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by the USSA News Desk

Newry, Maine, Jan. 23, 2001--World-class aerialists and mogul skiers representing 22 countries will descend onSunday River Ski Resort this week for the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Grand National on Jan. 27-28 - the first World Cupevent to be held in New England in 20 years.

The public has plenty of opportunity to see future Olympic athletes in action. Training sessions are open tospectators throughout the week and final competitions are Jan. 27 (aerials) and Jan. 28 (moguls).

"This is a must see event. We're thrilled to host such a showcase of high-caliber athletes from around the world,"said Managing Director Chip Seamans. "It attests to the standard of quality at Sunday River that we've worked sohard to achieve."

The event serves as one of the qualifying opportunities for the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. Itincludes American athletes such as 1998 Olympic Gold Medalists Eric Bergoust and Johnny Mosely, and 1992Gold Medalist Donna Weinbrecht. Many will be tracking New England athletes Hannah Hardaway ofMoultonborough, NH, Evan Dybvig of Tunbridge, VT and Brenda Petzold, who attended Carrabassett ValleyAcademy in Maine, to name a few. Hardaway captured her first World cup podium earlier this month on the 2002Olympic venue for mogul skiing and won the title in Sunday River's annual Bust n' Burn competition last April.

Sunday River has been preparing for the event for many months - the next few weeks will be spent on finalconstruction of the aerial jump in the Freestyle Aerial Arena and on the mogul run on thesteepest-longest-widest-lift-served trail in the East, White Heat.

The intrepid aerial skiers launch 50 feet or more into the air while performing twists and somersaults. The jumphas a daunting 215-foot, 25-degree in-run slope; a 72-foot flat table where the 15-foot tall jumps are built; and a98-foot long, 37.5-degree steep landing area.

The finals for the aerial event are slated for Saturday, Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. The competition will begin at 10:45 a.m. andis located above the Barker Base Lodge.

The mogul skiers will charge through bumps upon bumps and complete two mandatory jumps. The course is 22meters wide, 235 meters long and boasts a maximum incline of 32 degrees. The moguls will be partly machineformed then finessed by course workers and skied into shape during the training rounds.

Finals for the moguls will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28, following a competition start time of 10 a.m.

For more information log on to or call 207.824.5251.

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