U.S. Open at Copper Mountain: Pipe competition begins today | SummitDaily.com

U.S. Open at Copper Mountain: Pipe competition begins today

BRYCE EVANS
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado

For the third straight year, the U.S. Freeskiing Open Championships will be held at Copper Mountain. Beginning today with qualifying rounds, top-notch professional and amateur skiers will compete for a $20,000 purse in men’s and women’s superpipe.

Aspen local and former X Games medalist Peter Olenick headlines a field that includes 2008 Orage European Open superpipe winner Mike RIddle and Vail’s Claudia Bouvier, who finished third in last year’s U.S. Open.

As an open competition, anyone over the age of 13 can attempt to qualify for today’s skiing.

“The U.S. Open gives aspiring kids the chance to become professional skiers,” former U.S. Open Big Air Champion T.J. Schiller told the Copper Mountain media staff. “The event was built and designed so young amateurs could come test their skills against the best. Without the U.S. Open I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I do today.”

The event will consist of men’s and women’s qualifier heats today, with the women’s semifinals and men’s finals held on Saturday.

All pipe competition is held on Copper’s Main Vein Superpipe.

This year’s U.S. Open marks the 12th time the event has been held, making it the longest-running open freeskiing competition in the world.

In addition to the men’s and women’s events, there will also be a Junior Superpipe Jam held on Sunday for skiers ages 6-12.

Last years competition consisted of slopestyle and big air in addition to superpipe. Breck local Colby West won the 2008 big air contest.

This years addition is presented by Copper’s Camp Woodward, which officially opens its new facility this weekend. Copper is hosting a Woodward at Copper Launch Party Saturday.

Today’s qualifying rounds run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday’s finals begin at 1 p.m. with the women skiers and close out with the men at 2 p.m.

Bryce Evans can be reached at (970) 668-4634 or at bevans@summitdaily.com.


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