The U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix event at Copper Mountain has traditionally been the opening salvo of the pro snowboarding season in North America. This year, with Olympic rings in its sights, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association is letting skiers into the Grand Prix pipe, too.
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"Right now we're operating on the assumption that Ski Halfpipe will be an Olympic sport by the Sochi Games in 2014," says USSA spokesman Tom Kelly. "We've been working with the International Ski Federation and the International Olympic Committee to make this happen, and after the FIS Congress in Turkey in June, we have reason for optimism. I think it's a real credit to the IOC that they're looking at where the action is in these sports and pushing to keep the Olympics progressive."
The Visa U.S. Halfpipe Grand Prix starts this morning and will serve as a qualifying event for the FIS World Championships in the pipe at Park City, Utah, in February. The Grand Prix ski halfpipe qualifiers run today from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Copper's 22-foot Main Vein Superpipe at the base of the American Eagle lift, and are free to spectators. Snowboard qualifiers are on Thursday morning, ski finals are on Friday at noon, and snowboard finals are on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. NBC will air coverage from the events on Sunday, December 12, at noon. For more information, visit www.ussnowboarding.com and www.coppercolorado.com.
Dec. 8-11, 2010