The Olympic Village was again selected to host the freestyle World Cup events by the International Ski Federation (FIS) at its annual meetings this week in Portoroz and Ljubjana, Slovenia. Lake Placid was one of five U.S. sites to be selected for the 2011-12 World Cup season.
The World Cup freestyle event will take place Jan. 19-21 at the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex and Whiteface Mountain. The Lake Placid schedule will feature a pair of night aerials events under the lights, in addition to moguls during the day.
Caldwell, who is originally from Virginia but has since adopted Lake Placid as her new hometown, put on quite a show as a 17-year-old in last year’s aerials competition. The 2010 Vancouver Olympian stood atop her first World Cup podium when she took first place.
Kearney, a Norwich, Vt. native, swept both of last year’s moguls events, continuing a successful run that included a gold medal in the 2010 Olympics.
Other U.S. sites to earn World Cup events this week were Aspen, Beaver Creek and Telluride, Colo., along with Deer Valley Resort in Utah.
“Our World Cup events are the ultimate showcase for our athletes,” said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) Executive Vice President, Athletics Luke Bodensteiner. “They’re an opportunity for our athletes to compete on the home field and at our nation’s best venues, in front of American fans and viewers.”
The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup will return to Aspen Nov. 26-27 for a women’s giant slalom and slalom showcasing U.S. stars Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso. The following weekend action continues on the Birds of Prey in Beaver Creek with a Dec. 2-4 men’s downhill, super-G and giant slalom that will highlight Olympic medalists Bode Miller and Andrew Weibrecht of Lake Placid, along with World and Olympic champion Ted Ligety.
Vail/Beaver Creek will be the site of the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.
Olympic stars Seth Wescott and Lindsey Jacobellis will headline the field when the FIS LG Snowboard World Cup returns to Telluride for the third straight year. The Dec. 14-17 event will feature a parallel GS event plus the season opener for snowboardcross. The World Cup will also feature the new World Championship competition of team snowboardcross for the second time.
Each of the U.S. stops will be broadcast nationally and worldwide.
“Our media partners are a critical element to bringing the excitement of our sports to our fans,” said the USSA’s Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer Andrew Judelson. “It’s an important opportunity for our event, resort and corporate partners to increase awareness of their brands worldwide.”
The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup will open Oct. 22-23 with the traditional glacier races in Soelden, Austria and close with World Cup Finals in Schladming, Austria, site of the 2013 World Championships.
Freestyle will open with moguls in Ruka, Finland Dec. 10. Aerials will open Jan. 14 in Mont Gabriel, PQ. Skicross begins Dec. 17 in San Candido, Italy. The final freestyle schedule will be finalized later to accommodate the inclusion of halfpipe skiing, one of the newest Olympic disciplines.
Snowboarding will hold a halfpipe World Cup in Cardrona, New Zealand in August, with Telluride kicking off the snowboardcross season in December.
Women’s ski jumping, recently added to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, will make its debut at the World Cup level. The women will open Dec. 12 in Lillehammer, Norway with a joint event with the men’s tour and end with them at Holmenkollen in March.
Nordic combined opens Nov. 25-26 in Kuusamo, Finland and is back to a traditionally full schedule after a significant decrease in the number of World Cups last year during the World Championship season.
Cross country opens Nov. 19-20 in Beitostolen, Norway, with Kikkan Randall of Anchorage seeking to move up from her third place season long finish in sprint last year. The opening sprint is a week later in Kuusamo. Finland.
Lou Reuter/News File Photo
Ashley Caldwell celebrates with teammates after winning the World Cup aerials event in January in Lake Placid. She will get a chance to repeat that performance next year on her home hill at the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex.