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Game Time at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain

By Andrew Gauthier
March, 1 2019
Caroline Claire at Mammoth
Caroline Claire competing in the slopestyle finals at the 2018 Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Sarah Brunson)

The time has come and athletes from across the globe have arrived at California’s Mammoth Mountain Ski Area for one of the final FIS Freeski and Snowboard World Cup events of the season. WIth numerous U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes at the top of the World Cup standings battling for the coveted Crystal Globe, it should make for an exciting week of slopestyle and halfpipe competition.

David Wise (Reno, Nev.) currently sits third in the FIS World Cup halfpipe standings, chasing New Zealand’s Nico Porteous for the freeski halfpipe title. Wise considers Mammoth familiar territory and is feeling positive going into the competition.

“I consider the Mammoth Grand Prix my “home turf” event,” said Wise. “I’ve been training and competing in Mammoth for months out of the year since I was 10 years old. It feels like home. Mammoth is only three hours from my hometown, so the Reno cheering crew will certainly be out in force. There is no greater way to wrap up the contest season than at home and to be able to do so while chasing the crystal globe is an added bonus.“

Brita Sigourney is also in the hunt for a Crystal Globe, but needs to surpass a strong list of Canadian freeskiers including World Cup leader Rachael Karker, and teammate Cassie Sharpe, who have both been on a tear since the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. Also, just ahead of Sigourney is China’s Kexin Zhang and Li Fanghui. Sigourney has the skills to take home the victory and has been skiing strong all year long. Look for her to make a run at the title.

“I’m so excited to go back to Mammoth this year, especially with their record-breaking snowfall over the last month,” said Sigourney, who has been ripping backcountry powder when she’s not training in the halfpipe. “It’s always a fun event, whether we are competing or being forced to ski pow due to weather. I’m looking forward to ending my competition season on a high note and hopefully grabbing another podium!”

For the snowboarders, the U.S. women’s halfpipe team has strong rankings in the cup standings. Chloe Kim (Torrance, Calif.) currently sits in third behind Cai Xuetong from China and Queralt Castellet of Spain. Unfortunately, Kim sustained an ankle injury that will keep her from competing this week. Also, in the top-10 of the World Cup standings is another Mammoth Mountain star in Maddie Mastro (Wrightwood, Calif.). Mastro is coming off a historic win at the Burton U.S. Open where she not only earned her first-ever U.S. Open victory but also made history landing the first ever double crippler in women’s halfpipe competition. She is unlikely to compete as she's dealing with an injured foot, but both Mastro and Kim will still be supporting their teammates and saying hello to the local fan base at the Mammoth Grand Prix. 

“I’m really excited to head back to Mammoth,” said Mastro. “It’s my second home and my favorite place in the winter. I grew up there, so it’s always nice to have a contest on your home turf. Mammoth has the best park and pipe lap in my biased opinion, so I think it’s a great place to end the contest season."

U.S. Rookie Team member Tessa Maud (Carlsbad, Calif.) will compete for the women. For the men, U.S. Pro Team members Chase Josey (Hailey, Idaho), Ryan Wachendorfer (Edwards, Colo.), Taylor Gold (Steamboat Springs, Colo.), Chase Blackwell (Longmont, Colo.) and Jake Pates (Eagle, Colo.) are set to ride. In addition, U.S. Rookie Team members Jason Wolle (Winter Park Colo.), and Lucas Foster (Telluride, Colo.) will challenge a strong international field.

In women’s snowboard slopestyle, U.S. Snowboard Rookie Team member Jade Thurgood (Salt Lake City, Utah) will compete. For the men, FIS Slopestyle World Cup leader, Chris Corning (Silverthorne, Colo.), 2019 U.S. Open champion Red Gerard (Silverthorne, Colo.), Judd Henkes (La Jolla, Calif.), Ryan Stassel (Anchorage, Alaska), Lyon Farrell (Haiku, Hawaii), Brock Crouch (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) and Chandler Hunt (Park City, Utah) will represent the U.S. Pro Team. In addition, U.S. Rookie Team members Luke Winkelmann (Blowing Rock, N.C.), Sean Fitzsimons (Hood River, Ore.) and Dusty Henricksen (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) are set to compete.

In women’s freeski halfpipe, the U.S. Pro Team will be represented by Sigourney, Olympic gold medalist Maddie Bowman (S. Lake Tahoe, Calif.) and Annalisa Drew (Andover, Mass.). U.S. Rookie Team athletes competing include Abigale Hansen (June Lake, Calif.) and Svea Irving (Winter Park, Colo.). For the men, U.S. Pro Team members Wise, 2019 World Champion Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, Colo.), Lyman Currier (Boulder, Colo.) and Birk Irving (Winter Park, Colo.) will battle it out in the pipe. U.S. Rookie Team members dropping in include Jaxin Hoerter (Breckenridge, Colo.), Sammy Schuiling (Steamboat Springs, Colo.), Hunter Hess (Bend, Ore.) and Dylan Ladd (Lakewood, Colo.).

