Tahoe native Jamie Anderson a headliner of US Snowboard Team
Special to the Sierra Sun
The world has changed dramatically since the beginning of the 2019-20 winter competition season. However, one thing has remained the same — the unwavering dedication and skill that U.S. riders are prepared to bring to the 2020-21 FIS World Cup and elite-level slopestyle, big air, halfpipe, and snowboardcross competitions.
The U.S. Snowboard Team will field 32 pro-level and 16 rookie and development level riders.
Chloe Kim will make her return to the halfpipe competition circuit after a year studying at Princeton University, Red Gerard will take his first steps towards 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games qualification and Lake Tahoe veteran Jamie Anderson will set out to continue her timeless and undeniable dominance of the sport.
Although training opportunities were challenging to come by due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there was tremendous success in running camps at official training sites of Timberline Lodge and Ski Area, Ore., The Stomping Grounds Park in Saas Fee, Switzerland, and Copper Mountain, Colo. this off-season.
The U.S. Snowboard Team is planning to kick off their season on home turf at Copper Mountain with men’s and women’s World Cup competition. The 2020-21 Land Rover U.S. Grand Prix is expected to celebrate its 25th anniversary with halfpipe athletes set to compete from Dec. 16-19 at Copper Mountain, Colo. pending local and state approvals. The second annual Visa Big Air presented by Land Rover is also planned for Copper Mountain from Dec.17-19, pending local and state approvals.
From Feb. 3-6, the Land Rover U.S. Grand Prix is set to return to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Calif. and the famed Unbound Terrain Parks for slopestyle and halfpipe competition, pending local and state approvals. It’s only fitting that on it’s 25th anniversary, there is something special about the grand prix series. The Grand Prix at Mammoth will serve as the first U.S. Snowboard Olympic Tryout Event and provides a pathway towards qualifying for the 2022 U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team.
“While the World Snowboard Points List plays a significant role within our 2022 snowboard Olympic selection criteria, designated tryout events in 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons will be a pathway to U.S. Olympic Team qualification,” said U.S. Snowboard & Freeski Director Jeremy Forster. “The 2021 Mammoth Grand Prix is the sole tryout event for the upcoming season and will serve as a great kick-off to the U.S. Olympic Team selection process.
While the U.S. Freeski and Snowboard Teams will spend some time competing stateside, the U.S. Snowboardcross Team will spend the bulk of their season in Europe competing in seven World Cups across six countries. Snowboardcross athletes will join the park and pipe crew in Zhangjiakou, China, the site of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games for the 2021 FIS Freestyle, Freeski, and Snowboard World Championships Feb 18-28. Expectations will be high in China with Mick Dierdorff defending his individual title from the 2019 FIS World Championships as well as his team-mixed snowboardcross title earned alongside teammate and six-time world champion Lindsey Jacobellis.
“We weren’t able to get the training block we had hoped for in the southern hemisphere this summer, but we ended up getting some really high quality training in Saas Fee, Switzerland during our September and October block, said U.S. Snowboardcross Team Head Coach Peter Foley. “It feels great to have that in the books and to have the athletes riding at a really good level already in November. We are looking forward to making the trip to China for Worlds. We really want to get familiar with the Olympic course and the whole scene of competing in China.”
NBC’s new streaming platform, Peacock Premium, will live stream the 2020-21 FIS Snowboard World Cup this season. NBC, NBCSN, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA and NBC Sports’ digital platforms will also air World Cup coverage all season. Snowboard broadcast and streaming listings, including the Land Rover U.S. Grand Prix and Visa Big Air, will be available throughout the season at USSkiandSnowboard.org.
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