The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) has selected Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows as the proposed site of an Audi FIS Ski World Cup in 2017. U.S. Ski Team officials are supporting the return of World Cup ski racing to the Olympic venue of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows for the first time since 1969. The USSA is submitting Squaw Valley as a candidate for a March, 2017 World Cup that would bring Olympic champions Julia Mancuso, Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin to Squaw Valley for a giant slalom and slalom. The International Ski Federation will make its final decision on the 2016-17 calendar this June at the FIS Congress meeting in Cancun.
With the 2017 season culminating in the March 15-19 Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals in Aspen, the USSA had a unique opportunity to schedule an additional women’s World Cup weekend in the USA leading into the Finals. Squaw Valley was selected by the USSA as a candidate based on its strong history of managing large events and the rich heritage of alpine ski racing in the area. The proposed event would be Friday and Saturday, March 10-11, 2017, with Squaw Valley a stop for the tour between the Olympic test events in PyeongChang South Korea and Aspen.
“Squaw Valley represents another opportunity for us to highlight stars like Julia Mancuso, Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin to our American audience on the eve of the World Cup Finals here in the USA,” said USSA President and CEO Tiger Shaw. “Squaw Valley has always been a strong partner and has a rich history in alpine ski racing. The kids who will be exposed to these world class stars are the future generation of Olympic champions.”
The proposal is for Squaw Valley to hold the races on its Red Dog run in the shadow of the fabled KT-22 peak. The venue was the host for the 2013 and 2014 Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships, attracting large crowds of kids who came to see their favorite ski racing stars.
“It is an honor to be chosen by our national governing body to play host to an Audi FIS Ski World Cup, particularly when one considers the many great mountains around the world that seek to play host to a FIS World Cup event,” said Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows President and CEO Andy Wirth. “Being selected by the USSA speaks favorably towards Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows’ ski racing heritage, our world class staff and our community and mountains. We look forward to continuing work on our bid with U.S. Ski Team and the International Ski Federation staff and truly hope for a successful outcome at the June FIS meetings.”
Voted 2016 ‘Best Ski Resort’ in North America by USA Today and 10 Best Readers’ Choice, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is an internationally renowned mountain resort in North Lake Tahoe that spans over 6,000 skiable acres. Built on the legacy of the 1960 Winter Olympics hosted at Squaw Valley, the resort has since reared celebrated athletes such as Jonny Moseley, Julia Mancuso, Travis Ganong, Marco Sullivan, JT Holmes, Michelle Parker, Cody Townsend, Jeremy Jones, Ralph Backstrom, Nate Holland, and Errol Kerr.
The Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows proposal is part of a broad initiative by the USSA to raise the profile of alpine ski racing in America. Last year’s World Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek attracted record U.S. television audiences with live coverage on NBC and NBCSN, plus a global reach of 800 million. The Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals in Aspen will also attract a large global audience. The USSA has taken the opportunity to also move into new venues including an already confirmed Nov. 25-26, 2016 women’s giant slalom and slalom in Killington, VT, plus the traditional Dec. 2-4, 2016 men’s World Cup in Beaver Creek, CO. If Squaw Valley is added to the calendar, it would give the USA a record 16 Audi FIS Ski World Cup events in America next season.
“Part of growing up in Squaw Valley is its legacy of developing world class athletes and playing host to world class events like the 1960 Olympics,” said Olympic champion and Squaw Valley native Julia Mancuso. “America has always had great ski champions, but they are often overshadowed by the vast number of European venues. Bringing the World Cup to Squaw Valley will build more awareness of the World Cup tour in the America. As an Olympian, I appreciate that Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows has been so proactive about supporting our athletes and the U.S. Ski Team.”
The event will be broadcast across American on NBC and NBCSN, and will be seen during primetime evening hours in Europe as well as across the globe. The 2017 Audi FIS Ski World Cup calendar, including the World Cup Finals in Aspen and the proposed weekend at Squaw Valley, will be finalized by the international federation at its June 6-10 FIS Congress.