Sun Valley Resort is hosting the United States Alpine Championships on Tuesday through next Sunday at Bald Mountain. Here’s what you need to know about the fan-friendly event, which is in Sun Valley for the first time since 1951:
▪ Tuesday: Men’s alpine combined (super G at 9:30 a.m. and slalom at 12:30 p.m.). Awards at 2:30 p.m.
▪ Wednesday: Women’s alpine combined (super G at 9:30 a.m. and slalom at 12:30 p.m.). Awards at 2:30 p.m. Street party, barbecue and music at 4 p.m.
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▪ Thursday: Men’s and women’s super G (men’s race at 9 a.m. and women’s race at 12:30 p.m.). Awards, opening ceremony and parade of athletes at 4:30 p.m. at Ketchum Town Square.
▪ Friday: Men’s and women’s slalom (women’s runs at 9 a.m. and noon, men’s runs at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.). Awards at 2:30 p.m. The Sun Valley Big Air Exhibition is 4:30 p.m. at Dollar Mountain. Snowboard big air joins the Olympics in 2018.
▪ Saturday: Men’s giant slalom (runs at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.) Awards at 2:30 p.m. Baldy Bash street party at 3 p.m. Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin will sign autographs at the Brass Ranch at River Run from 4 to 5 p.m.
▪ Sunday: Women’s giant slalom (runs at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.). Awards at 1:30 p.m.
Admission is free to watch the events.
Races take place above the Warm Springs base. They’ll finish at the bottom of the Greyhawk lift. All other events are in the Warm Springs base area unless noted. Parking is limited at Warm Springs/Greyhawk. Spectators are encouraged to park in the River Run or Pavilion lots and take a free shuttle to Warm Springs.
STARS AND LOCALS
▪ The field includes Mikaela Shiffrin (slalom, giant slalom), the 2014 Olympic gold medalist in slalom and the best in the world at the event, and three-time Olympian Steven Nyman (all men’s events). Nyman last week became the first American to finish on the podium in four straight World Cup men’s downhills.
▪ Defending national champions in the field include David Chodounsky (slalom, alpine combined), Drew Duffy (super G), Tim Jitloff (giant slalom), Nina O’Brien (women’s giant slalom) and Shiffrin (women’s slalom).
▪ Two stars are missing because of knee injuries: Lindsey Vonn and Ted Ligety.
▪ At least five skiers with Idaho ties are scheduled to compete. Kipling Weisel (Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation) and Tanner Farrow (Ketchum) of the U.S. Ski Team are slated for all of the men’s races. Regional qualifier Haley Cutler, an 18-year-old from Hailey, and college qualifier Teagen Palmer (Wood River High/University of Utah) are in the women’s field. Cutler recently won the U-19 national title in the super G. The other Idaho skier is 20-year-old Breezy Johnson of Victor. She won the national title in the downhill last week and earned a World Cup spot for next season. She’s entered in all of the women’s events this week.
NBC will air taped coverage of the super G races at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
YOU CAN SKI, TOO
Bald Mountain is open for skiing throughout the event. Skiers with lift tickets can get a closer look at the courses but will be kept farther away from the super G routes because of the high speeds.
WHAT ABOUT THE DOWNHILL?
The men’s and women’s downhill races were held last week in Aspen, Colo. Wiley Maple of Aspen defended his men’s title, and Johnson won the women’s race. Maple isn’t on the start list for Sun Valley.
The U.S. Alpine Championships return to Sun Valley in 2018 after the Winter Olympics. The stars traditionally compete even in an Olympic year.