Grand Prix is final chance to make Olympic team
This weekend, Olympic-caliber skiers and snowboarders will descend upon Mammoth Mountain for the Toyota Grand Prix—the final qualifying event for athletes who wish to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, which begin February 9.
Mammoth residents and visitors will have the chance to get as close to the Olympics as possible without a ticket to the main event overseas.
This year’s competition is the 11th Grand Prix to be held at Mammoth Mountain, said Lauren Burke, Public Relations and Social Media Manager for Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. In 2014, Mammoth hosted the qualifying events for all U.S. Olympic snowboarders headed to Sochi, said Burke. This year, for the first time ever, both skiers and snowboarders will be competing for their spot on the Olympic team. This weekend’s event will culminate in a U.S. Freeski & Snowboard team nomination ceremony on Saturday, January 20 beginning at 8:30 p.m. The ceremony will be followed by a free fireworks show.
This is also the first year that the contest, which will be televised nationally, will take place at night (both Friday and Saturday), said Burke.
Mammoth is the final stop for U.S. Freeski and Snowboard athletes, said Andrew Gauthier, Press Officer for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA). “They have a series of five Olympic selection events to secure their spot on the team going to Korea,” he said. There was Mammoth’s Toyota Grand Prix in January of 2017, Copper Mountain and the Dew Tour at Breckenridge in December of 2017, last weekend’s Snowmass Grand Prix and, finally, this week’s event in Mammoth.