(l-r) Alice McKennis, Leanne Smith and Laurenne Ross enjoy opening day powder runs on the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain (Alice McKennis)
COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO (Nov. 1) – The U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain officially opened Friday with the most snow coverage since opening the elite training facility in 2011. The exclusive alpine center features the only full-length downhill training available anywhere in the world at this time of year, providing U.S. skiers with an Audi FIS Alpine World Cup level training slope as they prepare for the 2014 Olympic season. Over a foot of overnight snow prevented gate training, but the Best in the World women’s speed team featuring Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA), Leanne Smith (N. Conway, NH), Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) and Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, CO) had no problem taking powder laps. The 2014 U.S. Alpine Ski Team will be announced Friday, Nov. 8 during Nature Valley First Tracks, a free public celebration in Center Village.
The U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain officially opened Friday – the same day as mountain’s public opening - with the best coverage since opening the elite facility in 2011.
The Best in the World women’s speed team kicked off the inaugural day with powder skiing as overnight snow blanketed the slope with over a foot of fresh powder.
World Cup podium finishers Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA), Leanne Smith (N. Conway, NH), Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) were among the athletes lapping the powder.
U.S. coaches anticipate training super G on Saturday to kick off the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup and Olympic prep camp at Copper Mountain.
Not only is facility home to the U.S. Ski Team, but U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) club programs have the ability to utilize the venue until it reopens for public skiing in mid Dec.
The venue features 87 HKD automatic snowmakers, two miles of World Cup Supply A-net with steel structures, five miles of World Cup Supply B-net and fencing set on 4,500 Reliable Racing netting poles.
The 2014 U.S. Alpine Ski Team will be announced Friday, Nov. 8 during Nature Valley First Tracks, a free public celebration in Center Village feature a concert by the Swon Brothers.
QUOTES Chip White, women’s speed Head Coach This is the best coverage we’ve had at this time of year at Copper for as far back as I can remember. We weren’t able to train today, but the plan is to get the fresh snow packed down to a hard training surface in order to run super G on Saturday.
Copper always does an incredible job in prepping this hill so early in the season for us and sometimes it’s nice to get a little help from Mother Nature. We could have run a World Cup super G on this slope last Wednesday.
Alice McKennis You couldn’t ask for better preparation for the World Cup and Olympic season. It’s pretty unique for us to be able to have such a long run to train on so early in the year. Normally, we’re pretty limited to how much we can send it. But this is full two minute downhill.