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January 16, 2019 - Inside the mind of a world championship athlete
by: Melissa Fields

inside the mind of a world championship athlete

Jonathon Lillis and Ashley Caldwell proudly swept gold in aerials at Freestyle World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain. (Sierra Nevada - Pepe Marin)

Jonathon Lillis and Ashley Caldwell proudly swept gold in aerials at Freestyle World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain. (Sierra Nevada - Pepe Marin)

With only two weeks to go until the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships, presented by Toyota kicks off in Utah, many of the athletes expected to compete are well on their way to ensuring they are in the best possible physical condition to pull off a podium-worthy performance. But while the principles of physical preparation - getting enough sleep, eating well, avoiding overtraining, etc. - are fairly similar, the way each athlete readies themselves psychologically for this huge event - considered second only to Olympic competition - are very different.

For freestyle aerialist Ashley Caldwell (Park City, Utah), the 2019 World Championships holds significance in a number of ways. First, having lived and trained in Park City for the past seven years, she’s looking forward to competing in her own backyard. Second, this season Caldwell is recovering from shoulder surgery after she injured it the day before competing in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games. And finally, she not only won the aerials competition at the 2017 World Championships but did so by landing a full-double-full-full, the most difficult jump successfully completed by a female aerialist ever.

“My signature style is to perform the hardest tricks and that’s my plan for the 2019 World Championships, but this injury has put me on the little different trajectory."
 - Ashley Caldwell

Caldwell will have competed in just one other event this season prior to stepping into the White Owl jumps start gate during the World Championships next month. And so to alleviate some of the obvious pressure this event will present, Caldwell is looking forward to staying as busy as possible in the days leading up to the competition while stretching just a little more or going to bed just a little earlier. She hasn’t decided whether or not she’ll go for a repeat performance of a full-double-full-full - Caldwell considers several factors when deciding what jumps to perform and often doesn’t make a final decision until the day of competition. “But then again, Deer Valley is the most hyped-up event of our season where you get to feel like a rock star,” she says. “And the weather could be terrible, my shoulder might be feeling not great and yet because the crowds are so great and the volunteers are so great, I could be pushed to want to do something really awesome.”

Mogul skier Bradley Wilson’s (Park City, Utah) sentiments for Deer Valley are similar to Caldwell’s. “Deer Valley has been a World Cup moguls venue for so long, and I grew up watching and competing in plenty of events there, including seeing Jonny Moseley pull off the Dinner Roll and Shannon Bahrke win two medals there during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games,” he says. “Because of that, the Champion moguls run is really considered a hallowed ground for moguls skiers. I don’t know any athlete that doesn’t look forward to competing there.”

But sacred or not, because of its length, pitch and size of the jumps, Champion is also considered one of the most challenging moguls courses in the world. Wilson admits that it’s taken him a while to figure out how to keep the pressure presented by any one event - World Championships and others - from holding him back. His strategy: focusing on performance rather than results. “In judged sports like moguls, getting too results oriented can take away a lot of the fun of competing,” he says. “And so I have learned to just show up and do what I know how to do.” And when his day to compete in the World Championships arrives, Wilson figures he has two choices.

“I can let it take my breath away or I can just smile and enjoy it. I’m going to choose to take the second option.”
 - Bradley Wilson

Snowboardcross athlete Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, Vt.) maintains her perspective by considering every competition - X Games, World Cup, the Olympics and World Championships - in the same way. “Yes, World Champs has a bigger crowd, marketing and TV time,” Jacobellis admits. “But the field will include all the same athletes I have been racing with for years. I just focus on what I have to do and remember how long I have been doing this and have been successful.”

The 2019 World Championships’ mixed gender snowboardcross team event will present a new and different aspect of competition for Jacobellis, but one that she’s fully embracing and looking forward to.

“I am so excited to mix things up. The men and women always train and race on the same course and the ladies are fully capable of being in the mix with the men. We are still figuring out what the race format will be, but it will be a really fun and exciting race, especially as a spectator - the ultimate relay race!”
 - Lindsey Jacobellis

As of press time, halfpipe skier Brita Sigourney was actually still working on getting back into competition headspace. She had just returned from a two-week break - spent powder skiing in Japan with her parents and boyfriend - and was at Copper Mountain for her first day back in the halfpipe. “Because every competition was an Olympic qualifier, last year was really stressful and so I decided to take a break this year, which I’ve never done before,” Sigourney says. Sigourney’s plan leading up to the World Championships include “skiing like I know how” at the X Games (January 24 – 27), and taking care of herself. “I’m not as young as many of the athletes and need to take more time managing some aches and pains,” and having fun. “Park City is where I live and I’m really excited to get to compete in front of my friends, my family and my boyfriend’s family.”

January 10, 2019 - Course Building: 2019 World Champs
BY: Melissa Fields

Time, technique and a whole lot of snow

Course workers prepare the aerial ski jumps for a World Cup Freestyle event at Deer Valley Resort. (US Ski & Snowboard - Tom Kelly)

Course workers prepare the aerial ski jumps for a World Cup Freestyle event at Deer Valley Resort. (US Ski & Snowboard - Tom Kelly)

Park City, Utah—From February 1-10, approximately 1,400 athletes from 40 countries will converge on Utah to compete in the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships, presented by Toyota—the biggest winter sports event to be held in Utah since the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Contests held as part of this elite event will include snowboardcross and skicross; freeski and snowboard big air, slopestyle and halfpipe; snowboard parallel slalom and parallel giant slalom; and freestyle moguls, dual moguls and aerials.

But long before the first competitor arrives on deck, enters a start gate or drops in, multiple teams of course designers, builders and preppers will have put in countless hours planning, sculpting and refining the competition venues at Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain and Solitude Mountain Resort. Snow, hundreds of cubic feet of it, is where building each of these courses begins. Thanks to consistently cold temperatures and lots of natural snow in Utah this season, the 2019 World Championships host resorts have been able to make and stockpile plenty. Beyond this shared construction element, however, building the fields of play for each of these events is a very different and very specific task.

Champion moguls course and White Owl aerials jumps, Deer Valley Resort
“The crew of course builders at Deer Valley are so dialed in. Almost all of them, including both staff and volunteers, have built moguls courses there since before the Olympics,” says Nat Schirman, Champion Moguls Chief of Course and former NorAm freestyle skier.

Schirman and co-Chief of Course Tony Gilpin begin by stringing ropes and flags along the Champion Run designating where a snowcat driver should place the piles of snow that will eventually become moguls. Course builder volunteers then move through every inch of the course, removing ice chunks from the snow and further shaping the bumps. Schirman then invites local freestyle team athletes to ski the run, which continues to build the mogul field and allow he and Gilpin to see how the course is skiing. The final step is building in the two sets of jump tables, used by competitors as take-off for aerial maneuvers consisting of upright or inverted tricks. These are made by filling prefabricated forms with snow and water and the leaving them to freeze overnight.  

