New England ski racing fans will assemble by the tens of thousands — for the third consecutive year — to give thanks for World Cup racing action at Killington Resort. The world’s best female racers — including 2018 Olympic gold medalists Mikaela Shiffrin, Italy’s Sofia Goggia and Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter — will compete in giant slalom and slalom races when the Audi FIS Ski World Cup returns on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23-25).
In addition to the racing action (general admission is free and open to the public), fans will have the opportunity to enjoy free concerts Friday through Sunday featuring Michael Franti, KT Tunstall, Paul Oakenfold, Guster and others. Additional entertainment includes the World Cup Festival Village, fireworks, parades and a Friday night bib draw featuring top athletes.
“Combining an expanded entertainment lineup with the United States’ premier women’s ski racing event makes for a unique weekend party at Killington for fans of all ages that’s free and open to the public,” says Rob Megnin, director of marketing and sales for Killington Resort. “Guests who come for the whole weekend, Friday through Sunday, will have an opportunity to experience Killington like never before. The combination of live music, fireworks show, movie premiers and of course the ski racing will create a unique mountain event guests have never experienced before.”
While the ski races and concerts are free and open to the public, a limited number of tickets for premium viewing areas for the giant slalom and slalom races and preferred parking are still available for purchase. VIP ticket packages also are still available at kwccgivesback.org in partnership with the Killington World Cup Committee, which supports athlete hospitality and provides grants to support winter sports infrastructure and access to winter sports throughout the region.
“It’s an honor and a pleasure to welcome the best women ski racers in the world back to Killington for the third year,” said Herwig Demschar, chair of Killington’s World Cup local organizing committee. “Spectators will be treated to a weekend of exciting racing, as well as a top music lineup, ensuring it will be a party not to be missed. This year, we are hoping to make history by breaking attendance records, showing the world how New England fans support their favorite ski racing stars.”
World Cup committee awards grants
The Killington World Cup Committee has awarded $207,000 in grants to more than 15 nonprofits in the Northeast, including eight in Vermont. The goal of these grants is to increase availability to winter sports for youth and individuals with disabilities. Each of the eight organizations in Vermont support programs that increase winter sports participation for youth and promote healthy activity through skiing. They are: Cochran’s Ski Area in Richmond; Green Mountain Valley School in Waitsfield; Kelly Brush Foundation in Burlington; Killington Ski Club; Middlebury Ski Club; Stride Foundation for Female Athletes in Middlebury; Pico Ski Education Foundation in Rutland; and Woodstock Ski Runners in South Pomfret.
Waterville hosts U.S. Alpine Championships
It has been 17 long years since Julie Parisien won a World Cup slalom at Waterville Valley, but elite ski racing is making its long-awaited return to the resort in both 2019 and 2021 when the nation’s best will return to New Hampshire to compete at the U.S. Alpine Championships.
The resort will host slalom, giant slalom and — a new addition to the U.S. alpine calendar — parallel slalom events on March 23-26, 2019.
“We are looking forward to bringing elite ski racing back to Waterville Valley Resort,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard chief of systems and operations Calum Clark. “The membership and fan base in the East is vast and extremely engaged with the sport, and our athletes love competing in front of them.”
Adding parallel slalom into the championship calendar reflects U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s focus on an emerging format that is both spectator-friendly and gaining increased stature in World Cup and Olympic competition.
“This will be the biggest race that Waterville Valley Resort has hosted since our last World Cup in 1991,” said Tim Smith, president and general manager at the resort. “I know our guests and pass holders won’t want to miss the opportunity to see these athletes in action.”