The nation’s best alpine ski racers will descend upon New Hampshire’s Waterville Valley Resort in 2019 and 2021 for U.S. Alpine Championship - the biggest race the resort has hosted since the White Circus visited in 1991 when Julie Parisien won the World Cup giant slalom.
Waterville Valley Resort will play host to the slalom, giant slalom, and parallel slalom events March 23-26, 2019. The parallel slalom event will be a new addition to the U.S. Alpine Championships calendar.
“The introduction of the parallel event into the U.S. Alpine Championships tech week is an effort the alpine department has been advocating for and is excited about,” noted U.S. Ski & Snowboard Alpine Director, Jesse Hunt. “It’s a format that spectators understand and enjoy. With the introduction of more parallel events in the World Cup, as well as the team event in the Olympic Games’ calendar, it’s
important we begin to place more focus on the event. The inclusion of parallel into U.S. Alpine Championships is proof of our commitment to developing our young talent to reach the podium for this discipline at all levels in the future.”
At this point, the plan is to run the current FIS format for the parallel event:
Qualification: one-run, single-pole “traditional-style” SL (120-200m VD), for each
Heats: two-run, dual paneled SL for 32 athletes (80-100m VD; 5 heats), per gender
FIS is currently considering modifications to their format, which will be determined at the fall FIS meetings. Based on these conversations, format and qualification details will be modified accordingly for U.S. Alpine Championships.
“We are looking forward to bringing elite ski racing back to Waterville Valley Resort,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Chief of Systems and Operations Calum Clark. “The membership and fan base in the east is vast and extremely engaged with the sport, and our athletes love competing in front of them. Julie Parisien had a commanding and inspiring World Cup victory there in 1991, and U.S. Ski &Snowboard is excited to bring some of the best ski racers in the world, like two-time Olympic gold medalists Mikaela Shiffrin and Ted Ligety and Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn, back to the resort in hopes that they too will inspire the next generation.”
Waterville Valley Resort shares the enthusiasm for hosting the event. “This will be the biggest race that Waterville Valley Resort has hosted since our last World Cup in 1991. The whole team is excited to be bringing elite racing back to Waterville Valley,” says Waterville Valley Resort’s President and General Manager, Tim Smith. “I know our guests and pass holders won’t want to miss the opportunity to see these athletes in action.”
The downhill, super-G and alpine combined events will take place prior to the Waterville Valley events, and the venue will be announced shortly. Much like the 2015-2018 Sugarloaf, Maine/Sun Valley, Idaho venue arrangement, U.S. Ski & Snowboard looks to continue the successful long-term calendar plan to move the annual celebration of American ski racing to top resorts around the United States.
That said, U.S. Ski & Snowboard will be looking to the west for 2020 and 2022 and the announcement will be forthcoming.