World Cup moguls courses generally range between 650 and 885 feet long with an average slope grade of 26 degrees. Deer Valley's Champion course is 827 feet long with an average slope grade of 28 degrees, making it one of the steepest, longest and most coveted moguls courses on the World Cup circuit. “It’s really one of the best moguls courses in the world,” Schirman says. “It’s steep at the top and allows the crowd to see athletes going for it from the top all the way to the finish.”   

Deer Valley is also particularly well-known for its White Owl aerial jumps, a sport pioneered by the resort’s late Director of Skiing, Olympic Gold Medalist Stein Eriksen. Course builders will construct five jumps for the 2019 World Championships—one single (2.1 meters or 6 feet, 11 inches tall), two doubles (3.5 meters or 11 feet, 6 inches tall) and two triples (4.1 meters or 13 feet, 6 inches tall).

“Prior to building the actual jumps we spend about five days moving snow with a snowcat to get the profile of the course correct,” says Wayne Hilterbrand, the White Owl aerials course builder and jump builder for more than 20 national and international events since 2005. Other items on the pre-jump building checklist include grading the in-run, ensuring the transition curve—the stretch of the in-run from the ramp to the jump table—is a specific length, building the jump table and laying in the finish area.

Building the actual jumps starts with construction of a three-sided, steel and plywood jump form. Then a large industrial snowblower mounted to the front of a snowcat is used to fill the forms with snow. Volunteers pack snow into the forms by hand to eliminate air pockets; water is also added to help the snow harden. “The trick is to get enough water that they get hard, but not so much that they become total ice,” Hilterbrand says. After the forms are filled, the builders manipulate the snow further to achieve what’s called a rough shape. The jumps are then left to freeze overnight. The next day the forms are removed and official aerial jump shapers—typically coaches—carve the jumps into exact heights, lengths and angles for competition. Then the athletes get to fly. “We’ve estimated that, off the triple jumps, aerialists that get about 45 to 50 feet of air from the peak of the jump to the landing,” Hilterbrand says.

Doc’s Run big air, 3 Kings slopestyle course, Eagle Superpipe and Picabo’s run snowboard parallel slalom/GS, Park City Mountain
“Long before course construction begins,” says Park City Mountain Terrain Park Manager, “our team sits down and makes a plan for the course design.” Executing four separate competition venues—hosting the lion’s share of 2019 World Championships competition—involves multiple resort departments including snowmaking, grooming, competition services and fleet maintenance. Snowmaking and course prep begin soon after the resort opens for the season. And then as competition nears, Ingham and other course building staff use snowcats to shape the piles of snow into the basic feature profiles for slopestyle, big air and halfpipe.

To complete the final stage of the 600-feet-long, 70-feet wide, 18-degree pitch Olympic-caliber Superpipe, Park City Mountain relies on the expertise of Jake Ingle—U.S. Ski & Snowboard halfpipe builder and a part of the team responsible for the famed 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Superpipe. After resort crews have built the pipe decks and dig out the middle into the characteristic U shape, Ingle uses a snowcat fitted with an elliptical-arc-profile arm with an articulated augur (Ingle’s 'pipecutter of choice is the Zaugg Pipe Monster) to shave the Superpipe’s walls. “We try to use a drier snow to create a chalky riding surface,” Ingle says. And then, as is the case with all other freestyle event features, a team using hand tools puts the finishing touches on the Superpipe.

But Ingle’s job is really just beginning once the halfpipe is finished. “I start getting feedback from the athletes and coaches from the first practice session,” Ingle says. He also spends times watching training sessions to get firsthand clues about how the Superpipe is riding and seeks out veteran Grand Prix competitors who are typically able to provide more specific feedback. Once competition is underway, most of the work in the Superpipe shifts to slippers, hand shapers and the dye crew. Unless is snows. “Then I’m back in the snowcat on dawn patrol, digging the snow out before the day begins,” Ingle says.

The resort’s grooming department and well-seasoned race department are responsible for preparing the surface along the snowboard parallel slalom and parallel giant slalom run on Picabo’s Run in the Eagle Race Arena. “We take a similar approach to the snowboarding event venue as we would for a ski racing venue,” says Park City Mountain Competition Services Manager Karen Korfanta. “The ultimate goal is to get the two courses as even as possible, left to right. And snowboarders love going fast just as much as the ski racing population but the course surface should be firm, but not slippery or as dense as an alpine skiing event.” Ten to 15 slippers and four to six course workers will maintain the both the 470 to 500 meter parallel giant slalom course, as well as the 350 to 370 meter parallel slalom course.     

Main Street Run snowboardcross/skicross course, Solitude Mountain Resort

The 2019 World Championships snowboardcross/skicross course at Solitude Mountain Resort was designed and will be built by Nick Roma, founder of the Mountain Projects Company. “The terrain is different at every venue, so every snowboardcross and skicross course is different,” Roma says. “Because both the freeski and snowboard athletes will run the same line at Solitude, the challenge with this course is building features that are both safe for all riders that provide a high level of difficulty at the same time.”

To meet that challenge, Roma designed the Solitude’s state-of-the-art, 1,298-meter-long, 180-meter vertical snowboardcross/skicross course using a combined AutoCAD and Leka software platform—the first time this level of technology has been used to design a snowboardcross/skicross course in the United States. The course—which spans seven different multi-features consisting of 34 different rollers, multiple banked turns and two massive jumps—is located on the skier's right side of Solitude's Main Street run; the left side of the run will remain open throughout competition, allowing skiers front-row spectator access along its entire length. Beyond the time put in beforehand by Solitude's snowmaking staff, the course takes about two weeks and 500-plus hours to build, performed by multiple snowcat drivers that push and shape the snow mechanically and a team of on-the-ground course builders using specialized shovels and tools to refine every feature along the course by hand.

HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Preliminary broadcast schedule, subject to change
Streaming schedule TBA
*Same-day broadcast
**Next-day broadcast

Friday, Feb. 1
1:00 p.m. - Men and women's snowboardcross finals - NBCSN

Saturday, Feb. 2
3:00 p.m. - Men and women’s skicross finals - Olympic Channel
8:30 p.m. - Men and women’s skicross finals - NBCSN*

Sunday, Feb. 3
1:00 a.m. - Men and women’s freeski big air finals - NBCSN**
1:00 p.m. - Team snowboardcross - Olympic Channel
4:00 p.m.-  Team snowboardcross - NBCSN*

Monday, Feb. 4

3:00 p.m. - Parallel snowboard giant slalom - Olympic Channel
7:00 p.m. - Parallel snowboard giant slalom - NBCSN*

Tuesday, Feb. 5
3:00 p.m. - Parallel snowboard slalom - NBCSN
9:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard big air - NBCSN

Wednesday, Feb. 6
3:00 p.m. - Men and women’s freeski slopestyle finals - NBCSN
9:00 p.m. - Men and women’s aerials - Olympic Channel
11:30 p.m. - Men and women’s aerials - NBCSN*

Thursday, Feb. 7
9:00 p.m. - Team aerials - NBCSN

Friday, Feb. 8
1:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard  halfpipe - NBCSN
9:00 p.m. - Men and women’s moguls - NBCSN

Sunday, Feb. 10

2:00 a.m. - Men and women’s dual moguls - NBCSN**
1:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard slopestyle - Olympic Channel
3:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard slopestyle - NBC*

Monday, Feb. 11
10:30 p.m. - Women’s freeski halfpipe finals - NBCSN**

EVENT SCHEDULE
All times MST (local time)

Friday, Feb. 1
11:00 a.m. -Snowboardcross Final - Solitude Mountain Resort

Saturday, Feb. 2
1:00 p.m. - Skicross Final - Solitude Mountain Resort
7:00 p.m. - Freeski Big Air Final - Canyons Village - Park City Mountain

Sunday, Feb. 3
11:00 a.m. - Mixed Gender Team Snowboardcross Final - Solitude Mountain Resort

Monday, Feb. 4
11:00 a.m. - Snowboard Parallel Giant Slalom Final - Park City Village at Park City Mountain

Tuesday, Feb. 5
11:00 a.m. - Snowboard Parallel Slalom Final - Park City Village at Park City Mountain
7:00 p.m. - Snowboard Big Air Final - Canyons Village - Park City Mountain

Wednesday, Feb. 6
11:00 a.m. - Freeski Slopestyle Final - Park City Village at Park City Mountain
7:00 p.m. - Freestyle Aerials Final - Deer Valley Resort

Thursday, Feb. 7
7:00 p.m. - Freestyle Team Aerials Final - Deer Valley Resort

Friday, Feb. 8
11:00 a.m. - Snowboard Halfpipe Final - Park City Village at Park City Mountain
7:00 p.m. - Freestyle Moguls Final - Deer Valley Resort

Saturday, Feb. 9
11:00 a.m. - Freeski Halfpipe Final - Park City Village at Park City Mountain
7:00 p.m. - Freestyle Dual Moguls Final - Deer Valley Resort

Sunday, Feb. 10
11:00 a.m. - Snowboard Slopestyle Final - Park City Village at Park City Mountain

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Tom Webb
Director of Marketing and Communications, U.S. Ski & Snowboard
+1.435.602.9644
tom.webb@usskiandsnowboard.org

FOR ACCREDITED MEDIA INQUIRIES:
Tom Kelly
Chief of Press
+1.435.602.9799
2019WorldChampsMedia@usskiandsnowboard.org

January 2, 2019 - One Month Out: 2019 World Champs
BY: Andrew Gauthier

One Month Out: 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships

A crowd of over 5,000 packed the finish area at the freestyle World Cup aerials at the 2010 Visa Freestyle International at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard -Tom Kelly)

A crowd of over 5,000 packed the finish area at the freestyle World Cup aerials at the 2010 Visa Freestyle International at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard -Tom Kelly)

With only one month to go, athletes, officials and fans from around the world are into their final preparations for the kick-off of the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships, presented by Toyota taking place at Utah's Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain, both in Park City, and Solitude Mountain Resort, February 1-10, 2019.

Hosted by the International Ski Federation (FIS) and U.S. Ski & Snowboard and in partnership with the Utah Sports Commission, the event will attract approximately 1,400 athletes from 40 countries to Utah, the state of sport, for the biggest winter sports event to take place in the state since the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

The next three weeks are critical, as each nation will select their 2019 FIS World Championship Teams. FIS has established that a maximum of 36 athletes representing any one nation may compete in the 2019 World Championships in freestyle/freeski as well as in snowboarding. The maximum quota for a nation in any one event will be four per gender up to the max total per gender of 20 athletes and max total team size of 36 athletes. Athletes named to the team will start in the event from which they qualified.

The U.S. will select up to three athletes per discipline per gender based on objective criteria, which varies by sport. After the allocation of objective criteria between all World Championship disciplines, any remaining nation quota positions for U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes in each discipline will be filled by selection from the head coaches and sport director based on the discipline/gender with the highest medal potential.

U.S. athletes are coming into 2019 with strong results in early selection events. In freeski, defending FIS Halfpipe World Champion Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, Colo.) and double-Olympic gold medalist David Wise, finished in first and third place respectively at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colorado. For the women, PyeongChang Olympic bronze medalist Brita Sigourney (Carmel, Calif.) also made the podium with a third-place finish.

For the U.S. Snowboard Team, PyeongChang Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim kicked off the 2018-19 competition season at the U.S. Grand Prix with a victory, while teammate Maddie Mastro (Wrightwood, Calif.) finished just behind Kim in second-place. For the men, Toby Miller (Mammoth, Calif.) and Chase Josey (Sun Valley, Idaho) finished second and third respectively.

On similar note in the snowboardcross world, defending FIS World Champion Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, Vt.) as well as 2018 Junior World Champion Jake Vedder (Pinckney, Mich.) started strong at the first World Cup of the season. Jacobellis claimed a first and second place across a two race program at the Cervinia, Italy FIS World Cup as well as earned her 30th career World Cup victory. In addition, Vedder claimed his his first ever World Cup podium.

“To get my first ever World Cup podium at a World Championship qualifying event makes it that much more special,” said Vedder. “The whole team is riding at such a high level and it really helps me push myself to be better everyday we are on snow. I really look forward to coming back to the US and compete for our hometown crowd.”

In freestyle, Jaelin Kauf (Alta, Wyo.) is also setting herself up for World Championships success. She won back-to-back FIS Freestyle World Cup moguls and dual moguls events in Thaiwoo, China Dec. 15-16. Kauf is currently ranked as the top female moguls skier in the world and leads the World Cup tour. As the reigning World Champion in aerials, Jon Lillis (Rochester, N.Y.) has an automatic competition spot outside of the U.S. Team and will be a force to watch. The aerials FIS World Cup season kicks off in Lake Placid, N.Y. Jan. 18-19.

