Elite Snowboarders, Skiers Head To Killington

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(Host) As many as 30,000 people are expected at Killington this weekend as the 2011 Winter Dew Tour makes its first stop in the East.  

As VPR’s Nina Keck reports, some of the world’s best snowboarders and extreme skiers will compete there over the next three days.

(Keck)  This winter’s Mountain Dew Tour began last month in Breckenridge, Colorado.  

Killington is the event’s only East Coast stop, and resort spokesman Tom Horrocks says fans will see local favorites like Kelly Clark as well as Olympian Louie Vito and top ranked Simon Dumont.

(Horrocks) "You’re going to see competitors from all over the world. This is the best of the best in the free skiing and snowboarding world. These athletes are setting their sights on the 2014 Olympic winter games in Russia. So with a few more years to go, they’re trying to dial in their tricks and really find their competition groove at Killington this weekend and throughout the Dew Tour."

(Keck) Queeche native, Kevin Pearce, the high ranked snowboarder, who was severely injured just before the 2010 Olympics, is also expected to attend to cheer on his friends.    

Tom Horrocks says Killington began building its 22-foot high, Olympic-sized super pipe last summer. It will be used by both skiers and snowboarders during the weekend competition.   Skiers and riders will also compete in slopestyle events, which while popular at winter X games, are not yet included in the Olympics.

(Horrocks) "It’s more of a street style course at the top where they’ll have some rails and boxes where the skiers and snowboarders will come down and they’ll grind those rails and do some tricks off the rails and boxes. And then as they get a little lower down on the slopestyle course they’ll enter a series of big kickers. And kickers are just a huge jump, and some of these jumps are three and four stories tall. So you’ll see these skiers and snowboarders flying anywhere from 30 to 50 feet in the air and landing backwards."

(Keck) The general public is welcome to watch the events. No tickets are necessary.

For VPR News, I’m Nina Keck

(Host outro) Competition begins Friday with superpipe finals on Saturday and slopestyle finals on Sunday. Both finals will be broadcast live on national television.  

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