Evolution, USA Named Official Ski of 2002 Olympics

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Salt Lake City, UT, July 12--"Evolution Ski Company Named Official Ski of the 2002 Winter Olympics," read the incoming fax. Immediately, I thought to myself, who are these guys? And, how did they score such a major gig?

Turns out, Evolution, USA has been making skis for years--telemark skis, that is. In fact, the Salt Lake City-based company is well known among the free-heeled crowd for their high-performance tele boards.

In 1985, Evolution blasted their way onto the alpine scene, with several downhill models. Like their telemark counterparts, these skis are handcrafted in relatively small batches of only 3,500-5,000 pairs each year. This, along with the fact that Evolution was willing to give the Olympic logo and graphics top billing on the skis helped the company beat out several other manufacturers for the official Olympic honors.

While their line of skis includes models for all ages and abilities, Evolution caters more toward the intermediate-to-advanced skier. For the Olympics, Evolution has created three limited-edition custom adult skis, which feature the Olympic Silver Crystal graphics:

the Edge: an all-mountain ski for experts

the Razor: a fat powder ski with all-mountain capability for intermediate and expert skiers

the U-2: a mid-fat, all-mountain ski for intermediate and expert skiers The skis, which carry a suggested retail tag of $795, will be available in lengths of 163cm-203cm. Evolution is also making a special limited-edition Olympic junior ski, featuring the three Olympic mascots (Swifter, Higher, and Stronger). This ski will be available in lengths of 80cm-140cm, with a suggested retail price of $310. To commemorate the number of days left before the Winter Games invade the Salt Lake area, Evolution will make only 1,000 pairs of each Olympic model. So you might want to act fast if you want a souvenir that beats the heck out of the usual t-shirt.