It’s not only the athletes preparing for the World Championships, but also the host venues getting ready for a robust competition schedule (see below). However, there are no resorts better prepared to put on an event of this magnitude as Solitude Mountain Resort, Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort. In fact, Olympians Alex Deibold (Manchester, Vt), Devin Logan (West Dover, Vt.) and Brad Wilson (Butte, Mont.) had tremendous comments of praise for these world class venues.

2019 WC Event Schedule750p_2.jpg

With 10 days of world class competition be sure to tune-in and watch as history is made. NBC Sports will showcase more than 25 hours of 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championship programming, including more than 10 hours of live coverage, on NBC and the NBC Sports networks.

Additional coverage will also be available on NBC Sports Gold – NBC Sports’ direct-to-consumer live streaming product – and the OlympicChannel.com digital platform. A full broadcast schedule will be available on both USSkiandSnowboard.org and  2019WorldChamps.com.

HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Preliminary broadcast schedule, subject to change
Streaming schedule TBA
*Same-day broadcast
**Next-day broadcast


Friday, Feb. 1
1:00 p.m. - Men and women's snowboardcross finals - NBCSN

Saturday, Feb. 2
3:00 p.m. - Men and women’s skicross finals - Olympic Channel
8:30 p.m. - Men and women’s skicross finals - NBCSN*

Sunday, Feb. 3
1:00 a.m. - Men and women’s freeski big air finals - NBCSN**
1:00 p.m. - Team snowboardcross - Olympic Channel
4:00 p.m.-  Team snowboardcross - NBCSN*

Monday, Feb. 4

3:00 p.m. - Parallel snowboard giant slalom - Olympic Channel
7:00 p.m. - Parallel snowboard giant slalom - NBCSN*

Tuesday, Feb. 5
3:00 p.m. - Parallel snowboard slalom - NBCSN
9:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard big air - NBCSN

Wednesday, Feb. 6
3:00 p.m. - Men and women’s freeski slopestyle finals - NBCSN
9:00 p.m. - Men and women’s aerials - Olympic Channel
11:30 p.m. - Men and women’s aerials - NBCSN*

Thursday, Feb. 7
9:00 p.m. - Team aerials - NBCSN

Friday, Feb. 8
1:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard  halfpipe - NBCSN
9:00 p.m. - Men and women’s moguls - NBCSN

Sunday, Feb. 10
2:00 a.m. - Men and women’s dual moguls - NBCSN**
1:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard slopestyle - Olympic Channel
3:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard slopestyle - NBC*

Monday, Feb. 11
10:30 p.m. - Women’s freeski halfpipe finals - NBCSN**

DECEMBER 25, 2018 - What do the 2019 FIS World Championships Mean to You? - PART 3
BY: Andrew Gauthier

Brad Wilson

WCBRAD.jpg

Aerials and Moguls at Deer Valley Resort

“The World Championships are only a small step below the Olympics. As athletes, we look at it as almost as big as the Olympics, it will have the same competitors there as Pyeongchang. It’s not quite the same hype level, really, what is, but in the sport it’s the same.”

   - Brad Wilson (Butte, Mont.), 2017 World Championships moguls silver medalist

However, it’s not just about accommodation, but rather in an in-depth knowledge of the actual field of play that athletes will be battling it out on that can pay dividends. Wilson has had the pleasure of competing on the Deer Valley moguls course numerous times as it is a regular stop on the FIS World Cup tour. This offers advantages, but they are not necessarily exclusive to U.S. athletes. One thing is for sure, Deer Valley Resort knows how to do it right.

“I have a lot of experience on this course for sure,” said Wilson. “But with Deer Valley being a constant stop on the World Cup tour, so do many other athletes. Deer Valley showcases our sport better than anyone in the world, so they will showcase FIS World Champs better than anyone!”

In freestyle, keep an eye out on Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury who is the winningest moguls athlete in the history of the sport. Also, for the women, Olympic gold medalist Perrine Laffont of France and Yulia Galysheva from Kazakhstan are strong contenders.

The anticipation is building and there is a clear consensus among athletes. The host venues have what it takes to host the top snowboard, freestyle and freeski competitors for ten days of world-class competition. Brad Wilson certainly think so!

“I’m super excited for World Champs at Deer Valley and on our home soil,” he said. “So is the rest of the world. Deer Valley is definitely the majority favorite place to compete for all the competitors. Already, on a normal season the Deer Valley World Cup is top tier, now with it being World Champs, it makes it that much better.”

HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Preliminary broadcast schedule, subject to change
Streaming schedule TBA
*Same-day broadcast
**Next-day broadcast

Friday, Feb. 1
1:00 p.m. - Men and women's snowboardcross finals - NBCSN

Saturday, Feb. 2
3:00 p.m. - Men and women’s skicross finals - Olympic Channel
8:30 p.m. - Men and women’s skicross finals - NBCSN*

Sunday, Feb. 3
1:00 a.m. - Men and women’s freeski big air finals - NBCSN**
1:00 p.m. - Team snowboardcross - Olympic Channel
4:00 p.m.-  Team snowboardcross - NBCSN*

Monday, Feb. 4
3:00 p.m. - Parallel snowboard giant slalom - Olympic Channel
7:00 p.m. - Parallel snowboard giant slalom - NBCSN*

Tuesday, Feb. 5
3:00 p.m. - Parallel snowboard slalom - NBCSN
9:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard big air - NBCSN

Wednesday, Feb. 6
3:00 p.m. - Men and women’s freeski slopestyle finals - NBCSN
9:00 p.m. - Men and women’s aerials - Olympic Channel
11:30 p.m. - Men and women’s aerials - NBCSN*

Thursday, Feb. 7
9:00 p.m. - Team aerials - NBCSN

Friday, Feb. 8
1:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard  halfpipe - NBCSN
9:00 p.m. - Men and women’s moguls - NBCSN

Sunday, Feb. 10
2:00 a.m. - Men and women’s dual moguls - NBCSN**
1:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard slopestyle - Olympic Channel
3:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard slopestyle - NBC*

Monday, Feb. 11
10:30 p.m. - Women’s freeski halfpipe finals - NBCSN**

DECEMBER 24, 2018 - What do the 2019 FIS World Championships Mean to You? - PART 2
BY: Andrew Gauthier

DEVIN LOGAN

WCDEVIN.jpg

Slopestyle, Halfpipe and Big Air at Park City Mountain

Freeski legend, the Sochi Olympic Games freeski slopestyle silver medalist Devin Logan (West Dover, Vt.) looks forward to another opportunity to ski on a big international stage. “The World Champs in Park City are huge for me,” she said. “It’s like the Olympics again, it’s another chance to present my best skiing and hopefully stomp the run of my life.”

