BURLINGTON, VT (March 1, 2018) - The 36th annual Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships is thrilled to announce that over 50 Olympians are confirmed to compete next week at the world's greatest snowboard event at Colorado's Vail Mountain Resort March 5th -10th. Fifteen PyeongChang Olympic medalists will be among those battling it out for the coveted Burton U.S. Open halfpipe and slopestyle titles, including Halfpipe Gold Medalist Chloe Kim (USA), Slopestyle Gold Medalists Jamie Anderson (USA) and Red Gerard (USA), Big Air Gold Medalists Anna Gasser (AUT) and Sebastien Toutant (CAN), Slopestyle Bronze Medalist Mark McMorris (CAN), Halfpipe Silver and Bronze Medalists Ayumu Hirano (JPN) and Scotty James (AUS), and many more of the world's best snowboarders.
Chloe Kim (USA) is excited to return to the Burton U.S. Open to defend her halfpipe title following her incredible Olympic gold medal showing and said, "The Burton U.S. Open is the best way to end the season and gets me pumped to start the next season. Between the weather and all my friends, I feel like I'm on spring break!"
In addition to Kim, the women's halfpipe field of 16 pro riders will also include Olympic Silver and Bronze Medalists Jiayu Liu (CHN) and Arielle Gold (USA), as well as the winningest women's rider in the history of the sport: Kelly Clark (USA). Kim has raised the bar since her 2017 U.S. Open win, adding back-to-back 1080s to her run. Never has women's halfpipe seen such exciting rapid-fire progression, and next week, thousands of spectators can enjoy snowboarding history-in-the-making for free in Vail.
In men's halfpipe, the title is up for grabs and there's a packed field of world class riders gunning for it, including two-time Olympic Halfpipe Silver Medalist Ayumu Hirano (JPN) and 2017 X Games Gold Medalist Scotty James (AUS). They'll find plenty of competition coming from the likes of Ben Ferguson (USA), Yuto Tatsuka (JPN), Chase Josey (USA) and Danny Davis (USA) among others. The talent in this stacked field of 32 pro riders will be incredible with all the riders bringing their own unique style and skills to the pipe.
This year's U.S. Open women's slopestyle will also be a must-see event as these ladies are no doubt ready to show the world what they're capable of following disappointing competition conditions at the recent Olympics. Last year at the Open, Olympic Big Air Gold Medalist and returning champion Anna Gasser (AUT) pulled off a major shakeup to win the 2017 U.S. Open women's slopestyle, putting down what was called the greatest women's slopestyle run of all time. This year's Open is sure to see a highly competitive event with top riders like Olympic Slopestyle Gold Medalist Jamie Anderson (USA), Spencer O'Brien (CAN), Julia Marino (USA) and 16-year-old Olympic Big Air Bronze Medalist and U.S. Open rookie Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (NZL) all ready to give Gasser a run for the title.
In men's slopestyle, Mark McMorris (CAN) returns to defend his U.S. Open title after a tumultuous year involving a life-threatening injury, followed by a heroic recovery to return to the top of competition and an Olympic slopestyle bronze medal. The field of 32 men will include Olympic Slopestyle Gold and Silver Medalists Red Gerard (USA) and Max Parrot (CAN), as well as Olympic Big Air Gold and Silver Medalists Sebastien Toutant (CAN) and Kyle Mack (USA), and 2018 X Games Gold Medalist Marcus Kleveland (NOR). The levels are through the roof in men's slopestyle, so it's absolutely anyone's guess as to what will be thrown down this year.
As far as the schedule goes, the competition kicks off on Tuesday, March 6th with the Burton U.S. Open Junior Jam presented by Clif Bar featuring the world's top boys and girls under age 15 battling it out in the halfpipe. On Wednesday, March 7th it's the men's and women's slopestyle semi-finals at Vail Mountain's Golden Peak, followed by men's and women's halfpipe semi-finals on Thursday, March 8th. Then, it all comes down to the finals, when 10 men and six women compete for an equal share of the overall $343,000 prize purse in a progression-promoting, three-run format, with slopestyle finals on Friday, March 9th followed by halfpipe finals on Saturday, March 10th.
Spectators are invited to come watch all the exciting competitions for FREE as well as experience free nightly shows on the Solaris Concert stage, plus the new Shakedown Bar Late Night Live Music lineup, as well as the full slate of Burton U.S. Open activities.
For details on all things U.S. Open, follow the hashtag #BurtonUSOpen and head to BurtonUSOpen.com or download the official Burton U.S. Open app on your mobile device now throughGoogle Play and the App Store where you'll find the full list of invited riders, concerts, product demos, Burton Girls happenings, Kids Learn To Ride opportunities, and the history of the longest-running snowboard event in the world.
If you can't make it to Vail in person, you can catch all the action online via the live broadcasts at BurtonUSOpen.com. Friday and Saturday finals will be broadcast live on Red Bull TV and locally in the Front Range on TV8, with additional TV broadcasts airing nationally on FS2. Check out the complete broadcast schedule online.