PARK CITY, Utah (Feb. 21, 2003 - News Release) -- One of the most successful seasons in U.S. Ski Team history will be capped off on the Whiteface Mountain Olympic venue in Lake Placid, as the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association announced Friday it will move its March 17-25 Chevy Truck U.S. Alpine Championships to New York for the first time in 24 years. The event will take place literally days following the FIS World Cup finals in Norway, where several U.S. athletes will be battling for World Cup titles.
The announcement was made jointly by USSA and by New York Governor George E. Pataki in Lake Placid Friday night where he addressed the opening ceremonies of the Empire State Games.
The move to Lake Placid marks the first time the Championships have been in the East since Sugarloaf, ME in 1997. The event was last in Lake Placid in 1978 and 1979, as a prelude to the 1980 Olympic Winter Games.
"We're excited to have the opportunity to take advantage of extremely good snow conditions in the east to be able to move to such a prestigious venue as Lake Placid," said USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt in awarding the event to the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA). In addition to playing host to the Olympics in 1932 and 1980, Lake Placid has been a regular site for major competitions including our Gold Cup, Winter Goodwill Games and countless World Cups.
Earlier this week, USSA and the planned site at Alyeska Ski Area in Alaska, mutually decided to move the event. While snow conditions were good for recreational skiing in Alaska, conditions were not conducive to racing. USSA also announced Friday it will return to Alyeska in 2004 with the Championships.
"New York is proud to host yet another world-class winter sporting event in beautiful Lake Placid," said Pataki to a packed crowd at the Olympic Arena in Lake Placid Friday evening. "Lake Placid is just completing its final weekend of the Bobsled World Championships, and we're looking forward to bringing some of the world's best alpine skiers to Whiteface Mountain next month.
The move impacts both the Chevy Truck U.S. Alpine Championships, which attracts over 200 junior, development and U.S. Ski Team athletes, plus the Chevy Truck Return of the Champions, an event which brings past Ski Team stars together with current athletes.
"The USSA has been a great partner with ORDA over the years," said ORDA President and CEO Ted Blazer. "USSA's events continue to bring excitement to Whiteface Mountain. One of ORDA's missions is to always have our venues ready, whether it's for recreational or competitive use. It's a credit to our staff that we can turn on a dime and execute this prestigious competition."
"The U.S. Ski Team's decision to hold the U.S. Alpine Championships in Lake Placid shows just how highly regarded Whiteface Mountain and our Olympic facilities are across the country and around the world," Governor Pataki added. "We're confident that with the recent investments and upgrades we have made to this world-class facility, skiers and their parents and coaches will have an enjoyable and rewarding experience."
The schedule of events at Lake Placid will remain exactly as originally planned, with all events taking place at Whiteface Mountain.
Chevy Truck U.S. Alpine Championships
Mon. Mar. 17 Downhill Training
Tue. Mar. 18 Downhill Training
Wed. Mar. 19 FIS Downhill (non Championship event)
Thu. Mar. 20 Downhill
Fri. Mar. 21 Super G
Sat. Mar. 22 Chevy Truck Return of Champions
Sun. Mar. 23 Slalom
Mon. Mar. 24 Men&'s Giant Slalom
Tue. Mar. 25 Women's Giant Slalom
It has been a banner year for the U.S. Alpine Ski Team. At the recent FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland, the Team won a record six medals including three by Bode Miller (Franconia, NH). Miller is also in contention for the season-long World Cup title. In addition, World Championship super G silver medalist Kirsten Clark (Raymonnd, ME) is tied for the World Cup downhill lead, with Daron Rahlves (Sugar Bowl, CA), the winner of this year's fabled Hahnenkamm downhill, in second in the men's downhill race.
Looking ahead to next season, USSA confirmed it will return to Alaska in March of 2004, with specific dates to be determined. "We had been very excited about going to Alaska, which is a very key region for our sport," said USSA Vice President of Events Annette Royle. "Alyeska had done a tremendous job in preparing for the event, and we are very excited to be able to announce that we will bring the Championships to Alaska next season."