Palmer reaches ‘Superstar’ staus |

Palmer reaches ‘Superstar’ staus

Shaun Palmer is headed to an odd place to prove winter sports stars can compete among the best athletes from any arena – Jamaica.

The South Lake Tahoe snowboarder, skiercross gold medalist, downhill mountain biker and snowmobile racer left the Tahoe Basin on Wednesday, headed for Montego Bay, Jamaica, the site of The Snapple Superstars competition Friday through Sunday. The competition, at the Half Moon Golf, Tennis and Beach Club, pits Palmer against 10 other sports stars in a 10-event competition to decide the best athlete and award $150,000 in cash prizes.

And Palmer is up against some heavyweights. Joining Palmer on the event’s final roster are New York Giants cornerback and two-time defending Superstars champion Jason Sehorn, 1998 super-G and giant slalom gold medalist Hermann Maier; San Francisco 49ers wideout Terrell Owens; Super Bowl players Orlando Pace and Isaac Bruce and Bruce’s Pro Bowl quarterback, Steve Beuerlein; former New York Yankees outfielder Tim Raines; U.S. Soccer star Alexi Lalas; Washington Redskins receiver Michael Westbrook and Dallas Cowboys lineman Erik Williams.

Palmer and the rest of the Snapple Superstars must compete in seven of the 10 events: swimming, weightlifting, kayaking, personal watercraft slalom, golf, a basketball shootout, cycling, a half-mile run, a 100-yard dash and an obstacle course. Competitors who make their living in any of the sports can’t compete in that in the Superstars, thus Palmer’s background as a downhill mountain bike racer disqualifies him for the Superstars road bike race.

The Superstars is heir of the original Superstars competitions in the 1970s and 1980s. ABC resurrected the event in 1998 with a 25th anniversary special, which Sehorn won.

Sehorn, a native of Sacramento, participated while recovering from major reconstructive knee surgery, skipped the 100-yard dash, basketball competition and obstacle course, but managed to hold off moguls skier Jonny Moseley for the title. Sehorn won the swimming, biking and kayaking competitions, took second in weightlifting, the half-mile and the jet ski race.

“It’s just great to be an athlete again,” he said after winning in 1999.

CBS will air the Snapple Superstars in two 90-minute telecasts from Jamaica from 1:30-3 p.m. May 27 and 12:30-2:30 p.m. May 28

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