June 3, 2005
BEAVER CREEK, Colorado - American ski racing fans will have a ringside seat for a rare home grown preview of the 2006 Torino Winter Olympic Games November 29 through December 4 as the International Ski Federation (FIS) recently confirmed the four-race Visa Birds of Prey Men's World Cup schedule for Beaver Creek at the international governing body's spring meetings in Amsterdam.
In addition to the pre-Olympic excitement, the 2005 Visa Birds of Prey World Cup Week will also mark the only U.S. World Cup appearance of reigning overall World Cup overall champion Bode Miller.
The 27-year-old New Hampshire native became the first American to capture the season-long overall title in over 20 years, while also adding to his medal collection, mining gold in both Downhill and Super-G at the World Championships in Bormio, Italy.
From a Birds of Prey perspective, Miller will also return as defending Downhill champion, following the historic one-two finish with teammate Daron Rahlves last December, while also earning the runner-up spot in Super-G.
"Having Bode in all four events at the Visa Birds of Prey World Cup," explained Vail Valley Foundation president Ceil Folz, "coupled with an Olympic year will generate an incredible amount of excitement for both locals and guests. If this combination isn't enough, then add in the fact that Beaver Creek will be kicking off its 25th anniversary celebration with the World Cup Week. It may well be the ski party of the winter."
Constructed for the 1999 World Alpine Ski Championships, Beaver Creek's Birds of Prey is widely recognized as one of the top five racecourses in the world. Given the four-race scenario, Birds of Prey will once again be in elite company in terms of number of events as only the Torino Olympics and the World Cup Finals in Are, Sweden will feature all four men's disciplines in one location.
"This is a great opportunity for Beaver Creek to host the world's best skiers for four events. North American race fans will have the chance of a lifetime to witness the best of the best in all four disciplines," said John Garnsey, chief operating officer for Beaver Creek.
The Super G race is scheduled for December 1, followed by the Birds of Prey Downhill on December 2, Giant Slalom on December 3 and Slalom on December 4.
Admission to all races is free. Complimentary bus service will be provided to the finish stadium for non-skiers. Skiers and snowboarders can pre-purchase discounted lift tickets online up to 14 days in advance at www.beavercreek.com. Price is $199 for up to six days of skiing or $149 for up to four days of skiing at Beaver Creek from Dec. 1-15, 2005.
The 2005 Visa Birds of Prey World Cup Week in Beaver Creek is a project of the Vail Valley Foundation. For additional information on the Foundation or the Birds of Prey World Cup, contact (970) 949-1999 or visit www.vvf.org. For lodging reservations and more information on Beaver Creek, call (800) 404-3535 or visit www.beavercreek.com