BEAVER CREEK - Dec. 3, 2002 - As more than 70 of the world's most elite skiers take to the world-renowned Birds of Prey course in the Men's World Cup Downhill and Super-G events on Dec. 7 and 8, Beaver Creek plays host to public festivities, concerts and other winter activities.
"The Men's World Cup event on Birds of Prey has become a Colorado tradition, attracting thousands of ski racing enthusiasts to Beaver Creek to enjoy the races, festivities and some great skiing and riding," said John Garnsey, chief operating officer of Beaver Creek Resort.
The festivities begin on Friday, Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. with the "World Cup Public Celebration" in Beaver Creek's village core. Spectators will get the chance to meet the world's top 10 fastest downhill racers in an exclusive autograph session. The racers also will draw numerous prizes, ranging from Salomon skis to a Las Vegas vacation, for the audience. Following the prize drawings, spectators can swing to the Latin salsa sounds of "Gordo" in the village core.
On Saturday, Dec. 7, the festivities continue at 6 p.m. as the Black Diamond Ball gets underway at the new Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch Hotel, a black-tie event benefiting the Vail Valley Foundation.
The only American downhill and Super-G events on the men's tour this winter season, the Birds of Prey World Cup promises to thrill spectators as it is transformed into an exciting battleground for the U.S. and European racers. The U.S. Ski Team's Darron Rahlves and Bode Miller challenge Austrian powerhouses Stephan Eberharter, Fritz Strobl and Andreas Schifferer and the veteran Norwegian duo of Lasse Kjus and Kjetil Andre Aamodt for the king-of-the-hill title. The men's downhill event begins at 11 a.m. on Dec. 7 and the men's Super-G at 11 a.m. on Dec. 8, with formal awards ceremonies immediately following both races in the finish area.
Admission to seating in the Red Tail Stadium, located at the finish of the Birds of Prey course, is free to the public. A complimentary shuttle bus will transport spectators from the covered bridge in Beaver Creek up to the stadium every 10 minutes on race days. The stadium also features a jumbo-sized television screen for spectators to catch all of the race action, top to bottom.Spectators with a sense of adventure can "demo" Atlas snowshoes and hike up to the stadium via the Wagon Road Trail, compliments of the Beaver Creek Nordic Center. On each race day beginning at 9 a.m., the Nordic Center will offer free snowshoes until they run out.