Snow Report
  Resort Profile
  Lake Tahoe Area Marketplace

2000 World Cup
Freeskiing Comps
Freeski Tour

Click to View
Freestyle at Heavenly

Americans Skiers on a Hot Streak Toward Heavenly
January 21-23, 2000

  • CBS Sports Video: Trivia Answer, Crashes, Behind-the-Scenes Video!
  • More Video: Action vid, Anne Battelle and Janne Lahtela interviews
  • Arrivial: Lunacy on the Road to South Lake Tahoe
  • Acro: American Freestyle Veteran Takes 11th Win
  • Moguls: 1-2-3 Finnish Finish
  • Aerials: Canadians Owned Aerials

    Joe Pack
    Joe Pack
    The best freestyle skiers in the world land at South Lake Tahoe, CA, this weekend for the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Grand Nationals at Heavenly, one of only two World Cup stops in the U.S. in 2000. Americans are among the favorites in most every event and poised to take a home ground advantage.

    This World Cup is ideal for spectators, with both the mogul and aerial venues adjacent to Heavenly ski resort's California base lodge. Lower Gunbarrel run sports one of the best, and steepest, mogul courses on the tour. And with Lake Tahoe just down the hill, the aerialists get to enjoy one of the best ski views on earth (just before hurtling themselves into a quad-twisting-triple).

    "You can be sure that if Cabral, Moseley, Bahrke or any of the other Americans break into the medals, Saturday night's going to go off in South Lake Tahoe..."

    The timing of this event couldn't be better for Heavenly. Fresh snow arrived in the Sierra this past week with more in the forecast. Heavenly, of course, is hoping for more powder and sunshine for the NBC television cameras. But despite the lack of snow in the Sierra this early season, Heavenly boasts the largest snowmaking capability on the West Coast and, thanks to relentlessly cold temperatures, has covered all the freestyle venues in deep white. Both the aerial and mogul competitions are shaping up as classic battles between reigning stars and the early season up-and-comers. Aerialists include American contenders Joe Pack and 1998 Olympic Champion Eric Bergoust. Pack, from Park City, UT, won the Deer Valley World Cup event earlier this month with the third highest score in freestyle history. Britt Swartley, from Blue Bell, PA, won bronze for the men at Deer Valley while Bergoust sat it out with a sprained ankle.

    Ann Battelle
    For the women, World Cup rookie Marissa Berman, from Mt. Kisco, NY, took third in aerials at Deer Valley. Going into Heavenly, Australian Jacqui Cooper leads the women's aerial points count while Alexei Grichin of Belarus leads the men.

    In the mogul competition, 1999 women's World Cup Champion Ann Battelle, from Steamboat Springs, CO, grabbed this season's point lead with second place at Deer Valley. But watch out for Norwegian Kari Traa, the winner of every dual and singles event this season before she blew to 12th at Deer Valley. A local favorite is North Tahoe's Shannon Bahrke, now in her second World Cup season and hot off a fourth place in Deer Valley (her rookie year she nabbed a second place finish in Japan).

    Bergoust and Moseley
    Bergoust and Moseley
    The most famous local, of course, will be Jonny Moseley, the Olympic Gold Medalist from Squaw Valley. Moseley has probably spent more time this season launching Big Air than big bumps. However, instead of joining his freeskiing buddies at the NBC Gravity Games in Mammoth for the weekend, Moseley will be ripping down Gunbarrel, hoping to give current World Cup leader Janne Lahtela from Finland a run for his money. But Moseley also has plenty of competition among his own teammates; Vermont's Evan Dybvig is currently in second place on the tour.

    This World Cup stop will also be a homecoming for U.S. Ski Team members Brooke Ballachey, Travis Ramos and Travis Cabral (all from South Lake Tahoe) and Shelly Robertson, from Reno, NV. Cabral, National Champion last spring at age 15, is the current shooting star for the U.S. men. He took 15th place in his first World Cup contest at Deer Valley.

    You can be sure that if Cabral, Moseley, Bahrke or any of the other Americans break into the medals, Saturday night's going to go off in South Lake Tahoe.

    Event Schedule
    Sprint U.S. Grand National Schedule
    It's Heavenly
    Friday, Jan. 21: Final training sessions for the aerials and moguls at the Freestyle Arena and Gunnbarrel. Acro qualifiers take place on nearby World Cup run from 11:00am to 2:00am. Opening Ceremonies start at 5:30pm on World Cup run, followed by the Acro Finals under the lights at 6:00pm, with fireworks following.

    Saturday, Jan. 22: Mogul day. Qualifying from 11am-2pm, finals from 2pm-4pm. The aerialists will also be training next to the bump run during the day.

    Sunday, Jan. 23: Aerials. "B" seed competitors from 9am-11am, "A" Seed from 1pm-3pm, awards ceremony to follow.

    — Chaco Mohler, Correspondent