March 29, 2006-The big Nationals week kicked-off on Sunday night with an Olympic style parade of teams in the new Village at Northstar, riders decked themselves out in their regions colors waving the flags … all 1,420 competitors to be precise.

USASA Executive Director, Tom Collins, welcomed the riders for the sixteenth Nationals event. USASA, the United States of America Snowboard Association, was founded in 1989 by Mountain High Resort’s Chuck Allen, with a 500-dollar grant from TransWorld SNOWboarding. We’re still kicking down cash for scholarships in what is really the original snowboard contest series.

The sea of moms and dads, kids, adult competitors, adaptive riders, and Methuselahs crowded around the ice-rink to hear 2006 Olympic Team member Andy Finch welcome everyone to his home resort and predict that, “out there is the 2014 Olympic Team.” And he’s probably right, thirteen of the sixteen members of the 2006 Olympic Team came up through the USASA competition circuit.

TransWorld will be lurking on the sidelines all week scoping out the next generation of riders. Check back here for the final TransAm, too, being held Thursday afternoon at Northstar, with the top Nationals finishers. For up-to-date results, click on over to usasa.org. Good luck competitors, and to quote Andy Finch, “Dream Big.”—Annie Fast