nature-valley-freestyle-logo.jpgLake Placid, N.Y. -- The last stop for freestyle athletes to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team touches down in Lake Placid, N.Y., Jan. 21-24, for three days of excitement with aerials, moguls and ski cross competitions at the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup.                                                                                                     "Lake Placid is a pivotal event for our athletes with the final chance to qualify for the Olympic Team," said U.S. ski team freestyle head coach Jeff Wintersteen. "The battle is especially intense in both men's and women's moguls where we still have a large number of athletes who have a chance to get on the podium and possibly grab an Olympic spot. I expect to see an amazing competition in Lake Placid." The Nature Valley Freestyle Cup kicks off  Thursday, Jan. 21, with moguls, where the likes of World champion Patrick Deneen (Cle Elum, Wash.), World Cup moguls champion Hannah Kearney (Norwich, Vt.) and Olympic contender Bryon Wilson (Butte, Mont.) will each be fighting their way down the bumps for a World Cup win. Even being the last event in Olympic selection, there will still be a large number of athletes who can hit it big and qualify for the Team so competition is expected to be intense. Qualifying begins at 11:30 a.m. on Wilderness at Whiteface, with finals at 1:15 p.m. On Friday night a huge crowd is expected at the jumping complex as the focus then shifts to aerials at its finest - under the lights. There, Jeret "Speedy" Peterson (Boise, Idaho) could attempt his famous "Hurricane" jump, and teammate Emily Cook (Belmont, Mass.) hopes to lock in her trip to Vancouver. Known for the grueling training regiment he puts down each summer in Lake Placid, World Champion Ryan St. Onge (Winter Park, Colo.) is looking forward to competing in his home away from home. "Coming back to Lake Placid is awesome for me because it feels basically like a home base," St. Onge said. "I train there five to six months out of the year and for me to get to back and compete there, it's almost a home court advantage." Aerials finals begin at 8 p.m. with qualifying earlier in the day. The weekend wraps up that Sunday with a ski cross race during which fans can catch X Games gold medalist Daron Rahlves (Sugar Bowl, Calif.), and up and coming female crosser Caitlin Ciccone (Littleton, N.H.) in their last stop before the sport's Olympic debut. Rahlves narrowly missed a World Cup win, finishing second earlier in January. "Lake Placid is a great place to showcase the newest Olympic sport of ski cross," said Coach Tyler Shepherd. Qualifying is set for Saturday beginning at 10:15 a.m. with Sunday's head-to-head finals starting at 11:15 a.m. "It's going to be an outstanding weekend of action in Lake Placid," noted Olympic Regional Development Authority president/CEO Ted Blazer.  "Each and every day the world's top athletes will be vying for Olympic team spots which will certainly add to the excitement and bring out the best from these world-class athletes." The 2010 Olympic Freestyle Team will be named Thursday, Jan. 26. 2010 Nature Valley Freestyle Cup Schedule: Thursday, Jan. 21 11:30 a.m. - Moguls qualifying (Wilderness, Whiteface) 1:15 p.m. - Moguls finals (Wilderness, Whiteface) Friday, Jan. 22 11:30 a.m. - Women's aerials qualifying (Intervale Jump Complex) 1:15 p.m. - Men's aerials qualifying (Intervale Jump Complex) 8 p.m. - Aerials Finals (Intervale Jump Complex) 9 p.m. - Fireworks        Saturday, Jan. 23 10:15 a.m. - Women's ski cross qualifying (Whiteface) 12:30 p.m. - Men's ski cross qualifying (Whiteface) Sunday, Jan. 24 11:30 a.m. - Ski cross finals (Whiteface)
  • - ORDA -
Established in 1982, the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) was created by the State of New York to manage the facilities used during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games at Lake Placid. ORDA operates Whiteface and Gore Mountain ski areas; the Olympic Sports Complex at Mt. Van Hoevenberg; the Olympic speedskating oval, Olympic jumping complex and Olympic arena. As host to international and national championships, the Authority has brought millions of athletes, spectator and participants to the region, resulting in significant economic development.  CONTACT: Jon Lundin, ORDA public relations coordinator (518) 523-1655 ext. 213