2019 News

November 27, 2019 - Christensen Sets Sights on 2019 FIS World Championships

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

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

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.