Logan has been skiing the slopestyle course and halfpipe at Park City Mountain since moving to Park City in 2011. Most international freeskiers and snowboarders cannot say the same. “The Park City halfpipe is always so nice, cut perfectly, the jumps are always great in the park,” Logan commented. “It’s where I ride when I’m not in competition.”

She notes her advantage in one of life’s simple pleasures, “I get to sleep in my own bed,” said Logan. “I will get to come back to my home without having the stress of traveling or sleeping in a strange place. It makes you feel as comfortable as possible. I think all that adds up to being confident and skiing well.”

Logan has put roots down in the Park City area which in many ways offers a sense of confidence going into the competition. She recently purchased two acres of land in Tollgate Canyon on the outskirts of town.

“Being able to make Park City my home and have a future here is really exciting,” she said. “I love Park City, from the mountains to the summer activities there’s always something to do. Also, given I travel a good amount, the airport being right down the hill is very convenient.”

It’s very clear that Logan isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but does knowing everyone and having loved ones around create unwanted pressure or responsibility?

“It’s definitely an advantage, I consider my friends my family in Park City. Most of my family is back east and my brothers are traveling, but I have been taken in by a lot of good people and spend all the holidays with them and it really has become home. The fact that I will have the chance to compete in front of this extended family gives me goosebumps. You want to do well in order to show them their support is making it happen and helping me reach my goals.”

    - Devin Logan, U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team

Logan believes the U.S. will improve on the team’s performance at the past Olympics. “I think the U.S. will do better than in PyeongChang,” she said. “We came away with a lot of medals on the snowboard and freeski teams but I think that coming off of that success with momentum, plus having the World Champs in Park CIty, that will all be really beneficial.”

Confidence is high, but there are serious international competitors in every discipline and U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes are aware of what lies ahead. Despite the fact that U.S. athletes are familiar with the host venues, the terrain and will generally feel at home throughout the 10-day competition, international competitors are coming to win. Logan listed off some international rivals, but thinking out loud and being a true team player, she had a rebuttal for each of her own comments.

“In big air, the Norwegians are really impressive, but we are also really good and have people like Alex Hall, Mac Forehand and Caroline Claire who keep getting better. In slopestyle, the Norwegians and the Swedish are very talented, but we also have Nick Goepper coming off a silver in slopestyle in (PyeongChang). Also, McRae Williams is hungry after not having the best result in PyeongChang. Colby Stevenson and Joss Christensen are also from Park City and will be looking to do well in their hometown. On the girls’ side, Maggie Voisin and Julia Krass are doing doubles now, they are going to bring the heat.”

Logan’s thoughts on international competition reference Norway’s Oystein Braaten, Birk Ruud, and Johanne Killi as well as Sweden’s Henrik Harlaut, Jesper Tjader, Oscar Wester and Emma Dahlstrom. Not to mention the Switzerland powerhouse including PyeongChang Olympic gold and silver medalists Sarah Hoefflin, Mathilde Gremaud and Andri Ragettli. Isabel Atkin from Great Britain is also very much a contender. In addition, U.S. athletes can’t forget their friends to the north with Canadian phenoms Alex Beaulieu-Marchand and Evan McEachran gunning for medals.

Speaking to halfpipe, Logan said, “Canada is also very strong as well as the French, but so is the U.S. with Aaron Blunck, Alex Ferreira, David Wise, Brita Sigourney, and Maddie Bowman.”

Strong Canadian competitors in the halfpipe include Olympic gold medalist Cassie Sharpe, as well as Simon D’Artois and Noah Bowman.

One thing that is clear from Logan’s comments is that like the Olympics, the World Championships are bigger than just one athlete. It’s about the team and even the sport as a whole. Logan not only recognized this, but has taken it upon herself to make the bright future of her teammates and the sport of freeskiing priority one. While she wants to perform, there is a much bigger goal on her mind.

“I put pressure on myself to do well,” she said. ”Who doesn’t want to win and stand on top of the podium? But, regardless if I make the team or not, I’m going to be there cheering on my teammates. I like to help mold the young athletes because now I’m the veteran and I have been through this for so long. If I can pass on some wisdom and experience to help others be successful in their career, that’s even better. It’s all about pushing the sport and making it grow. That’s what I want to see.”

Although Logan is looking out for her teammates and freeskiing, her love of competition will always shine through. “As much as I feel I can provide to these young athletes, they return the favor,” she said. “They push me and light that fire because I know I have more in the tank and feel I have more to offer. Another World Champs medal would definitely be nice and I will do my best to make that happen.”

HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Preliminary broadcast schedule, subject to change
Streaming schedule TBA
*Same-day broadcast
**Next-day broadcast

Friday, Feb. 1
1:00 p.m. - Men and women's snowboardcross finals - NBCSN

Saturday, Feb. 2
3:00 p.m. - Men and women’s skicross finals - Olympic Channel
8:30 p.m. - Men and women’s skicross finals - NBCSN*

Sunday, Feb. 3
1:00 a.m. - Men and women’s freeski big air finals - NBCSN**
1:00 p.m. - Team snowboardcross - Olympic Channel
4:00 p.m.-  Team snowboardcross - NBCSN*

Monday, Feb. 4
3:00 p.m. - Parallel snowboard giant slalom - Olympic Channel
7:00 p.m. - Parallel snowboard giant slalom - NBCSN*

Tuesday, Feb. 5
3:00 p.m. - Parallel snowboard slalom - NBCSN
9:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard big air - NBCSN

Wednesday, Feb. 6
3:00 p.m. - Men and women’s freeski slopestyle finals - NBCSN
9:00 p.m. - Men and women’s aerials - Olympic Channel
11:30 p.m. - Men and women’s aerials - NBCSN*

Thursday, Feb. 7
9:00 p.m. - Team aerials - NBCSN

Friday, Feb. 8
1:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard  halfpipe - NBCSN
9:00 p.m. - Men and women’s moguls - NBCSN

Sunday, Feb. 10
2:00 a.m. - Men and women’s dual moguls - NBCSN**
1:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard slopestyle - Olympic Channel
3:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard slopestyle - NBC*

Monday, Feb. 11
10:30 p.m. - Women’s freeski halfpipe finals - NBCSN**

DECEMBER 23, 2018 - What do the 2019 FIS World Championships Mean to You? - PART 1
BY: ANdrew Gauthier

ALEX DEIBOLD

DEIBOLDWC.jpg

Snowboard and Skicross at Solitude

Fifteen-year snowboardcross veteran and Sochi Olympic bronze medalist Alex Deibold (Manchester, Vt.) knows the World Champs are special. “Outside of the Olympics, I think it is the most prestigious and most important event we have,” he said. “Being able to call yourself a World Champion is a lifelong title. If you look at some of the names that have achieved that title, it really is pretty elite. The fact that it only happens every two years definitely adds some mystique and pressure to it and just makes it that much more special.”

