Canadian freeskier Mike Riddle competes in the halpipe qualifiers this week, part of the 2016 U.S. Visa Freeskiing Grand Prix at Park City, Utah. (photo: U.S. Freeskiing)

Park City Events a Test for 2019 Worlds

Park City, UT – Some of the world’s best freestyle, freeskiing and snowboarding athletes are taking to the slopes in Park City this week for two of the year’s biggest events, the Visa Freestyle International at Deer Valley Resort, and the U.S. Grand Prix at Park City Mountain. Over the weekend, 270 athletes from 26 nations are competing in aerials, moguls, halfpipe snowboarding and halfpipe skiing in the second official test event for the 2019 World Championships.

Utah won the bid for the 2019 World Championships in freestyle, freeskiing and snowboarding from the International Ski Federation in 2014. The Championships are expected to bring over 500 athletes from more than 50 nations to Utah, taking part in at least a dozen competitions over 10 days. The bid was a consortium of Park City Mountain, Deer Valley Resort, City of Park City, Park City Chamber/Bureau and the Utah Sports Commission.

Both events this weekend are highlights for the community of Park City and the state of Utah. Last year’s events brought in over 29,000 spectators to the state of Utah, along with a strong domestic and global television audience. This year’s event at Deer Valley featured an additional aerials event as well as a celebration of life for skiing legend Stein Eriksen.

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“These events will bring significant economic impact and image building to the state and will continue to expand and strengthen our Olympic legacy some fourteen years after the 2002 Olympic Winter Games were held here,” said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission.

This year, with both events taking place on the same weekend, the Visa Freestyle International and U.S. Grand Prix are acting as test events for the 2019 World Championships, providing officials an opportunity to see how multiple events on the same day can be integrated together in the community. Both the USSA and the Utah Sports Commission have played key roles in supporting the individual events as well as Utah’s successful bid for the 2019 Worlds. The largest winter sporting event next to the Olympics, the 2019 World Championships will provide Utah with an opportunity to once again showcase its hosting capabilities to the world.

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Canadian freeskier Mike Riddle competes in the halpipe qualifiers this week, part of the 2016 U.S. Visa Freeskiing Grand Prix at Park City, Utah. (photo: U.S. Freeskiing)
Canadian freeskier Mike Riddle competes in the halpipe qualifiers this week, part of the 2016 U.S. Visa Freeskiing Grand Prix at Park City, Utah. (photo: U.S. Freeskiing)

“The strength of these events working together in our community speaks to the partnership between Park City and Deer Valley, as well as the Park City Chamber/Bureau, Summit County and the Utah Sports Commission,” said USSA President and CEO Tiger Shaw. “It’s an opportunity for our athletes and to create broader exposure for the sport.”

The weekend of events at Park City and Deer Valley is being broadcast globally. Domestic television coverage on NBC and NBCSN will feature more than seven hours of national exposure and all events will be live streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra.  Overall, more than 2 million television viewers in America and millions more worldwide are expected to tune in.

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