Mammoth Mountain to play Olympic qualifying role for U.S. snowboarders
It's too early to get excited about snowboarding, but the Grand Prix season has been announced and one of the stops is Mammoth Mountain in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
The Grand Prix series will decide which U.S. halfpipe riders will qualify for the 2010 Winter Olympics Feb. 12-28 in Vancouver, Canada.
Copper is the first stop on Dec. 11 and 12. Mammoth, the home mountain for many top snowboarders, will host two qualifying competitions Jan. 8-10, 2010. Mammoth has not played a qualifying role since 1998.
Park City, site of the halfpipe competition for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, will be the final stop Jan. 22-23. That competition will determine who will represent the United States at the Vancouver Games.
-- Pete Thomas
Photo: Shaun White celebrates winning the Olympic halfpipe gold medal in 2006 at the Turin Games in Italy. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times