Killington hosts freestyle ski championships

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(Host) Killington is about to host a four-day ski-fest in which 150 competitors will take part in the Sprint U.S. Freestyle championships.

VPR’s Nina Keck previews the event.

(Keck) Freestyle luminaries like Emily Cook and Jaret “Speedy” Peterson will be competing – remember Peterson’s trademark hurricane jump in the Olympics? Mogul champions including Vermont’s own Hannah Kearney and Olympic bronze medalist Toby Dawson will also be on hand. The U.S. Championships match the best U.S. team athletes with hundreds of aspiring American skiers.

(Tom Horrocks) “It’s a national championship and very few athletes get to say they’ve been an Olympic champion or a world champion or a national champion. To walk away from here winning a national championship is very prestigious not only for members of the U.S. Ski Team, but for younger skiers coming up in the ranks as well.”

(Keck) Killington spokesman Tom Horrocks says this will be the first domestic competition for the team since last month’s Olympics. He says it’s the first time in 25 years that Killington has hosted such an important competition and bringing part of the festivities to Rutland was a natural.

(Horrocks) “The simple fact that we can bring the athletes to the people with a parade in downtown Rutland is a huge bonus – not for us, but for the athletes to see people coming out and cheering for them. And then that goes to hosting this event at Bear Mountain where, even if you’re not a skier, you can walk up or ride up and see this world class competition. The goal here is to really bring the venues and the athletes to the people and give everybody an equal opportunity to come out and cheer them on.”

(Keck) Governor Jim Douglas and Rutland Mayor John Cassarino will lead Wednesday night’s parade, which begins at 5:30. The competition begins Thursday with superpipe, followed by single moguls on Friday, aerials on Saturday and dual moguls on Sunday. All events are free and open to the public.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Nina Keck in Rutland.

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