The world’s best freestyle mogul skiers will converge on the birthplace of freestyle skiing in America with the addition of moguls and dual moguls FIS World Cups at Waterville Valley Resort, New Hampshire, for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.
This agreement marks the first FIS Freestyle World Cups Waterville will host. However, the resort is no stranger to World Cup competition, having hosted FIS Alpine World Cup Finals in 1966 and 11 FIS Alpine World Cup races throughout its history.
Waterville Valley’s history is intertwined with freestyle. The resort opened the first freestyle instruction program in the United States in 1969. In 1970 it organized the first National Open Championships of Freestyle Skiing on the Sunnyside trails. Over the course of decades, it has hosted 16 competitions, including 11 alpine World Cup races, 4 U.S. Freestyle Championships,1 U.S. Alpine Championships, and numerous freeski and snowboard U.S. Revolution Tours.
“I competed in my first sanctioned mogul event at Waterville Valley when I was 8 years old,” said retired two-time Olympic medallist Hannah Kearney. “Instantly, I was instantly hooked on the sport. I spent every weekend over the next eight years training with the exceptional WVBBTS Freestyle Team until I made the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team in 2002. When young athletes watch the best in the world compete in their backyard it provides a source of tangible inspiration to achieve their potential. I hope to return to my roots to cheer them on in person next January!”
The two new Waterville events demonstrate U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s commitment to grow the visibility of its athletes and promotion of its sports through increasing domestic competition opportunities. By showcasing elite World Cup competition on home snow, U.S. Ski & Snowboard hopes to inspire future generations of national freestyle skiing hopefuls.
“We are thrilled to be bringing moguls and dual moguls World Cup competition back to the east coast with Waterville Valley Resort,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Sophie Goldschmidt. “Waterville’s incredible freestyle history and community was a natural choice for another domestic World Cup stop. We can’t wait to celebrate the sport with fans, friends and family at Waterville next January!”
The inaugural event is slated for Jan. 27-28, 2024 on Lower Bobby’s Run. At 246 meters long with a pitch of 28 degrees, the eastern-facing course is world-class and will make for a high level of competition.
“As an east coast skier who grew up competing at Waterville Valley at 12 years old, I’m incredibly excited to have an east coast World Cup return to the circuit,” said Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team moguls skier Hannah Soar. “I believe that this addition to the schedule will promote mogul skiing on the east coast and bring regional mogul skiers from the area to Waterville and enable them to see a World Cup competition in person. I think this will go a long way in promoting freestyle in the area and continue Waterville’s legacy of being the birthplace of freestyle skiing. I’m looking forward to having a World Cup close to home and hopefully a hometown advantage!”
“Waterville Valley Resort is honoured to host the upcoming 2024 and 2025 World Cup and continue our partnership with U.S. Ski & Snowboard,” said Tim Smith, President and General Manager of Waterville Valley Resort. “Having a World Cup event back in New Hampshire after the resort last hosted a World Cup race in 1991 is extremely exciting. We are thrilled to host this world-class freestyle competition alongside Deer Valley, and we’ve already begun preparing to deliver an unforgettable experience for everyone involved. The Waterville team looks forward to welcoming the world’s top freestyle athletes as we bring together passionate fans and a community of people who share a love for the sport.”
Header image: Jaelin Kauf, Olympic silver medallist and two-time 2023 World Championship medallist competing in a World Cup earlier this 2022-23 season. Credit: U.S. Ski & Snowboard – Steven Kornreich