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Olympic skier to participate in contest

ANDY BECKER, Sun News Service

Look who’s coming to town.

Just in time for Christmas, Jonny Moseley and a line-up of some of the best free-skiers in the world come to Squaw Valley USA this weekend for the Chevy Truck Jonny Moseley Invitational.

In the events second year and first staging at Squaw Valley, 16 participants, including local boys Shane Anderson, Curtis Tischler, J.T. Holmes, C.R. Johnson, Evan Raps, Shane McConkey to name only a few, will compete on Dec. 18 and 19 in a combination event of Big Air and Skier-cross. Last year’s champion Evan Dybvig returns to defend his title.

Other competitors in the event include: J.P. Auclair, J.F. Cusson, Vincient Dorian, Mike Douglas, Kent Krietler, Seth Morrison and Shane Szocs.

“It’s an open format event with the hottest skiers with the greatest personalities,” said Moseley in a phone interview on Tuesday. “They can do whatever they want. I never want to have any rules (with this competition). It’s old-school judging, general impression. It’s a classic, free-skiing event.”

Moseley, who is in good health and “more psyched to ski than ever” worked with Freeze magazine to conduct a reader survey that determined the competitors.

“I’m psyched to be at Squaw Valley,” Moseley said. “I want (the Chevy Truck Jonny Moseley Invitational) to be there forever. I always wanted it there with all the people I grew up with skiing at Tahoe.”

Although the atmosphere should be light and jocular, the purse involved is for $25,000, $20,000 of which go to first place.

Glen Plake and Jim Moran are judging the tricks. To win, participants must compete in both Big Air and SkierCross competitions in a round-robin format. Participants receive points depending on their place in the preliminary heats. It boils down to the two participants with the most points going head-to-head in a no-holds-barred big air competition.

“When these guys step on the hill it’s not going to be friendly,” Moseley mused. In a more serious tone, Moseley said, “It’s not just all about winning. It’s a fun event to hang out at, but it’s not too much of a bro-bro event.”

The Big Air event will be a double big air to a quarter pipe and the skier-cross will utilize the natural terrain at Squaw.

Asked who his favorite was, Moseley dead-panned, “I’m always my favorite.” Other notables are 16-year-old Johnson, McConkey (who Moseley called “a supernatural talent”) and the dark-horse Raps. Brad Holmes, another Tahoe skier, will miss the event with a strained calf muscle. Moseley is also looking for the indomitable skier – and boarder-cross champion, Shaun Palmer of Meeks Bay to attend.

Moseley looks to use his “Dinner Roll” flip with a rotation of 900 or even 1080 degrees in the Big Air competition, and his elbows in the skier-cross (only if “Kreitler starts throwing elbows.”)

Jim Moran and Glen Plake will judge the event. The finals will be a dual format with the top point earners in the preliminary rounds going head-to-head in Big Air competition.


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