New speed center will help racers prep for early season World Cup contests
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — This coming November, Bode Miller, Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso and Ted Ligety — along with the rest of the U.S. Ski Team — will be able train for speed events at Copper Mountain thanks to a new partnership between the resort and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.
“The U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper will be a game changer for U.S. athletes,” said USSA president and CEO Bill Marolt. “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.”
The new venue could give American racers a leg up for early season events, according to Luke Bodensteiner, USSA vice president of athletics.
“Copper Mountain is a cornerstone in the long-term plan for preparing our elite teams for the World Cup season and in providing top-level training for our development pipeline,” Bodensteiner. said. “The U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper will give us an advantage in providing the early-season training volume that we’ve struggled to achieve prior to the opening of the World Cup season.”
The annual project will be managed by the U.S. Ski Team in conjunction with Copper, from Nov. 1 – Dec. 10 each winter. The infrastructure development involves a new automated snowmaking system and all the safety, communications and timing equipment necessary to create the only full-length downhill training available worldwide during this time of year.
The speed center will be located on terrain around the Super Bee chair, including Rosi’s Run, Andy’s Encore and Oh No. The steep, north facing slopes, high base elevation and favorable early season temperatures will provide a much needed continuation from summer training in Chile and New Zealand.
“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,” said Gary Rodgers, president of Copper Mountain Resort. “This long-term relationship will further enhance Copper’s role in early season race training.”
The U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper adds to the existing commitment from Copper Mountain, and its parent company Powdr Corp., to build innovative training and competition venues. In 2009, the resort opened Woodward at Copper, a snowboard and ski training facility dedicated to park and pipe progression. Woodward at Copper has already been utilized by U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing athletes as they build towards the debut of slopestyle and skiing halfpipe at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Copper has also been a long standing host of the U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix and will be a halfpipe host for the series through the 2014 Olympic year.
Filed under: Colorado, Copper Mountain, Ski Resorts, skiing and riding, Summit County Colorado, Summit County news Tagged: | Colorado skiing, Copper Mountain, ski team training, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Ski Team speed center, US ski team Copper Mountain