ASPEN, Colo. (Nov. 16) - Olympic champions Picabo Street and Donna Weinbrecht plus World Championship medalist Jonna Mendes will lead a unique ski adventure for 30 women at the first "Powder Girls of Aspen" ski clinic, Dec. 6-9. Clinic participants can attend for a donation to the U.S. Ski Team, with space still available for the inaugural event.
"Powder Girls" will also get VIP passes to watch top American racers Julia Mancuso and Lindsey Vonn compete against an impressive international field in the Audi Aspen Winternational World Cup races at Aspen, including the high speed action in the downhill on Dec. 7. The American women's team is strong and will be among favorites in all three days of racing in Aspen. Olympic champion Mancuso and Vonn are both expected to be contenders for the 2008 World Cup title. Mancuso opened the season Oct. 27 finishing second in the Audi FIS World Cup in Austria.
Street, Weinbrecht and Mendes will provide personalized instruction at the Powder Girls clinic, sponsored by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation. The Team's 501(c)3 foundation raises money to support young athletes. Street had a record career with the U.S. Ski Team, winning the Olympic super G in 1998. Weinbrecht ushered freestyle skiing into the Olympics, winning the moguls event in 1992. And Mendes, one of the most memorable personalities on the World Cup for nearly a decade, became a World Championship medalist in 2003 and now coaches young ski racers.
"I had such great opportunities with the team, I'm glad to help out with Powder Girls," said Street. "I'm looking forward to working with these great women and watching the girls race. I think we're helping pave the future of the sport and the team."
"The Powder Girls ski adventure is a unique opportunity not available anywhere else," said Christine Toriello of the U.S. Ski Team's foundation. She noted that participants don't have to be world-class skiers, just women who want to improve their skiing and support the teams.
At Aspen, Powder Girls will get three day-lift tickets, two days of personalized ski instruction from three legends of women's alpine skiing, lunches daily and VIP credentials for the World Cup races.
They'll also attend yoga classes, apres-ski parties and cocktail receptions. At a Powder Girls dinner, they'll hear from special guest speakers and rub shoulders with other VIPs, team athletes and coaches. Each participant will also receive a Powder Girls gift bag.
"It's a unique experience and an opportunity to do something worthwhile for young athletes," said Toriello. "I'm looking forward to seeing these women come together to share their passion for skiing and to support the U.S. Ski Team.
"It's a chance for them to challenge themselves, gain confidence and have fun in an inspiring, comfortable environment. They'll support the U.S. Ski Team and get to know the athletes in a way few Americans ever do," she said.
The U.S. Ski Team is a diverse organization representing a wide range of sports, ages and lifestyles. The key bond is a common athletic goal of being the best in the world and winning more Olympic medals in skiing and snowboarding than any other nation.
"The U.S. Ski Team is planning more clinics for next season," Toriello said. "I think we'll be hearing a lot more about Powder Girls in the future. We hope the program will build a whole new generation of supporters."
Several spots remain for the first Powder Girls clinic. For more information or to reserve a spot, contact Lisa Kramer at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation, 1.800.974.2226.