- Athletes competing in the Super G and Giant Slalom at Whiteface in Wilmington, N.Y. will race on a much improved trail thanks, in part, to a grant from the Kelly Brush Foundation.
The foundation awarded $10,000 to the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) for trail modifications to the race course where 50 ski races are hosted each season. At the U.S. Alpine Championships March 20-23, the Super G and Giant Slalom races are set to be held on the improved trail. The $60,000 safety and improvement project is a joint undertaking of ORDA and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.
"Improving ski racing safety is at the core of the Kelly Brush Foundation's mission. The improvements at Whiteface raise the bar for safer and better racing everywhere and we are happy to have played a role in making that happen," said Charlie Brush, Kelly Brush Foundation president.
Trail modifications included widening, rerouting snowmaking pipeline and regrading sections of the Parkway and Thruway trails, which comprise the upper segment of the Super G course. The entire course includes the Parkway/Thruway/Drapers trails and is also the trail for Giant Slalom racing. Widening the trail creates critical additional space for safety protection along the side of the course and allows for setting both a men's and women's Super G course on the same day and gives athletes more room in the event of a high speed fall.
"ORDA, in partnership with USSA and Kelly Brush Foundation is proud to be a role model for ski racing safety. These trail modifications will not only serve the athletes who compete here at the U.S. Alpine Championships, but will enhance safety for all the racers who come to Whiteface to compete in Super G and Giant Slalom events for seasons to come, including the Nor Am finals, FIS races and the Empire State Games. In total, ORDA hosts about 50 race days annually," said Ted Blazer, president and chief executive officer of ORDA.
The Whiteface trail project comes as USSA is requiring that all USSA and International Ski Federation (FIS) sanctioned race courses in the United States are inspected with an approved safety plan in order to host any alpine ski race starting in the 2010-2011 season.
"As USSA works to ensure the highest standard for ski racing across the country, holding the Nationals on a course that meets the latest design specifications is paramount. The partnership with ORDA and the Kelly Brush Foundation provides a model for how successful partnerships can make a difference," said Walt Evans, USSA national competition director.
About the foundation: The Kelly Brush Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving ski racing safety, enhancing the quality of life for those with spinal cord injury(SCI) through providing adaptive sports equipment, advancing scientific research on SCI and supporting the U.S. Adaptive Ski Team. Kelly Brush, together with her
family, started the foundation in 2006 after she sustained a severe spinal cord injury
while racing in NCAA Div. I competition as a member of the Middlebury College Ski Team in Vermont. The Kelly Brush Foundation affirms Kelly's ongoing commitment to live life on her own terms and better the lives of others living with SCI. http://www.kellybrushfoundation.org/
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PHOTO CAPTION: Andrew Weibrecht, the 2010 Olympic men's Super-G bronze medalist from Lake Placid, N.Y., racing at Whiteface in Wilmington, N.Y. Photo courtesy New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority.
Charlie Brush, Kelly Brush Foundation
(802) 846-5298; firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon Lundin, ORDA
(518) 523-1655 ext. 213; email@example.com