me both comfortable as well as nervous,” Gerard said about the hometown venue. “Overall, I’m really excited, because I know the team at Copper is going to build a really good slopestyle park for us to compete and have fun on.”
Even though Gerard is vying for his second Olympic team, his goals and aspirations for the season are similar to those of Davis, who is not making the Olympics a focus.
“I want to have some fun this season,” Gerard said. “Some good contest results would be cool, landing new runs and tricks and hopefully getting in some spring film shoots, which we slacked on last year. And it would be awesome to make it to the Olympics, too.”
Gerard and Davis will kick off Dew Tour competition Dec. 16 as they take part in men’s slopestlye and superpipe. More information about the event can be found at DewTour.com/snow.
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