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World Cup & Olympic Hopefuls to Compete at Killington

KILLINGTON, Vt. (January 15, 2003 - News Release) - The daunting moguls of Killington's Outer Limits, the steepest mogul slope in the East, will challenge a new crop of freestyle skiers from the United States, Canada, Japan, Great Britain, and other countries, as Killington plays host to the F.I.S. Freestyle Nor-Am Competition, Jan. 25-31, 2003. The event is part of a freestyle qualifier series for 2004 World Cup and 2006 Olympic teams.

"It's an incredible event to watch," said Matt Gnoza, head freestyle coach for the Killington Freestyle Team and the Killington Mountain School. "Spectators can make their home right at the base area at Bear Mountain, at the bottom of Outer Limits. You get a bird's eye view of the competition. The competition is tough. It's the up and coming crop of skiers, and these guys put it all on the line. They take big risks and pull out all the stops - big air, fast lines - to make sure they get noticed."

According to Gnoza, Killington's own Michael Morse, a member of the Killington Freestyle Team and ranked third overall in dual moguls, has a very good chance of making the podium. He recently placed third at the Freestyle Nor Am Cup held at Penticton, British Columbia. In addition, Justin Filskov, also a member of Killington's team, could be in contention as well, as he prepares for his upcoming bid at the Junior World Championships.

The competition is sanctioned by the United States Ski and Snowboard Association and the International Ski Federation (F.I.S.). The competition is governed by the F.I.S. Rules and Regulations for Freestyle Skiing and Nor-Am championship procedures. The last time Killington hosted a Nor-Am event was in 1996. Then-Killington Freestyle Team Members Hannah Hardaway and Travis Mayer competed in 1996. Mayer became a freestyle silver medallist in the 2002 Olympics and Hardaway a U.S. Ski Team and Olympic Team member.

Outer Limits is the training and competition arena. It is the steepest mogul slope in eastern North America, covering 1,200 feet of vertical in a half a mile. According to Gnoza however, it's the major part of the trail at the bottom that counts: 250 meters of the longest, steepest, toughest moguls that man ever dreamed of. Early in the season, Gnoza and the Killington Course Crews work the snow on the trail in the snow-cats to build this playground.

"It's all done on a grand scale here," said Gnoza. "Stand on a mogul and see eye-to-ski-tip with the guy on the mogul above you. It's pretty amazing and even more amazing to watch skiers who can really challenge the trail with their athleticism."

Registration and team training take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 28-29. On Thursday, Jan. 30, single mogul competition begins with qualifiers at 10 a.m. and finals at 1 p.m. On Friday, Jan. 31, dual moguls will be held with qualifiers at 10 a.m. and finals at 12:30 p.m. Awards ceremonies will be held after each event at the Bear Mountain Base Lodge.

The Killington Freestyle Team has produced successful and talented athletes that have either been part of this program or have trained on Outer Limits. Evan Dybvig, Luke Westerlund and Alex Wilson, Hannah Hardaway and Donna Weinbrecht ("The Queen of Bear Mountain") are all current or past U.S. Ski Team members who first cranked it up on Outer Limits and Devil's Fiddle. Other alumni, like Steve Desovich and Diana Williams, went the coaching road and are National team coaches. This year, Dybvig joins the Killington Team as assistant coach to Gnoza.

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For mor information on Killington, visit their resort profile on MySkiTrip.com:
MySkiTrip.com - Killington

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