World Cup coming to Heavenly
The World Cup freestyle circuit will make its first-ever appearance on the South Shore in just three weeks and local racers and organizers can hardly wait.
“It’s the first one in the area, which makes it really special,” said freestyle mogul specialist Brooke Ballachey, who plans to compete in the Heavenly-hosted event Jan. 22-24. “We’ve been waiting for a while now, so we’re pretty excited about it. When I was a kid, I didn’t expect that I would ever be able to ski a World Cup event on my home course. Now it’s happening.”
The event, which will be taped for a Jan. 30 NBC telecast, should attract racers from across the globe and will feature Nagano gold medalist – and Squaw Valley resident – Jonny Moseley. Moseley’s “mute grab helicopter” at the 1998 Winter Olympics wowed a worldwide audience and brought increased attention to the growing sport.
Local racers Chris Hernandez, Shannon Bahrke and Shelley Robertson are also expected to compete in the World Cup event. Bahrke and Robertson, both from Squaw Valley, qualified for the U.S. developmental (or “C”) teams at the selection event two weeks ago in Park City, Utah.
Heavenly Ski Foundation freestyle coach Jere Crawford, who instructs Hernandez and Ballachey, will set up the event’s mogul course, an activity he characterized as “glorified shoveling.”
Heavenly occasionally hosted freestyle championships in the early 1970s during the sport’s infancy. The ski resort has also been a stop on the World Cup Alpine circuit as recently as 1985. The area has also been the host for a variety of pro mogul tour competitions but never a World Cup freestyle event, Crawford said.
The freestyle competition will offer aerial, mogul and acro competitions.
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