As a Park City local, Deibold has an edge over his international competitors. “It’s something as simple as being in your own time zone that can be a huge advantage for sleep and preparation,” said Deibold. “Also diet. It sounds silly to some people, but just being able to have food you are used to and are comfortable with is just one of those small things that can definitely add to your success.”

Deibold believes Solitude Mountain Resort’s snowboardcross facilities play well to the team’s strengths and may offer a unique advantage. “I do think we really have a home-field advantage,” he said. “If the test event for us at Solitude was any indicator, we had a lot of success there. I was able to get on the podium and I really felt like I could have won that race. It was one of the first times in my career that I felt a little disappointed with a podium that wasn’t a win. For snowboardcross, the build and the style we have over here really suits our riders. Nate [Holland] and I were third and fourth. I really think we have an advantage, not only being at home but also with the style of course at Solitude.”

“The fact that we are having World Champs on home soil is a big advantage to us and it being in my backyard is even better. It will be great to have friends and family be able to come up, and watch, and support, and the fact that we have so much history and such a great community here, I think it’s really going to make it that much more special. World Champs is always an important event and it’s fiercely competitive and really prestigious, but the thought of being able to compete in an event like that at home… we are just so fortunate."

    - Alex Deibold, U.S. Snowboard Team

“But, you certainly have to be careful” Deibold continued. “Luckily I have been doing this a long time and I know it’s easy to get distracted and get pulled in a lot of different directions. People wanting to see you and spend time with you, whereas if you are overseas you just buckle down. But no, having them there is just a bonus, regardless of how things go. It will be great to have them here and have that support.”

Another common thread between the athletes and the World Championships is having a generally positive outlook on expected performance. “It’s a little too early in the season to say, but I think our team is riding as strong as it has in years,” said Deibold. “We have a really good group dynamic right now. There are some younger kids on the team that are pushing us to be better and there are some of us who are a little bit older with more experience so we have been guiding and leading. I feel really confident for the team going into the World Champs this year.”

On the snowboardcross side, Deibold mentions a very clear and focused rival. “As far as our main rival goes, the reigning world champ Pierre Vaultier from France, the two-time Olympic champion, is certainly the man to watch,” he said. “But there are a lot of different people from other countries riding well.”

Both domestic and international snowboard and skicross athletes will descend on Utah and converge at Solitude Mountain Resort to open World Champs Feb. 1-3 with snowboardcross, skicross, and mixed gender team snowboardcross. With three opportunities for podiums, these athletes will leave everything on snow.

HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Preliminary broadcast schedule, subject to change
Streaming schedule TBA
*Same-day broadcast
**Next-day broadcast

Friday, Feb. 1
1:00 p.m. - Men and women's snowboardcross finals - NBCSN

Saturday, Feb. 2
3:00 p.m. - Men and women’s skicross finals - Olympic Channel
8:30 p.m. - Men and women’s skicross finals - NBCSN*

Sunday, Feb. 3
1:00 a.m. - Men and women’s freeski big air finals - NBCSN**
1:00 p.m. - Team snowboardcross - Olympic Channel
4:00 p.m.-  Team snowboardcross - NBCSN*

Monday, Feb. 4
3:00 p.m. - Parallel snowboard giant slalom - Olympic Channel
7:00 p.m. - Parallel snowboard giant slalom - NBCSN*

Tuesday, Feb. 5
3:00 p.m. - Parallel snowboard slalom - NBCSN
9:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard big air - NBCSN

Wednesday, Feb. 6
3:00 p.m. - Men and women’s freeski slopestyle finals - NBCSN
9:00 p.m. - Men and women’s aerials - Olympic Channel
11:30 p.m. - Men and women’s aerials - NBCSN*

Thursday, Feb. 7
9:00 p.m. - Team aerials - NBCSN

Friday, Feb. 8
1:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard  halfpipe - NBCSN
9:00 p.m. - Men and women’s moguls - NBCSN

Sunday, Feb. 10
2:00 a.m. - Men and women’s dual moguls - NBCSN**
1:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard slopestyle - Olympic Channel
3:00 p.m. - Men and women’s snowboard slopestyle - NBC*

Monday, Feb. 11
10:30 p.m. - Women’s freeski halfpipe finals - NBCSN**

November 27, 2018 - Christensen Sets Sights on 2019 FIS World Championships
BY: Elise saarela

Christensen Sets Sights on 2019 FIS World Championships

U.S. podium sweep at the historic debut of men’s slopestyle skiing in the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games, when Joss Christensen took the sport’s first-ever gold medal with teammates Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper earning silver and bronze. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

U.S. podium sweep at the historic debut of men’s slopestyle skiing in the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games, when Joss Christensen took the sport’s first-ever gold medal with teammates Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper earning silver and bronze. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

Utah hosting the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships means a lot to the U.S. Ski & Snowboard teams. The competition on home soil means more confidence on the courses, more family and friends in the crowd, and more ski and snowboard fans being exposed to the extraordinary state of sport that is Utah.

U.S. Freeski Team slopestyle skier and Park City local Joss Christensen is particularly overjoyed that the FIS World Champs are going to be in his hometown in 2019. “You never really know when another major event will happen in Park City, so I think this is a pretty rare opportunity to try and take advantage of,” says Christensen, “I am hyped to hopefully be competing on my home turf again with all my friends and family around to support me.”

Christensen has been an avid skier for the majority of his life. “I guess it was just a product of growing up in Park City. That was just just a way of life and seemed like that was what you were supposed to do.” His parents were ski lovers as well and put him in ski school as soon as they could. As he grew older, Christensen followed his brother into the park to learn the basics: he slid on boxes and rails, hit the jumps, and lapped the park all day long. By age 13, Christensen was in love with the sport of slopestyle skiing.

Growing up with some of the best park facilities in the world at Park City Mountain, Christensen excelled in his freeskiing career. Not only did he train on some of the best available terrain, but he was constantly surrounded by talented skiers. Christensen attributes his dedication, inspiration, and success in the sport to the freeskiing professionals that were formerly based in Park City.

“It was really cool because big names like Tanner Hall and Pep Fujas were riding out of Park City. Being able to see the best in the world at the time and see the pioneers that were pushing the sport and paving the way for future athletes was really awesome.”  

Now Christensen is one of the big names that aspiring slopestyle kids look up to. He has an impressive medal count, topping the podium at numerous World Cup and Grand Prix events, and collecting an X Games medal among his impressive results across slopestyle, halfpipe and big air events. Most would agree that topping all those achievements was his most notable victory - Olympic gold at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.

