World Cup ski racing returns to Squaw Valley for the 2016-17 season. On June 9 the International Ski Federation (FIS) and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) announced that women’s giant slalom and slalom races would take place from March 10 to 11, 2017 on the Red Dog Race Venue. This is the first time world cup racing has returned to California in 19 years.
“As a mountain community, we are hosting this event to inspire the next generation of ski racers,” said Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, in a press release. “There is nothing like watching a group of young athletes standing there in the finish corral looking up and truly being motivated by the best athletes in the world. With 1,500 kids in our race program and countless others in the region, this is the stage we must set for them to achieve their goals, in ski racing or otherwise.”
The event will bring the world’s best ski racers to the mountain including Lindsay Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin and Squaw Valley local Julia Mancuso.
“Growing up at Squaw Valley, I have been hoping for the return of the World Cup for a long time, and now we have the chance to show the world that our Olympic legacy is very much alive,” said Olympic champion and Squaw Valley native Julia Mancuso in a press release.
The athletes are no strangers to the Squaw Valley race venue. In 2014 the mountain hosted the U.S. Alpine Championships where Shiffrin took home a gold medal in giant slalom.
“Squaw is probably going to be the most difficult GS on the tour next year for the ladies,” said Atle Skårdal, FIS chief race director for the ladies’ Alpine World Cup in a press release. “It is a very, very technical and difficult hill, which we’re excited about.
Squaw Valley’s addition to the schedule is part of a broad initiative by the USSA to raise the profile of alpine ski racing in America. The weekend-long events will welcome thousands of spectators and fans to North Lake Tahoe. The event will be broadcast across America on NBC and NBCSN, and will be seen during primetime evening hours in Europe as well as across the globe, highlighting athletic talent and the Squaw Valley destination.
As of now, the races are not a long-term deal according to Atle Skårdal, FIS chief race director for the ladies’ Alpine World Cup. However all parties are open to returning to Squaw Valley in following season pending a successful event.
For more information including a full schedule, tickets, volunteer opportunities and more, visit worldcupsquaw.com.