Speed Events Take Center Stage at Xfinity Birds of Prey World Cup
BEAVER CREEK, COLO. (Aug. 27, 2021) — If ski racing fans are feeling the need for speed, they will get a triple-dose of it when the Xfinity Birds of Prey FIS Ski World Cup returns to Beaver Creek Resort Dec. 3-5, 2021.
The nonprofit Vail Valley Foundation, which hosts the Xfinity Birds of Prey races each year, confirmed the men’s Beaver Creek World Cup schedule as follows:
Friday, Dec. 3: Super-G
Saturday, Dec. 4: Downhill
Sunday, Dec. 5: Super-G
*The men’s World Cup calendar has not yet been fully confirmed. FIS will confirm in September. Beaver Creek race times TBD.
All events will be streamed and broadcast live on the networks of NBC Sports.
The races are part of a return of the North American leg of the FIS Ski World Cup tour, including:
Nov. 27-28: HomeLight Killington Cup, USA, Women’s Slalom and Giant Slalom
Nov. 27-28: Lake Louise, Canada, Men’s Downhill and Super-G
Dec. 3-5: Lake Louise, Canada, Women’s Downhill and Super-G
‘Back at one of the best courses in the world’
Ryan Cochran-Siegle is one of many racers excited to return to the Birds of Prey course at Beaver Creek Resort, which is known worldwide for its steep pitch, high speeds, and demanding turns.
“We can’t wait to be back at one of the best courses in the world, here on home soil,” said Cochran-Siegle, who was ranked third overall in the world in downhill before he was sidelined by an injury sustained at the Hahnenkamm in Kitzbuehel, Austria, in January for the remainder of the 2020-21 season. “I have this date circled on my calendar. We all love Birds of Prey. It’s everything from the track to the people to the volunteers to the general environment and history of U.S. Ski Team success at Beaver Creek that make this return to home soil something all of us are highly anticipating.”
The weekend of racing marks a major milestone on the way to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games Feb. 4-20, 2022 in Beijing, and serves as a qualifying event for athletes to earn points and placements toward their nomination to the 2022 U.S. Olympic Ski Team.
“We could not be more thrilled to once again welcome the world back to the iconic Birds of Prey course here in Beaver Creek,” said Mike Imhof, President of the Vail Valley Foundation.
Athletes to watch
Among the racers to beat on Saturday’s Downhill will likely be Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR), who was the 2020 World Cup overall downhill champ and was leading in the downhill standings and second in the overall standings this past season before he was injured. He will have to fend off Beat Feuz (SUI), who edged out Matthias Mayer (AUT) and Dominik Paris (ITA) to take the overall World Cup Downhill title in the amended 2020 season.
Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT) won the overall Super-G crystal globe and placed fourth overall in Downhill Cup standings and is anticipated to lead the charge on Friday and Sunday’s Super-G. He will likely have to fend off top American racers Cochran-Siegle and Travis Ganong, as well as a host of challengers including Kilde,
“Beaver Creek Resort is proud to host Birds of Prey, and we’re excited to showcase our world-class steep terrain and unrivaled hospitality,” Beaver Creek Resort COO Nadia Guerriero said. “This is an extraordinary opportunity for our resort and community to welcome some of the world’s best athletes on their journey to the 2022 Winter Olympics.”
The Xfinity Birds of Prey – and the entire North American leg of the FIS Ski World Cup tour – was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In years past, the weekend in Beaver Creek has typically featured a giant slalom race on Sunday, but this year’s World Cup calendar is designed to minimize potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus by reducing the participants on site. Therefore, speed and tech event groups are being mixed as little as possible.
“In the nearly two years since the first appearance of the virus, we’ve had time to develop sound procedures and protocols,” Imhof said. “We are working closely with the FIS, U.S. Ski & Snowboard, Vail Resorts, Beaver Creek Resort, Eagle County Public Health, and all our other wonderful partners to ensure that we can host these beloved races and that athletics, fans, partners, media, and volunteers can all enjoy and attend the event in as safe and comfortable a manner as possible.”
‘Beers of Prey’ on tap
The Vail Valley Foundation said it is planning music, giveaways, sponsor activations, “Birds of Prey Way” in Beaver Creek Village, and a wide array of celebratory ancillary events, including the highly-popular “Beers of Prey” tasting event, throughout race weekend. Details will be announced this autumn.