“For me that was just unbelievable. A lot of the times I think back on it and it still doesn’t seem like it actually happened,” Christensen says. His Olympic podium experience was shared with two other U.S. Freeski Team athletes including Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, Colo.) who won the silver medal, and Nick Goepper (Lawrenceburg, Ind.) who won the bronze, making an all American podium sweep. During this time, the U.S. Freeski Team was facing intense competition from a variety of other nations. This high level of international competition still exists today, but with the help of Christensen and an impressive group of veterans that make up the men’s and women’s U.S. Freeski Team, they are fostering an environment of progression and excellence for years to come and inspiring the next generation of athletes who are aiming at the top step of the podium.

As the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships near, Christensen and his teammates are training hard for a spot on the team, which is never a guarantee with a talent-stacked U.S. Freeski Team. “World Champs is the one competition that I still haven’t really put my foot down on, so my main goal is to make the team,” Christensen says. After dealing with an injury last season, Christensen is working to get back on the snow as much as possible and get his old tricks back with confidence. Luckily, he is feeling more prepared because of his comfort with his local terrain. Riding the same rails and jumps he grew up on and having his hometown crowd cheering him on should help his confidence and mindset.

“The coolest thing is that I am going to be able to get to ride the chairlift I have ridden thousands of times in my life and compete at the place where I have spent the most time on the snow,” Christensen remarks.  

Christensen not only feels more prepared for the chance to compete in 2019, but he feels grateful for the opportunity to share his hometown with both his friends and the world. “I really like showing my hometown to all of my friends that I meet traveling on the road, and the hill that I grew up skiing on,” Christensen says. “It’s also really cool because a lot of my close friends that I grew up with don’t really have the chance to watch a contest live and now all my friends and family get to come.”  

It’s not just the fans that will make this event familiar, but also the fact that he will be skiing with teammates and friends, some of which he has known and skied with all his life on their home turf. “McRae Williams and I actually live together, which is funny because we pretty much hang out everyday,” says Christensen. “We grew up skiing ever since we were about 13 years old so we have a really close relationship. Colby Stevenson was always the younger kid in Park City following us around. I have known him since he was a little kid.”

With familiar courses, teammates, friends and family, as well as a strong love of Utah and Park City, Christensen is in a position to succeed this season. Make sure to look out for one of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s hometown heroes during the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships.

U.S. Freeski athletes will start competition with the big air qualifiers on Feb. 2 at 8:15 a.m. (MST) at the Canyons Village - Park City Mountain, finals will follow at 7:00 p.m. Freeski slopestyle competition will commence on Feb. 5. At 8:30 a.m. at Park City Mountain. The final round of competition will begin the following day Feb. 6 at 11:00 a.m.. Don’t miss your chance to to catch this action live and tune in on NBC.

How to Watch the 2019 World Championships

NBC Sports will showcase more than 25 hours of 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championship programming, including more than 10 hours of live coverage, on NBC and the NBC Sports networks.

Additional coverage will also be available on NBC Sports Gold – NBC Sports’ direct-to-consumer live streaming product – and the Olympic Channel digital platforms. A full broadcast schedule will be available on both USSkiandSnowboard.org  and  2019WorldChamps.com.

November 7, 2018 - Facts & Figures: 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships
By: Elise Saarela

Facts & Figures: 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships

Over 5,000 fans packed the venue at the 2010 Visa Freestyle International moguls World Cup at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Tom Kelly).jpg

Over 5,000 fans packed the venue at the 2010 Visa Freestyle International moguls World Cup at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Tom Kelly).jpg

Excitement is building for U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes and staff as the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships presented by Toyota gets set to take place Feb. 1-10, in the USSA’s own backyard in Park City, Utah. With 10 days of competition at three of the best resorts in the country - including Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain, and Solitude Mountain Resort - this will be the biggest winter sports event to be held in Utah since the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

Find some interesting facts that speak to the significance of the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships below:

World Championship Success

Five individual U.S. Ski & Snowboard champions from the 2017 FIS Sierra Nevada World Championships will look to defend their titles: Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, Colo.), McRae Williams (Park City, Utah), Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, Vt), Jonathon Lillis (Rochester, N.Y.) and Ashley Caldwell (Ashburn, Va.). Also, Hagen Kearney (Norwood, Colo.) and Nick Baumgartner (Iron River, Mich.) are defending team snowboardcross champions.

There are three returning U.S. Ski & Snowboard 2018 FIS Crystal Globe winners: Chris Corning (Silverthorne, Colo.), Chloe Kim (Torrance, Calif.) and Alex Ferreira (Aspen, Colo.). Corning claimed the snowboarding titles in slopestyle, big air and overall.

Size and Scale

More than 1,800 athletes and team officials will attend the Championships.

29 competitions including qualifying and final rounds with 13 FIS events showcased, and $750,000+ in prize money.

Three new Olympic events will be hosted for the first time at a FIS World Championships: freeski big air, mixed team snowboard cross, and team aerials.

55,000 spectators are expected across the 10 days of competition.

An international TV audience of more than 270 million viewers are expected to tune in on television and stream on digital devices. This estimated TV audience size has in turn caused TV coverage to exponentially increase: 28 hours of coverage on NBC and NBCSN will be broadcasted, a number that has almost doubled since the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships in Beaver Creek.

Athletes

PyeongChang Olympic freeski gold medalists expected to compete include Cassie Sharpe (Canada), Oystein Braaten (Norway) and Sarah Hoefflin (Switzerland).

PyeongChang Olympic Snowboard gold medalists expected to compete include Chloe Kim (Torrance, Calif.), Red Gerard (Silverthorne, Colo.), Sebastien Toutant (Canada) and Anna Gasser (Austria).

Notable aerial athletes expected to compete include 2018 PyeongChang Olympic gold medalists Oleksandr Abramenko (Ukraine) and Hanna Huskova (Belarus).

Moguls competitors heading to Park City include 2018 Olympic medalists Michael Kingsbury (Canada), Matt Graham (Australia), and Sierra Nevada 2017 double world champion Ikuma Horishima (Japan).  For the women, Olympic medalists include Perrine Laffont (France), Justine Dufour-Lapointe (Canada) and Yulia Galysheva (Russia).

Park City, Utah

The mayor and City Council of Park City have made it a mission to put environmental sustainability a priority during the 2019 FIS World Championships. The Environmental Sustainability Team has partnered up with Park City resorts to ensure that the execution of each World Championship event puts environmental sustainability as a top priority.  

