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JEEP® KING OF THE MOUNTAIN SERIES UNVEILS ROSTER FILLED WITH OLYMPIANS, WORLD CHAMPIONS & NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
By Press Release
Saturday, 18 November 2006
JEEP® KING OF THE MOUNTAIN SERIES UNVEILS ROSTER FILLED WITH OLYMPIANS, WORLD CHAMPIONS & NATIONAL CHAMPIONS FOR 2006-2007 SKIING & SNOWBOARDING WORLD PROFESSIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Series to Launch 14th Season in Style on Saturday, Dec. 2 at Snowbird, Utah
VAIL, Colo. – November 17, 2006 – In the ultra competitive world of professional skiing and snowboarding, fair or not, world caliber athletes are often measured only by their most recent race result. By anyone’s standards, however, representing one’s country at the Winter Olympics, earning a title at a World Cup event or winning a National Championship can be considered a career defining moment.
When reviewing the newly unveiled roster for the Jeep® King of the Mountain (www.jeepsports.com
) 2006-2007 Skiing & Snowboarding World Professional Championships, it’s hard to fathom the cumulative accomplishments of the star-studded line-up set to hit the snow for the first race of the new season, set for Saturday, Dec. 2 at the award winning Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah.
Fifteen Winter Olympics appearances. Forty-nine World Cup titles. Seventeen National Championships from Australia, Austria, Canada, France, New Zealand and the U.S. Thirteen World Championships. Seven Winter X Games and three Gravity Games gold medals. Four Junior World Championships. One Mountain Biking World Championship.
Now in its 14th season as professional snow sports’ most prestigious event, the Jeep King of the Mountain Series will bring together 24 of the world’s elite racers competing for the richest cash payout in the sport on a stage before millions of television viewers on CBS Sports and spectators at top flight resorts nationwide. This year’s event prize purse will top $450,000 (U.S.), including an additional $20,000 (U.S.) in bonuses from John Paul Mitchell Systems and the keys to a new
2007 Jeep Patriot for the men’s and women’s skiing and snowboarding World Professional Champion. Each race from the Jeep King of the Mountain Series will air on CBS Sports, with additional coverage via national syndication.
The official rosters for the Skiing & Snowboarding World Professional Championships include: Men’s Snowboarding
Headlining the group will be Farmington, Maine’s, Seth Wescott
, a World Champion who became the first snowboard-cross gold medalist in Olympic history last spring in Torino, Italy. Joining him will be the defending World Professional Champion Graham Watanabe
of Park City, Utah, who also raced in the 2006 Winter Olympics and has a World Cup title under his belt. Nate Holland
, a 2006 Winter Olympian from Squaw Valley, Calif., who won the New Zealand National Championship, will be vying for a podium position in his first full season. Mario Fuchsof
Austria, a 2006 Winter Olympian and Austrian National Champion, will look to uphold the fine results produced by his fellow countrymen at the Jeep King of the Mountain Series over the years. Another contender will be Canada’s Drew Neilson
, a Winter Olympian with six World Cup titles, a Continental Cup Championship, a gold medal at the Gravity Games, and a slew of gold, silver and bronze medals from the Winter X Games. Rounding out the group will be one of the most acclaimed extreme athletes in history, Shaun Palmer
, who will be competing in both the snowboarding and skiing competitions. Palmer’s illustrious career includes five snowboard World Championships, Winter X Games and Gravity Games gold medals in skiing, super-cross designation in the sport of moto-cross, and a mountain biking World Championship. Women’s Snowboarding
The Jeep King of the Mountain Series pulled off a coup by landing the gold, silver and bronze snowboard-cross medalists from the 2006 Winter Olympics. The include Switzerland’s Tanja Frieden
, a 2005 World Cup titlist; Stowe, Vt.’s, Lindsey Jacobellis
, a 2005 World Champion and 2004 World Cup Champion; and Canada’s Dominique Maltais
, a two-time winner of her country’s National Championship who had six, top-10 World Cup finishes last season, respectively. Joining them will be Seattle, Wash.’s Marni Yamada
, a member of the U.S. Snowboard Team, and Julie Pomagalski
of France, a Jeep King of the Mountain title winner last year who has amassed two French National Championships, a World Championship and nine World Cup titles in her career. Two-time defending World Professional Champion, Doresia Krings
of Austria. Krings, a 2006 Winter Olympian and three-time World Cup titlist, will surely face her stiffest competition to date in the Jeep King of the Mountain Series.
In addition to the roster of pre-qualified invited athletes, the Jeep King of the Mountain Series will continue to incorporate the highly popular National Open Qualifier system at each event, allowing top-notch amateur and professional ski and snowboard racers to earn a spot against the world’s best for a shot at the title of World Professional Champion. Additional National Open Qualifier registration information can be found at www.jeepsports.com
A highlight of the coming season will be the introduction of “Competitor Inspired” racecourse design. One of the series’ competitors will help design and personalize the layout of the event’s unique Y-cross racecourse at each stop. The course, which delivers high-speed excitement, requires equal parts instinct, patience and nerve from its challengers. For the first part of the course, two competitors must navigate the dual features section consisting of single and double rollers. Once through this section, the two courses converge into a single course, forming the approximate shape of a Y. The second section features terrain characteristics of skier-cross or snowboard-cross racing, including banked turns, jumps, and tabletops. You must be able to “work” the terrain features in order to generate extra speed, use techniques such as NASCAR-style drafting, and feel comfortable with another racer literally breathing down your neck. At each event, the athletes can expect to encounter a completely distinct terrain based on the layout of the host mountain. Snowbird, Utah is the first stop of the Skiing & Snowboarding World Professional Championships
. Additional races will be held on January 20, 2007 at Europa-Sportregion Zell am See-Kaprun in Salzburg, Austria; February 10, 2007 at Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico; and March 3, 2007 at Telluride Ski Resort in Colorado. The race from Snowbird will air on CBS Sports on Dec. 9, with an additional one-hour nationally syndicated broadcast scheduled. The Jeep King of the Mountain
was established in 1993. Jeep is the title sponsor for the Jeep King of the Mountain Series. The Professional Skiing & Snowboarding World Championships are the sister competition to summertime’s Jeep King of the Mountain World Professional Mountain Biking Championships. Other marketing partners for the Jeep King of the Mountain include Columbia Sportswear Company, Edge ActiveCare, John Paul Mitchell Systems, Infinity Systems, Mopar, and Ski Press Magazine.