World Cup Park & Pipe Competition Returns in Kreischberg
With the new year comes the return of the FIS Park & Pipe World Cup season! Big air competition set to go down Jan. 7-9 at the 2015 World Championships venue in Kreischberg, Austria. Three women and 13 men will represent the U.S. in the second freeski and the first snowboard World Cup of the season.
Due to the cancellation of the Beijing, China, and Copper Mountain, Colo., World Cups scheduled for November and December, respectively, competition has been a long time coming and the athletes are yearning to get back on course.
U.S. Freeski Pro Team member and Stratton Mountain School graduate Mac Forehand is set to compete in his first competition following ACL surgery in January of 2020. Forehand has been working relentlessly throughout his recovery to get back on top after earning the 2019 FIS Slopestyle Crystal Globe.
“It’s crazy to think all that stands between me and Kreischberg is back-to-competition testing for my knee at the COE (USANA Center of Excellence),” said a thrilled Forehand ahead of his flight to Park City, Utah. “I’ve been waiting a long time for this and can’t wait to get back in the gate! After skiing in Park City and back in Vermont a little bit, it became very clear I missed just having fun on the hill.”
U.S. Freeski Rookie Team member Rell Harwood is in a slightly different boat, competing in only the third FIS World Cup big air competition of her career.
“I think this will be a great big air,” said Harwood. “I’ve never skied at Kreischberg before, but I have heard great things. Between Park City Mountain and the Utah Olympic Park, I have had the ability to get some training on big jumps, which makes me feel prepared going into my first big air of the season. I am hoping to land some jumps I feel proud of and have a lot of fun!”
For the snowboarders, Olympic big air silver medalist Kyle Mack, who earned double-bronze in slopestyle and big air at the 2015 FIS World Championships held in Kreischberg, is feeling thankful to have the opportunity to compete again.
“During these times, I’m just glad to get back to competition mode,” said Mack. “What better place to do that than somewhere I have previously found success like Kreischberg.”
Joining Mack is a teammate and 2020 FIS Big Air Crystal Globe winner Chris Corning. Corning won his second big air crystal globe in the last three seasons (he also finished second in 2018-19) following a stunning victory at the Visa Big Air in Atlanta, Ga. Corning’s win at SunTrust Park also earned him his seventh crystal globe to sit behind only Cai Xuetong of China on the all-time Park & Pipe list.
Both women's snowboard and freeski qualifiers will take place on Jan. 7. Men's snowboard qualifiers and finals will take place on Jan. 8, and freeski qualifiers and finals on Jan. 9. Be sure to follow U.S. Ski & Snowboard on social media and tune in on NBC’s streaming platform Peacock to catch all the action.
HOW TO WATCH
All times EST.
Friday, Jan. 8
12:00 p.m. - FIS Freeski World Cup Big Air Finals - LIVE, Kreischberg, AUT, Streaming Peacock
Saturday, Jan. 9
12:00 p.m. - FIS Snowboard World Cup Big Air Finals - LIVE, Kreischberg, AUT, Streaming Peacock
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