Park City, Utah hosted the FIS Freestyle World Championships in 2003 and 2011 at Deer Valley Resort, but 2019 will be the first time a U.S-based World Championship will include all events across the snowboard, freestyle and freeski disciplines.

Volunteer Efforts

Amongst staff, there will be about 900 people working the events; 650 people will be volunteers, equating to a combined 25,000 hours of both working shifts and volunteer commitment.

Featuring the best athletes in the world, world-renowned venues, and several brand-new events, you will not want to miss the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships presented by Toyota. In fact, there are many ways to get involved, with over 650 volunteer opportunities for anyone 15 years of age and up. Volunteers will be able to experience events up close and contribute to making the World Championships the best it can be. If you have an interest in joining the team, Click Here to Sign Up.

October 24, 2018 - 100 Days Out
BY: ANdrew Gauthier

100 Days Out: 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships

100 days out image.jpeg

With 100 days to go, the countdown begins in earnest for the FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships presented by Toyota, taking place at Utah's Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain, and Solitude Mountain Resort February 1-10, 2019.

Hosted by the International Ski Federation (FIS) and U.S. Ski & Snowboard and in partnership with the Utah Sports Commission, the event will attract more than 1,300 athletes from around the world to Utah for the biggest winter sports event to take place in the state since the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

"Hosting one of the biggest winter events in the world will continue to showcase our expertise in hosting major international sporting events as we welcome the world back to Utah and to several of our world-class winter venues. The significant economic impact and worldwide exposure from this event will highlight to audiences around the globe that Utah's Olympic and sport legacy is alive and well, proving a tremendous benefit to Utah and our partners."
      - President and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission Jeff Robbins.

Among the world-famous athletes expected to take part will be Chloe Kim (Torrance, Calif.), 2018 Winter Olympic gold medalist; David Wise (Reno, Nev.), two-time Olympic gold medalist and 2018 ESPY winner; Mikaël Kingsbury (Canada), the winningest mogul skier of all time; and crowd favorite Henrik Harlaut (Sweden), six-time X Games winner.

2019 WC Event Schedule750p_2.jpg

Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort are no strangers to hosting world-class events, as both resorts hosted freestyle and snowboard events during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, and have hosted a numerous FIS World Cup and U.S. Grand Prix competitions over the past 20 years.

Deer Valley Resort hosted the FIS Freestyle World Championships in 2003 and 2011, but 2019 will be the first time a U.S-based World Championship will include all events across the snowboard, freestyle and freeski disciplines. Freeski competitions were introduced to the World Championships in 2005: the freestyle and freeski competitions were held in Ruka, Finland, while snowboard events were held in Whistler, Canada. This model of separate world championships venues carried on for 10 years until 2015 in Kreischberg, Austria, where all FIS snowboard, freestyle, and freeski competitions took place at one location. The 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships in Utah will feature 15 events including slopestyle, halfpipe, big air, parallel giant slalom, parallel slalom, moguls, aerials, dual moguls, snowboardcross, and skicross. In addition, team events, which have been added to the 2022 Olympics Winter Games in Beijing, will make their World Championships debut at the 2019 World Champs, including team aerials and team snowboardcross.

While Solitude Mountain Resort may not have the history and tenure of events that Park City and Deer Valley have, it has quickly become clear it is a great addition to the World Championship program. In its first year of hosting a snowboardcross World Cup in 2017, Solitude was voted a favorite site by participating athletes. Furthermore, the terrain and facilities are perfectly suited to elite skicross and snowboardcross competition. Solitude is truly a showcase of the beauty and variation of skiing and riding in Utah, and will prove to be an amazing venue for this world-class competition.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes have a strong history of performing at their very best at recent World Championships. At the 2017 World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain, U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes collected six gold medals, three silver medals, and four bronze medals across all disciplines. U.S. athletes old and new to World Championship competition will be looking to continue that level of success in 2019 in front of their home crowds.

“I am thrilled to have World Champs on home soil this year. Coming in as reigning World Champion definitely adds to the pressure and excitement. I can’t wait to have my friends, family, and supporters out there with me!”
    - Defending aerials World Champion Ashley Caldwell.

Freeski and snowboard athletes have plenty of time on snow throughout early season competition to prepare and get in the competitive mindset. Competitions include the World Cup snowboard and freeski big air in Modena, Italy, Nov 3-4, World Cup freeski slopestyle in Stubai, Austria, Nov 22-24, and the World Cup snowboard air & style big air in Beijing, Nov 23-24. Also, domestic competitions include the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colo., with World Cup freeski and snowboard halfpipe Dec 6-8; plus X Games and Dew Tour events leading into the 2019 Worlds.

“The World Championships are a big event, but it’s not what I’m thinking of right now as it’s still very far away in my mind,” said defending snowboardcross world champion Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, Vt.). “Right now I’m focusing on what I should be doing to prepare for the season. We are training, getting our wax technicians and equipment dialed, there is a lot that happens before now and the world champs. We just had a very successful camp and I’m taking that positive energy and moving into the next task at hand.“

Freestyle athletes will be globetrotting to hit major stops on their World Cup circuits leading into the 2019 Worlds and are sure to be ready for competition come February. The U.S. Moguls Team’s FIS World Cup circuit kicks off December 7, in Ruka, Finland, and the athletes will compete in China, Canada, and New York before skiing for World Championship glory on home soil. The aerials team will have plenty of on-snow training at the Utah Olympic Park before their competition season starts with a FIS World Cup event in Lake Placid, New York, January 19, 2019.

For defending halfpipe World Champion Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, Colo.), the world championships are very much a focal point moving into the competition season.

“With the stress of the Olympics gone, our team’s focus is definitely back on the World Championships,” said Blunck. “Alongside X Games, it is the biggest event of the 2019 competition season, so it is definitely on the top of our minds and it’s so rad it’s being held on our home turf!”

How to Watch the 2019 World Championships

NBC Sports will showcase more than 25 hours of 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championship programming, including more than 10 hours of live coverage, on NBC and the NBC Sports networks.

Additional coverage will also be available on NBC Sports Gold – NBC Sports’ direct-to-consumer live streaming product – and the Olympic Channel digital platforms. A full broadcast schedule will be available on both USSkiandSnowboard.org  and  2019WorldChamps.com.

Be Part of the World Championships Team

Volunteers are a key element to providing the athletes with best-possible competition experience at the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships. More than 600 volunteers will fill positions, including on-course crew, guest services, hospitality, media, and timing, to provide athletes and spectators with a world-class experience. Many other volunteer roles are available, but with demand already high, prospective applicants are encouraged to go to  https://2019worldchamps.com/volunteer-application/  for more details and to register their interest to join the team and participate in this unique opportunity.