There will certainly be some local flavor next week at the 2013 Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships at Squaw Valley ski resort in Lake Tahoe.
Getting a chance to ski on their home mountain March 20-24 will be quite the thrill for Olympic gold medalist Julia Mancuso, Olympian Marco Sullivan and young Olympic hopeful Travis Ganong, who all have roots to Squaw Valley.
“It’s really cool to see all the great stuff happening at Squaw,” Mancuso said. “To have U.S. nationals back just shows the commitment to racing and its roots here in Squaw Valley. It’s nice to be able to stay home and race in my backyard – which I also consider to be the best resort in America – so I am psyched.”
It was 11 years ago that a youthful Mancuso was racing downhill at a major event at Squaw. That took place at the 2002 U.S. Alpine Championships when Caroline Lalive captured the Super G title, followed by Jonna Mendes of Heavenly and Mancuso taking third place.
This ski season, Mancuso upped her already impressive major championship medal total to eight with Super G bronze at the Schladming, Austria World Championships in February. Mancuso owns a record of 15 U.S. titles and is the defending giant slalom and super G champion.
The Alpine Championships will be the region’s chance to see America’s top skiers compete on U.S. soil as they gear up for next year’s winter games in Sochi, Russia.
After a successful Audi FIS Alpine World Cup in Europe, the 2013 U.S. Alpine Championships will welcome World Championship medalists back to America, including Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah), and Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.).
Ligety captured gold during the February World Championships in Super G, Super combined and Giant Slalom to become the first man to win triple gold at a World Championships since ski legend Jean Claude Killy in 1968.
Teen phenom Mikaela Shiffrin is the defending U.S. slalom champion and became the youngest American World Champion since Diann Roffe in 1985 when she took slalom gold at age 17.
“We’re absolutely honored to be hosting the 2013 U.S. Alpine Championships,” said Andy Wirth, Squaw Valley’s president and CEO. “Squaw has a very proud heritage of hosting the Winter Olympics and producing a great number of Olympians and world class athletes. We are excited to offer unique and challenging terrain for the competitions on what are some of the most spectator-friendly courses that the Alpine Championships has ever seen.”
Wednesday, March 20
Men's giant slalom
Thursday, March 21
Women's giant slalom
Audi Ski Challenge
Friday, March 22
Men's and women's super G
U.S. Ski Team Autograph Session
Saturday, March 23
U.S. Ski Team Day – Dawn Patrol and ProAm Race
Sunday, March 24