Copper Mountain, Winter Olympic hopefuls prepare for U.S. Grand Prix |

Copper Mountain, Winter Olympic hopefuls prepare for U.S. Grand Prix

Snowboarders hit features in the Central Park terrain park at Copper Mountain. This week the worlds best skiers and riders are in Copper Mountain for the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix, a U.S. Olympic team qualifying event.
Copper Mountain Resort | Summit Daily News

The world’s best freeskiers and snowboarders from 35 nations are set to battle it out this week at Copper Mountain during the 2014 Sprint U.S. Grand Prix, the last Olympic qualifying event taking place in Colorado.

Freeskiing and snowboarding athletes compete in both half-pipe and slopestyle events in this Olympic qualification event. Points earned at Copper Mountain qualify athletes for the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) selection process and determine eligibility to compete at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Winter Olympic debuting events featured at Copper Mountain include slopestyle skiing, half-pipe skiing and slopestyle snowboarding disciplines.

NBC Sports Group will feature coverage of the freeskiing slopestyle and snowboard half-pipe events beginning at noon Sunday, Dec. 22 on NBC. Continued coverage, including snowboarding slopestyle, will air Friday, Dec. 27 on NBCSN.

Top U.S. Freeskiing and U.S. Snowboarding athletes, including two-time Olympic snowboard gold medalist Shaun White and Olympic snowboard half-pipe gold medalist Kelly Clark, as well as Louie Vito, Danny Davis, Bobby Brown, Keri Herman and Tom Wallisch, are all expected to compete on the Main Vein Olympic-sized Superpipe and the World Cup Slopestyle course in Woodward at Copper’s Central Park terrain park.

The competition kicks off at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18 with freeski slopestyle and snowboard half-pipe qualifiers and continues through the weekend with finals on Friday, Dec. 19 through Sunday, Dec. 22.

Spectators can catch the action in the Main Vein Superpipe, which is walking distance from Burning Stones Plaza in Center Village, or access the competition on skis or snowboard via the Main Vein trail. The best slopestyle vantage point is the Central Park spectator viewing area, located skiers right of the slopestyle course, which accessible for skiing or riding guests only via Loverly trail off of the Union Peak Quad chairlift. Food and beverage service will be available from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday during slopestyle finals.

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