Aspen Snowmass To Host U.S. Alpine Tech Championships
Aspen Snowmass, in collaboration with the U.S. Ski & Snowboard and Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club (AVSC), will host the 2020 U.S. Alpine Tech Championships Mar. 28-31 at Aspen Highlands. The agreement also ensures the return of the U.S. Alpine Tech Championships to Aspen Snowmass in March of 2022. Tech Championships include the disciplines of men’s and women’s slalom, giant slalom and parallel slalom.
“We are thrilled to bring elite ski racing back to Aspen for U.S. Alpine Tech Championships, says U.S. Ski & Snowboard Director of World Cup Events, Lindsay Arnold. “The 2017 FIS Ski World Cup Finals were a highlight for many of our athletes, and U.S. Alpine Championships is always a great opportunity to expose our up-and-coming national talent to the likes of some of the best alpine ski racers in the world, such as double Olympic champions Mikaela Shiffrin, Ted Ligety, and more.”
Mark Godomsky, executive director of AVSC continues, “Hosting U.S. Alpine Championships will be very special for Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club. Not only will our older athletes have the chance to compete with the best in the country on their home hill, but our younger athletes will have the chance to watch, interact with, and be inspired by the top competitors in their sport. We are incredibly grateful and proud of the Aspen Highlands race venue, and can’t wait to share it with athletes and clubs around the country during this awesome event.”
The last time Aspen Snowmass hosted a U.S. Alpine Tech Championships was 60 years ago, but ski racing runs deep in the Roaring Fork Valley, as the resort not only hosted the first World Championships outside of Europe in 1950, but has been a continuous stop on the World Cup circuit for both the men and women. Aspen also hosted the 2017 FIS Ski World Cup Finals.
“Ski racing is deeply engrained in Aspen’s heritage and our mountains have seen ski racing triumphs from greats such as Billy Kidd, Franz Klammer, Tamara McKinney, Ingemar Stenmark, Alberto Tomba, and Mikaela Shiffrin,” says John Rigney, senior vice president, Aspen Snowmass. “We are honored to continue this storied history and look forward to providing the best possible races for the U.S. Ski Team athletes and up-and-comers vying for the honor of national champion.”
Prior to hosting the U.S. Alpine Tech Championships, Aspen Snowmass will host the 2020 and 2021 NASTAR National Championships at Snowmass Mar. 24-28, 2020 and Mar. 23-27, 2021. NASTAR is a youth feeder program for the U.S. Ski Team, and U.S. Ski Team athletes set the pace for NASTAR. For the first time, both events will be at the same venue, allowing the top recreational racers to have the unique opportunity to compete side-by-side with the best American alpine ski racing athletes.
The first NASTAR National Championship was held in the Spider Sabich race arena on Snowmass in the spring of 1998 and the event has expanded to include all age groups from U6 to 95+. More than 50,000 racers will compete at 100 resorts across the country to qualify for a spot at the National Championships. Recreational racers compete within their age and ability group to earn a National Championship title and place in the final, Race of Champions. Each National Champion carries their handicap into the race to compete for the overall win. For more information about the NASTAR National Championships, visit www.nastar.com/national-championships.
The U.S. Alpine Speed Championships venue announcement will be forthcoming.
U.S. Alpine Tech Championships Event Schedule
March 28 Parallel Slalom (National Championships) – Snowmass, Colo.
March 29 Slalom – Men and Women – Aspen Highlands, Colo.
March 30 Women’s Giant Slalom – Aspen Highlands, Colo.
March 31 Men’s Giant Slalom – Aspen Highlands, Colo.