Park City Halfpipe Counts Down To Gold

Park City, Utah – Your last chance to catch Olympic fever at Park CityMountain Resort before 2002 is the third annual Nokia Snowboard FIS WorldCup event, the X-Nix “Countdown to Gold,” scheduled to be held March 1 – 4,2001. Men’s and women’s halfpipe and parallel giant slalom GS competitionwill be held at the Eagle Race Arena Super ‘Pipe and CB’s run, respectively.

“For many of the World Cup athletes, the “Countdown to Gold” will be thefirst and last time they get to ride the Super ‘Pipe before the Games cometo town in 2002,” said Karen Korfanta, Resort Race Department manager andPark City Mountain Resort Venue Sport manager for the 2002 Olympic WinterGames.

The “Countdown to Gold” kicks off on Thursday, March 1st with the men’s andwomen’s halfpipe competition, followed by the men’s and women’s parallel GSevents on Saturday, March 4. Halfpipe qualifications begin at 9 a.m., witha start time for the finals at 1:30 p.m. The qualification run for theparallel giant slalom begins at 9:30 a.m. Finals are scheduled to begin at1 p.m.

Since its inception, snowboarding has been dominated by athletes from theU.S., and this year’s “Countdown to Gold” should be no exception. U.S.Snowboard Team athletes to watch in the halfpipe include two-time “Countdownto Gold” women’s champion Tricia Byrnes (New Canaan, CT), Gretchen Bleiler(Snowmass Village, CO), Park City native Ricky Bower, Tommy Czeschin(Mammoth Lakes, CA), Rob Kingwill (Jackson, WY) and Kelly Clark (Mt. Snow,VT). Team alpine athletes expected to perform well include Sondra Van Ert(Ketchum, ID), Stacia Hookom (Edwards, CO), Lisa Kosglow (Boise, ID) andJeff Greenwood (Hartford, CT).

In addition to attracting many of the same athletes sure to return to ParkCity Mountain Resort for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, the “Countdown toGold” also follows the same logistical pattern as the Games’ time plan.Following the conclusion of the halfpipe competition on March 1, the EagleRace Arena Super ‘Pipe will be filled in to accommodate the parallel GSraces on March 4.

“The ‘Countdown to Gold’ will be a test event in the true sense of theterm,” Korfanta said. Although not part of the official competition, the “Countdown to Gold” alsoincludes a quarterpipe exhibition event, scheduled for Friday, March 2 inthe Eagle Race Arena at 8 p.m. Athletes scheduled to compete in thequarterpipe contest include David Carrier-Porcheron, Mike Michalchuk, TrevorAndrew, Guillaume Morriset, Lorie Glazier, Kim Dunn, Mamon Roy and DominiqueVallée. Admission to all “Countdown to Gold” events is free and open to thepublic.

Highlights from the “Countdown to Gold” will be broadcast in a one-hour showon ESPN2 on Sunday, March 11, 2001 at 1:30 p.m. MST.