Health and safety policies will be in place
With some international travel restrictions still in effect, Beaver Creek and The Vail Valley Foundation continue to work with all appropriate parties ahead of the FIS Ski World Cup. The health and safety of guests, staff, and athletes is a top priority, organizers said, and as the ski racing community returns to hosting international events, heightened health and safety protocols will be in place, as needed, during the Xfinity Birds of Prey FIS Ski World Cup. Event protocols will comply with local health and safety measures, as well as those mandated by FIS, and may be modified based on evolving standards, public health, and governmental directives.
Learn more at bcworldcup.com.
About the Xfinity Birds of Prey FIS Ski World Cup
Ranked as the number one overall stop by the athletes and coaches who participate, the Xfinity Birds of Prey FIS Ski World Cup at Beaver Creek Resort has become legendary in the ski world.
Beaver Creek Mountain is home to the formidable Birds of Prey racecourse, challenging an international roster of top athletes for one weekend of racing that typically features Men’s Alpine super-G, downhill, and giant slalom competitions. The event is organized by the nonprofit Vail Valley Foundation, in close partnership with the FIS, U.S. Ski & Snowboard, Vail Resorts, the Beaver Creek Resort Company, Beaver Creek Resort, Xfinity, and TIAA Bank.
Learn more at www.bcworldcup.com.
About the Vail Valley Foundation
The Vail Valley Foundation is a 501c3 Colorado nonprofit corporation with a mission to enhance the quality of life in the Vail Valley and showcase our community to a global audience through arts, athletics, and education.
The organization’s work in education is through YouthPower365, a 501c3 Colorado nonprofit corporation with a mission to provide year-round extended learning opportunities that empower and educate the youth and families of Eagle County from cradle-to-career readiness. The Vail Valley Foundation also provides the Vail Valley with several of its most treasured annual events, such as the GoPro Mountain Games, the Xfinity Birds of Prey FIS Ski World Cup races, the Vail Dance Festival, and the Hot Summer Nights and ShowDown Town free concert series’. The Vail Valley Foundation also manages and operates two performing arts centers, the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek Village and the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail, providing more than 100 Broadway, dance, comedy, classical, rock, pop, jazz, community and family events per year.
Vail Valley Foundation activities and events are in part made possible by cornerstone partners: the Town of Vail, Vail Resorts, Beaver Creek Resort Company, GMC, and TIAA Bank.
To learn more about the Vail Valley Foundation visit www.vvf.org.
About U.S. Ski & Snowboard
U.S. Ski & Snowboard is the Olympic National Governing Body (NGB) of ski and snowboard sports in the USA, based in Park City, Utah. Tracing its roots directly back to 1905, the organization represents nearly 200 elite skiers and snowboarders in 2021, competing in seven teams; alpine, cross country, freeski, freestyle, snowboard, nordic combined, and ski jumping. In addition to the elite teams, U.S. Ski & Snowboard also provides leadership and direction for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders across the USA, encouraging and supporting them in achieving excellence. By empowering national teams, clubs, coaches, parents, officials, volunteers, and fans, U.S. Ski & Snowboard is committed to the progression of its sports, athlete success, and the value of team.
Learn more at usskiandsnowboard.org.
About Beaver Creek Resort
Renowned for legendary attention to detail, World-Cup mountain pedigree, intimate alpine village, and reputation as one the world’s best luxury family resorts, Beaver Creek Resort represents incomparable elegance and Rocky Mountain leisure which spoils guests for anywhere else with an unparalleled level of world-class service. Just 30 minutes east of Eagle Airport (EGE) and 2.5 hours west of Denver International Airport (DIA), Beaver Creek offers luxury accommodations throughout three villages and ski-in, ski-out luxury lodges and hotels. More than 40 in-resort and slope-side restaurants, elegant village boutiques, cherished daily traditions and activities such as world-class downhill skiing and snowboarding spanning 2082 acres with 3340 vertical feet of descent, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, and ice skating in the Beaver Creek village.
Visit BeaverCreek.com for additional information and vacation planning.
Release courtesy of the Vail Valley Foundation.