With less than a month to go until the Dew Tour’s iON Mountain Championships (Dec. 12-15 in Breckenridge, Colorado), every day has seen new athletes confirming their spots in the halfpipe and slopestyle contests. The stakes are raised even higher than usual this year because the event will serve as the first official US Ski and Snowboard Association Olympic team selection event of the 2013-2014 season, and the first-ever USSA selection event for freeski slopestyle, freeski superpipe and snowboarding slopestyle disciplines.
Here’s a look at the latest round of confirmed athletes and what you can expect from next month’s contests.
As the first-ever USSA selection event for snowboarding slopestyle, there have been a flood of new entrants recently. A trio of top-rated Americans have confirmed their spots in the Dew Tour, with Chas Guldemond, Sage Kotsenburg and Breckenridge native Eric Willett all onboard along with the previously-announced Shaun White. It won’t be an easy path to the podium though, as they’ll face stiff international competition from the likes of Mark McMorris, Sebastien Toutant and Torstein Horgmo. On the women’s side, Jamie Anderson and Spencer O’Brien will both be in Breckenridge for the latest chapter of their exciting series of head-to-head battles.
Chas Guldemond placed second behind Mark McMorris at his last Dew Tour contest.
Two previous winners of Dew Tour events, Louie Vito and Danny Davis, have locked in their spots in the superpipe competition. Shaun White, the defending champion and a two-time Olympic gold medalist in halfpipe, will make for strong competition though. Newly-registered athletes in the women’s contest include a pair of veteran Olympians, Gretchen Bleiler and Hannah Teter. Along with Kelly Clark and Elena Hight, they’ll be looking to dethrone the 2010 Olympic gold medalist, Australia’s Torah Bright, another new entrant for Breckenridge.
"I’m stoked the Dew Tour is the first Olympic team qualifier. You can guarantee the pipe will be great and everyone comes out for the contest swinging," said Scotty Lago, 2010 Olympic halfpipe bronze medalist. "Game on!"
Louie Vito will look to improve on last year’s runner-up finish at the Dew Tour.
Freeski superpipe will certainly not be lacking in talent, as United States Olympic hopefuls Torin Yater-Wallace, David Wise, Simon Dumont, Gus Kenworthy and Aaron Blunck are all confirmed to compete. New Zealand’s Jossi Wells, a Dew Cup champion during the 2009-’10 season, is one of the newest entrants on the international side of the field.
David Wise enters the season as the world’s top-ranked superpipe rider by the AFP.
"I couldn’t be more excited that the Dew Tour is the first USSA selection event this December," said Yater-Wallace. "The event always brings out the best competition, so it will be the perfect way for freeskiers to make our statement as we prepare for our first Games in Sochi."
Another big battleground will be the freeski slopestyle contest. Tom Wallisch, Nick Goepper, Gus Kenworthy and Breckenridge local Bobby Brown will all be in search of valuable USSA selection points. Great Britain’s James Woods will join Australia’s Russ Henshaw as one of the biggest obstacles for the American freeskiers.
No stranger to the podium, Tom Wallisch hopes to get back on top this year.
Joining Gus Kenworthy in the quest to earn USSA selection points for both freeskiing disciplines will be Devin Logan. Logan is registered for women’s superpipe and slopestyle and is always a threat in both events.
NIKE SNOWBOARDING STREETSTYLE
In addition to superpipe and slopestyle, the iON Mountain Championships will once again host a streetstyle event in downtown Breckenridge. The contest will highlight snowboarding's best urban talent on a collection of street features under the lights on Washington St.
DEW TOUR TELEVISION SCHEDULE
NBC and NBCSN will combine to feature more than four hours of live coverage from Breckenridge. Coverage begins Saturday, December 14 at Noon ET on NBC, and continues through the weekend. All practice, qualifying, and finals will be streamed live on DewTour.com.
|Sat., December 14||Men’s Snowboard Superpipe Final||NBC||Noon ET|
|Sat., December 15||Men’s Freeski Superpipe Final (taped)||NBCSN||1am ET|
|Sun., December 15||Men’s Freeski Slopestyle Final||NBC||Noon ET|
|Sun., December 15||Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle Final||NBCSN||3pm ET|
*All times listed are ET. Schedules are subject to change.
|Freeski Superpipe (M)||Freeski Superpipe (W)||Freeski Slopestyle (M)||Freeski Slopestyle (W)|
|Duncan Adams||Katrien Aerts||Alex Beaulieu-Marchand||Dania Assaly|
|Christian Allen||Zyre Austin||Willie Borm||Isabel Atkin|
|Wing-Tai Barrymore||Maddie Bowman||Oystein Braten||Ashley Battersby|
|Aaron Blunck||Anais Caradeux||Bobby Brown||Jamie Crane-Mauzy|
|Justin Dorey||Jamie Crane-Mauzy||Sammy Carlson||Grete Eliassen|
|Simon Dumont||Jeanee Crane-Mauzy||Lyman Currier||Dara Howell|
|Alex Ferreira||Annalisa Drew||Robby Franco||Julia Krass|
|Gus Kenworthy||Virginie Faivre||Vincent Gagnier||Devin Logan|
|Thomas Krief||Rosalind Groenewoud||Nick Goepper||Alexi Micinski|
|Broby Leeds||Megan Gunning||Henrik Harlaut||Meg Olenick|
|Carson Lehouiller||Abigale Hansen||Andreas Hatveit||Anna Segal|
|Mike Riddle||Keltie Hansen||Russ Henshaw||Tiril Sjastad Christiansen|
|Kevin Rolland||Hannah Haupt||Gus Kenworthy||Darian Stevens|
|Taylor Seaton||Mirjam Jaeger||Noah Morrison||Yuki Tsubota|
|Kyle Smaine||Devin Logan||Tim Ryan||Maggie Voisin|
|Benoit Valentin||Marie Martinod||Alex Schlopy||Emilia Wint|
|Byron Wells||Manami Mitsuboshi||Jesper Tjader|
|Jossi Wells||Ayana Onozuka||Matt Walker|
|David Wise||Kimmy Sharp||Noah Wallace|
|Walter Wood||Brita Sigourney||Tom Wallisch|
|Torin Yater-Wallace||Maggie Stout||Kolby Ward|
|Angeli Vanlaanen||Jossi Wells|