PARK CITY, UT (Jan. 12) – Olympians will lead 21 U.S. athletes in the 2011 World Snowboarding Championships in La Molina, Spain Jan. 15-22. Spearheading the crew will be two-time Olympic gold medalist and 2005 World champion Seth Wescott (Sugarloaf, ME), Olympic silver medalist and two-time World champion Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, VT) and six-time X Games gold medalist and 2007 World Championship bronze medalist Nate Holland (Squaw Valley, CA).

The Championships will span over an eight day period with six different events showcasing the sport’s top riders. The series will open with the big air contest Jan. 15 followed by a two-day break before the SBX riders pull out of the start on Jan. 18.

Wescott, Holland and Jacobellis will lead a team of seven into the Tuesday snowboardcross race, consisting of four World Championship veterans and three World Championship rookies. Looking to succeed on the big stage along with Wescott, Holland and Jacobellis are newcomers Alex Deibold (Manchester Center, VT) and Faye Gulini (Salt Lake City).

“We’ve only raced this course one time last spring. We kind of tried to re-create the start in our training course in Telluride, so we spent a lot of time on similar features so I feel like we might have picked up some speed there,” explained U.S. Snowboarding Head Coach Peter Foley. “I’m hopeful that will pay off. Those guys are all big game players. They show up when it’s a big event.”

The USA will have six riders dropping into the pipe on Jan. 20, with U.S. Snowboarding’s Pro athlete Clair Bidez (Minturn, CO) and Rookie athletes Paul Brichta (Burnsville, MN) and Lizzy Beerman (Weston, VT) leading the charge. Also looking to stomp his run is Benji Farrow (Mt. Holly, VT), who placed 6th in the 2010 World Junior Snowboard Championships in New Zealand this past August.

“The goal is for them to get in there and strut their stuff – really push the level of what they are capable of. They are going to be out there to make the finals to get on the podium,” said U.S. Snowboarding Halfpipe Head Coach Mike Jankowski. “They have the tricks and they have the run dialed in that can really put them on the podium.”

The halfpipe competition is sandwiched between parallel giant slalom and parallel slalom events where Tyler Jewell (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Vic Wild (White Salmon, WA) are looking to carry the momentum from the early season races to center stage.

Men’s and women’s slopestyle will close the 2011 World Snowboard Championships on Jan. 22 as the seven U.S. riders throw down big.

“It’s a great opportunity to showcase slopestyle in the World Championships,” said Snowboarding Director Jeremy Forster.

Slopestyle snowboarding is one of five sports along with slopestyle skiing, halfpipe skiing, team alpine and women’s ski jumping that is being considered for the possible inclusion in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

2011 FIS Snowboard World Championships Team

* Indicates current student in U.S. Ski Team partnership with Westminster College

Alpine Men
Tyler Jewell (2/21/77; Steamboat Springs, CO)
Garrett Sorteberg (11/1/1982; Park City, UT)
Michael Trapp (7/10/1988; Hyannis, MA)
Vic Wild (8/23/1986; White Salmon, WA) *

Alpine Women

Heather Herde (12/27/1988; Oxford, CT)
Lindsay Lloyd (2/18/81; Centerville, UT)
Lynn Ott (10/20/1967; Bend, OR)
Madeline Wiencke (3/1/1989; Newport, MN)

Big Air
Paul Brichta (8/24/1991; Burnsville, MN) *
Taylor Gold (11/17/1993; Steamboat Springs, CO)

Halfpipe and Slopestyle Men

Paul Brichta (8/24/1991; Burnsville, MN) *
Benji Farrow (3/8/1992; Mt. Holly, VT)
Taylor Gold (11/17/1993; Steamboat Springs, CO)

Halfpipe Women

Lizzy Beerman (7/18/1992; Weston, VT) *
Clair Bidez (8/7/1987; Minturn, CO) *
Allyson Carroll (9/5/1988; Truckee, CA)
Summer Fenton (6/19/1994; San Francisco)

Slopestyle Women
Lizzy Beerman (7/18/1992; Weston, VT) *
Allyson Carroll (9/5/1988; Truckee, CA)
Summer Fenton (6/19/1994; San Francisco)
Faye Guilini (3/24/1992; Salt Lake City)

Snowboardcross Men
Jonathan Cheever 94/17/1985; Saugus, MA)
Alex Deibold (5/18/1986; Manchester Center, VT)
Nate Holland (11/8/78; Squaw Valley, CA)
Seth Wescott (6/28/76; Sugarloaf, ME)

Snowboardcross Women

Callan Chythlook-Sifsof (2/14/1989; Girdwood, AK)
Faye Gulini (3/24/1992; Salt Lake City)
Lindsey Jacobellis (8/19/1985; Stratton Mountain, VT)

2011 FIS World Snowboard Championship Schedule
La Molina, Spain

Sat., Jan, 15 Men’s big air
Tues., Jan. 18 Men’s and women’s snowboardcorss
Wed., Jan. 19 Men’s and women’s parallel giant slalom
Thurs., Jan. 20 Men’s and women’s halfpipe
Fri., Jan 21 Men’s and women’s parallel slalom
Sat., Jan. 22 Men’s and women’s slopetsyle