Once the Team USA athletes are ready to start hitting the slopes again after competing in the 2022 Winter Olympics, there is a new official U.S. Ski & Snowboard team training center awaiting them at Woodward Copper, Colorado.
On Feb. 3, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team announced a partnership that will run through Jan. 2025 with Woodward Copper in Colorado and Woodward Park City in Utah. These two sites will serve members of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team — the Olympic National Governing Body (NGB) of ski and snowboard sports — as a training center to prepare for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard represented nearly 200 elite skiers and snowboarders in 2021 from seven different teams: alpine, cross country, free ski, freestyle, snowboard, nordic combined and ski jumping.
“For decades we’ve looked forward to hosting U.S. Team athletes for training and competition each season,” Dustin Lyman, president and general manager of Copper Mountain, said in a statement. “It is our privilege to expand this partnership, and the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team is a big reason why we are considered the Athlete’s Mountain.”
Two airbag zones were added to Woodward Mountain Park at Copper for elite-level halfpipe and big air athletes. The airbag zones accompany the park’s 22’ superpipe, the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center and 2,500 acres of progressive terrain. The airbags will only be open to pros and teams due to safety protocol, according to Copper Mountain.
The Copper-sponsored team includes five athletes: 23-year-old alpine ski racer Kyle Negomir, 10-year old halfpipe and slopestyle snowboarder Patti Zhou, 17-year-old big air and slopestyle snowboarder Brian Rice, 20-year-old mountaineering skier Grace Staberg and 31-year-old adaptive banked slalom and cross snowboarder Mike Minor.
Several Olympic athletes have trained at Copper Mountain Resort over the years, including 2018 slopestyle Olympic gold-medalist and Silverthorne local Red Gerard, five-time Olympian and professional snowboarder Shaun White, two-time Olympic gold medalist and World Cup alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin and Olympic silver-medalist and World Cup alpine skier Ryan Cochran-Siegle.
“I am beyond thrilled that Copper has leveled up even more with the addition of new training bags and an official partnership with the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team,” Gerard said in a statement.
Athletes can train on Woodward Copper year-round with real snow or at Woodward’s indoor facility that contains foam pit jumps, Olympic-grade trampolines and skateparks.
“It’s been amazing to see Woodward embrace progression and training areas indoors and on-mountain at both Copper and Woodward Park City,” Shaun White said in a statement. “I’ve spent a lot of time in the pipes at both places the past two seasons getting ready for the Olympics.”
Woodward Mountain Park is home to several types of terrain zones from base area learning to large freestyle zones, including Woodward Start Park, Progression Parks, Family Cross, Red’s Backyard, Peace Park, Central Park, Pipe Dream and Superpipe.
Woodward Copper is located at 505 Copper Rd, Frisco. Learn more here.