Thursday, February 2, 2006
NBC is kicking of its Winter Olympics coverage with a one-hour highlight show previewing, perhaps, America's next generation of Olympians.
Not surprisingly, five Steam-boat Springs athletes may make their competitive debuts.
Steamboat's Maddy Schaf-frick, Grant Murray, Jonas Seiler, Camille Bucci and Karl Fostvedt traveled to Keystone Resort during the weekend, representing Steamboat Ski Area in the Sports Illustrated for Kids Next Snow Search All-Star event.
Schaffrick, 12, and Fostvedt, 15, impressed the judges with their on-snow performance, attitude, personality and character. Of 65 competitors, the pair was named to the first SI for Kids Next Snow All-Stars Team. Schaffrick is a snowboarder, and Fostvedt is a skier.
"There was an awards ceremony, and they had this huge blow-up tent thing, and they call your name and give you a trophy," Schaffrick said. "I'm very excited because the team was like the top 12, so that's pretty good for me."
The SI for Kids Next Snow Search was a unique competition in that girls and boys, skiers and snowboarders, competed together. It is the only event that combines sports, genders and disciplines in big air, slopestyle, superpipe and big mountain cross.
Schaffrick won the superpipe competition, with her big air grabs and a 360 air to fakie, and was second in slopestyle, throwing more 360s of the jumps.
"My goal in halfpipe is to go 720 at nationals and do a 540 off jumps," Schaffrick said.
Fostvedt finished third in the superpipe.
But all five Steamboat athletes represented the community well.
Seiler, 15, and Bucci, 14, are freestyle skiers. Murray, 14, is a snowboarder.
Bucci placed second in the superpipe competition, and Seiler made the finals of big mountain cross and was selected to participate in the Big Air Fire and Snow Show events Saturday night.
Murray finished fourth in slopestyle, throwing an off-axis cal 360 on one of his four jumps, and sixth in superpipe with his combination frontside and backside 500s and a McTwist at the end.
NBC filmed the competitions, and the five Steamboat athletes may make the cut based on their performances. Schaffrick said NBC interviewed her, and she was "sort of" nervous. She plans to watch the show next week.
"I want to have a big party, but I don't know" she said. "I want to invite my friends."
The Sports Illustrated for Kids Next Snow Search All-Star event will air from noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 11 on NBC.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org