Kelly Clark at the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain. (Jen Desmond-USSA)
COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO (Jan. 2) – The Sprint U.S. Grand Prix will open its 17th season with halfpipe snowboarding and newly added Olympic sport slopestyle snowboarding at Copper Mountain Jan. 9-12. Olympic gold medalist Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT) will join Olympians Elena Hight (South Lake Tahoe, CA) and Louie Vito (Sandy, UT) with World Snowboard Tour Champion Chas Guldemond (Reno, NV) and X Games medalist Eric Willett (Breckenridge, CO) for the longest running domestic tour. New for 2013 the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix is a FIS World Cup and 5Star World Snowboard Tour event, which allows for American athletes to garner 2014 Olympic Winter Games qualifying points on home soil. The weekend will be televised on both NBC and the NBC Sports Network, plus live coverage of halfpipe finals on the USSA Network.
The Sprint U.S. Grand Prix heads to Copper Mountain Jan. 9-12. Now in its 17th season it is the longest running domestic tour and fifth season at Copper Mountain.
The event will feature halfpipe and newly added Olympic slopestyle snowboarding.
For the first time ever athletes will earn 5Star World Snowboard Tour points at an FIS World Cup event.
Featured athletes are Olympians Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT), Elena Hight (South Lake Tahoe, CA), Louie Vito (Sandy, UT) and X Games medalist and local favorite slopestyle athlete Eric Willett (Breckenridge, CO).
Free live entertainment on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Jack’s Slopeside Grill from the up and coming duo Wild Belle.
Additionally the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix will be an FIS World Cup that allows for athletes to gain valuable FIS points necessary for Olympic qualifying.
The Olympic qualifying period lasts from July 2012 to January 2014.
The slopestyle finals will feature a Paul Mitchell Progression Session showcasing top slopestyle athletes.
BROADCAST SCHEDULE (times ET) Sat. Jan. 12 11:20 a.m.- 12:40 p.m. – Sprint U.S. Grand Prix live stream, halfpipe, USSA Network Sun. Jan. 13 4:00-5:00 p.m. – Sprint U.S. Grand Prix, halfpipe, NBC Sun. Jan. 13 2:30-3:30 p.m. – Sprint U.S. Grand Prix, halfpipe, NBC Sports Network Sat. Jan. 19 1:00-2:00 p.m. – Paul Mitchell Progression Session, slopestyle snowboarding, NBC Sports Network
QUOTES Kelly Clark The Sprint U.S. Grand Prix is so important as we head to the next Olympic games. It’s always an event that I look forward to as the excitement grows during the qualifying period. I spent some time training at Copper last month and their halfpipe was perfect so it’ll be nice to be there and compete.
Eric Willett I love being able to compete in my home county, it’s great to sleep in my own bed and compete. The Grand Prix is so important and it’s cool that slopestyle will be at Copper this season. I’m looking forward to ride what they put together for a course and get my Olympic qualifying points started.