Apparently, Copper Mountain isn't content to merely be a focal point of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association's freestyle Grand Prix series -- not to mention the first stop for any U.S. athlete with Olympic dreams in ski or snowboard slopestyle or superpipe. Yesterday, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association announced that it's also bringing its new U.S. Ski Team Speed Center training facility to Copper.
That means Copper Mountain will now be the early-season home of the U.S. Ski Team from November 1 through December 10 each year. In addition, Copper will be cranking up its snowmaking operations even earlier than usual this year to create a full-length downhill training course on the north-facing slopes under the Super Bee lift.
The Speed Center will be used by the U.S. Ski Team and Audi FIS Alpine World Cup competitors, and will also provide an early-season training facility for USSA clubs and local race programs.
In a press release yesterday, USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt wrote:
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"The U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper will be a game-changer for U.S. athletes. It will provide unparalleled training for our elite athletes prior to the World Cup season and play an integral role in our strategic development plan for the next generation."
And here's Copper Mountain Resort president Gary Rodgers:
"This is a very exciting project for Copper. The natural attributes of the Super Bee area, combined with an internal Copper team that has experience with race training and a proven track record on snowmaking, were very appealing to the U.S. Ski Team. This long-term relationship will further enhance Copper's role in early season race training."