CURTAIN OFFICIALLY UP ON SILVER ANNIVERSARY USASA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Snowboarding Competitions Begin Today
COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO – Competitions begin this morning at the 25th annual United States of America Snowboard Association’s (USASA) National Championships, a World Snowboard Tour four-star event, at Copper Mountain, CO following Saturday’s action packed practice day and Opening Ceremonies. Today’s action gets underway at 7:45 am with Boardercross, Superpipe and Slopestyle events. Slalom and Giant Slalom (GS) start at 10:00.
The 28 age divisions participating in the National Championships have been divided into five competition groups. The groups will rotate across the five disciplines – one each day per group. The exhibition Rail Jams, which are divided into four groups, will be spread across four days – Sunday through Thursday. The Rail Jams will take place in the evening with the start times to be announced. Awards will be presented in each age division on a daily basis in Burning Stone Plaza, between 4:00 – 6:00 pm.
Copper Mountain was full of energy yesterday as nearly 2000 snowboarders descended on the resort to test the event venues. “The boardercross course is so much fun,” commented Acy Craig, 11, of Johnson, VT and the Northern VT Series. Her NVT riding partner, Alina Chmura, 11, from Waterbury Center, VT agreed, “Boardercross is awesome and so is the pipe, but the Slopestyle course is a little scary.”
In addition to testing out the terrain, the competitors had several exciting contests and opportunities to participate in once they arrived at the 25th National Championships. Starting at 9:00 am MST, Verizon launched a “USASA Selfie Sweepstakes” for a randomly selected winner of a Verizon Wireless prize pack consisting of a Casio G’zOne Commando 4G LTE, New Era USASA hat, USASA gear, Candy from Hi-Chew, Nutritional Bars from A3 and gear from Under Armour. Visit https://insidersguide.vzw.com/inside/usasanationals/ for rules and additional information.
Young fans and competitors had the opportunity to ride in one of Copper’s terrain parks with Under Armour athletes and professional snowboarders Chas Guldemond and Jeremy Thompson. Both athletes started their careers in USASA Regional events – Guldemond with the New Hampshire Series and Thompson with Southern Vermont before competing in USASA National Championships. “I had my regional friends then met others at Nationals which grew the circle. It’s not just about the snowboarding and the contest, it’s about making friends and holding onto those friendships,” Guldemond said. Thompson added, “Since there are riders coming from all over the place, everyone brings their own style to the contest and it really helps to get you thinking outside the box creatively.”
The duo signed autographs following the Opening Ceremonies at the Under Armour tent in the Vendor Village which will be open daily. Under Armor also hid a “Golden Ticket” somewhere on Copper Mountain on Saturday and the first person to find the ticket and report to the Under Armour tent in the vendor village will win an Under Armor jacket. A Golden Ticket will also be hidden on Sunday with the same criteria.
At 5:00 pm USASA’s 30 Regional Series lined up by the Climbing Wall in preparation for the athlete parade. Promptly at 5:30, the throng began their march toward Burning Stone Plaza and the Opening Ceremonies. The final groups in the parade, carrying a special, commemorative banner, were family members of USASA founder Chuck Allen.
Saturday’s final event was a Waxing Clinic with US Olympic gold medal winning coach, Bud Keene. Keene addressed the finer points of waxing boards to get the best performance.
Following today’s and every day’s competitions, the top finishing athletes in each age division will receive their commemorative 25th Anniversary USASA National Championship medals at an award ceremony in Burning Stone Plaza from 4:00 – 6:00 pm.
Starting today, Hi-Chew, the official candy of USASA will present a Hi-Chew Hi-Flyer award to the top finishing Slopestyle competitor in the Ruggie (7 & under) through Seniors (23-29) age groups. Hi-Chew also presented a Hi-Flyer award to the person who picked up the most wrappers and trash on Sat. They’ll give a second Hi-Flyer today based on the same criteria.
The Nationals Championships events end on Thursday, April 3 with a special Exhibition Banked Slalom event the following day. Featured riders in the Banked Slalom will include Olympic medalists Lindsey Jacobellis and Ross Powers.
The USASA Ski Nationals Championships, an Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) Silver level event, commence on April 5th with Opening Ceremonies and practice.
Nearly 2,000 participants filled in Copper Mountain Resorts Burning Stone Plaza to kick-off the 25th Anniversary of the USASA National Championship and celebrate USASA Founder Chuck Allen's Legacy. Photo: Jennifer Langille / USASA Staff