In women’s freeski slopestyle, Maggie Voisin (Whitefish, Mont.), Julia Krass (Hanover, N.H.), Caroline Claire (Manchester Center, Vt.), and Devin Logan (West Dover, Vt.) will represent the U.S. Pro Team. Also, U.S. Rookie Team members Marin Hamill (Park City, Utah) and Rell Harwood (Park City, Utah) will make a run at their first Grand Prix podium. For the men, double-Olympic medalist Nick Goepper (Lawrenceburg, Ind.), Colby Stevenson (Park City, Utah) and Joss Christensen (Park City, Utah) will lay down their best runs in the Unbound Terrain Park. Also, Mac Forehand (Winhall, Vt.) will represent the U.S. Rookie Team.

With 18 U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes in the top-10 of freeski and snowboard slopestyle and halfpipe FIS Cup Standings and very few events left to go, there is a lot on the line at the 2019 Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. Mammoth has a history of intense competition, record snowfall, world-class courses and a large collection of U.S. athletes that call the ski and snowboard Mecca home. Catch the action live and head out to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, or tune in on NBC.

ATHLETE QUOTES

Nick Goepper - “Mammoth is always a classic spot to go back to. So many fun memories and challenging ones also. The Mammoth Unbound Terrain Park is world class and I can’t wait for the Grand Prix.”

Gus Kenworthy - "Mammoth is always such a fun venue. They build a great slope course and I have had some of the best days in the pipe at this venue too. Looking forward to seeing all the fans and competing this coming weekend at the Toyota Grand Prix."

About U.S. Ski & Snowboard & Mammoth Mountain Ski Area

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Andrew Gauthier
Marketing and Communications Manager
U.S. Ski & Snowboard
+1.775.342.7056
andrew.gauthier@usskiandsnowboard.org

FOR ACCREDITED MEDIA INQUIRIES:
Lauren Burke
Communications Director
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area
+1.858.775.5803
lburke@mammothresorts.com

FIS CUP STANDINGS
FREESKI

Men’s halfpipe
Women’s halfpipe
Men’s slopestyle
Women’s slopestyle

SNOWBOARD
Men’s halfpipe
Women’s halfpipe
Men’s slopestyle
Women’s slopestyle

SCHEDULE
All times PST (local time)

Saturday, March  9.
9:30 a.m. - Men’s snowboard slopestyle finals - Mammoth Mountain, Calif.
12:00 p.m. -  Men’s and women’s snowboard halfpipe finals - Mammoth Mountain, Calif.
2:30 p.m. - Men’s and women’s freeski halfpipe finals - Mammoth Mountain, Calif.

Sunday, March 10. 
7:30 a.m. -  Men’s and women’s freeski slopestyle qualifications & finals - Mammoth Mountain, Calif.

HOW TO WATCH
Subject to change
All times EST
*Same-day broadcast
**Next-day broadcast
***Delayed broadcast

FREESKIING
Saturday, March 9

5:30 p.m. - Toyota U.S. Grand Prix men and women’s halfpipe - Mammoth Mountain, Calif. - NBCSports.com & NBC Sports Gold

Sunday, March 10
4:45 p.m. - Toyota U.S. Grand Prix men and women’s slopestyle - Mammoth Mountain, Calif. - NBCSports.com & NBC Sports Gold

Thursday, March 14
12:30 a.m. - Toyota U.S. Grand Prix men and women’s slopestyle - Mammoth Mountain, Calif. - NBCSN***

SNOWBOARD
Saturday, March 9

12:30 p.m. - Toyota U.S. Grand Prix men's slopestyle - Mammoth Mountain, Calif. - NBCSports.com & NBC Sports Gold
3:00 p.m. - Toyota U.S. Grand Prix men and women’s halfpipe - Mammoth Mountain, Calif. - NBCSports.com & NBC Sports Gold

Tuesday, March 12
10:30 p.m. - Toyota U.S. Grand Prix men and women’s halfpipe - Mammoth Mountain, Calif. - NBCSN***

Sunday, March 17
12:00 p.m. - Toyota U.S. Grand Prix men and women’s halfpipe - Mammoth Mountain, Calif. - NBC***

All streams are available via desktop (NBCSports.com/Live, NBCSports.com/Gold and OlympicChannel.com) as well as mobile, tablet and connected television platforms. The NBC Sports app, NBC Sports Gold app and Olympic Channel app are available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. Exclusive commercial-free coverage will be available for subscribers of the NBC Sports Gold Pass.