Twenty-four Sochi Olympians to compete in Dew Tour in Breckenridge | SteamboatToday.com

Twenty-four Sochi Olympians to compete in Dew Tour in Breckenridge

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

Twenty-four medalists from the 2014 Sochi Olympics will take part in the Winter Dew Tour at Breckenridge Ski Resort from Dec. 14-17, which will also double as an 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics qualifying event for the United States and Canada.

The Dew Tour's men's and women's halfpipe and slopestyle snowboarding and skiing competitions will serve as U.S. Ski & Snowboard Olympic qualifying events. The event will also serve as a selection event for the Canadian men's and women's snowboard slopestyle teams.

Para athletes will also be able to gain valuable Paralympic 2018 qualifying points via a world para snowboard Nor-Am competition.

More than 12 hours of the Dew Tour will be broadcast on NBC and NBCSN, while DewTour.com will live stream all event finals Friday through Sunday. All event finals will also broadcast live on Facebook, Periscope, Twitch, Daily Motion, Youtube and the Dew Tour app, including live scoring.

"The Dew Tour is a massive event every year for freeskiers, but the stakes are even higher this year with it being an Olympic qualifier," Gus Kenworthy, 2014 Sochi silver medalist in ski slopestyle, said in a press release. "It's always a great event to kick off the winter competition season."

Men's & Women's Ski Halfpipe

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David Wise of the U.S. will defend his reigning men's ski halfpipe title from 2015, as last year's halfpipe events were snowed out. The preceeding year's champion, Torin Yater-Wallace of the U.S., will also compete, as will other top contenders Kevin Rolland and Benoit Valentin of France and Kenworthy of the U.S.

On the women's side, Sochi gold medalist Maddie Bowman of the U.S. is the favorite, as she will look to add to her career Dew Tour haul of five Dew Tour medals. Cassie Sharpe of Canada, sister to snowboarder Darcy Sharpe, and France's Marie Martinod are also top contenders.

Men's & Women's Ski Slopestyle

Henrik Harlaut of Sweden, the 2016 Dew Tour champion, returns this year to defend his title as it appears Oystein Braaten of Norway may be his strongest competition after the Norwegian won X Games gold earlier this year in Aspen and Norway.

Kenworthy will also compete in this event as will his fellow American, Sochi ski slopestyle medalist Nick Goepper.

For the women, Sochi gold medalist Dara Howell of Canada continues to strengthen her runs with tricks. Looking to best her will be French rising star Tess Ledeux, who earlier this year won X Games silver. Seasoned American Devin Logan is another favorite to secure a podium spot.

Men's & Women's Snowboard Halfpipe

Two-time Olympic halfpipe gold medalist Shaun White returns to Breckenridge this year. White's fellow American Danny Davis may be the most stylish rider in this discipline, which challenges the entire field from getting too comfortable.

International contenders include Japanese riders Ayumu Hirano, Taku Hiraoka and Raibu Katayama. And on the women's side, the Americans have a strong contingent vying for podium spots, including Kelly Clark, Chloe Kim, Elena Hight and Maddie Mastro.

Men's & Women's Snowboard Slopestyle

Canadian Mark McMorris will ride to protect his five-peat at Dew Tour, though he will have to fend off a field packed with talent who are pushing the sport to new levels.

This motley crew includes Marcus Kleveland of Norway, Sebastien Toutant and Max Parrot of Canada, and Red Gerard (Silverthorne) and Brock Crouch of the United States.

The women's slopestyle competition will center around international powerhouses Spencer O'Brien of Canada and Enni Rukajärvi of Finland, though the U.S. brings depth to this event as well. That group includes snowboarding's most decorated women's slopestyle athlete, American Jamie Anderson, who will defend her 2016 Dew Tour title.

Looking to knock Anderson off will be countrymates Hailey Langland and Julia Marino.

Men's & Women's Para Snowboarding

This will be para snowboarding's second year at Dew Tour though it will serve as a World Para Nor-Am competition for the first time.

A new para discipline that will make its Olympic debut this year, the banked slalom, will take place Friday, Dec. 15. And the U.S. team that swept the Para-Snowboardcross podium in Sochi in 2014 — Evan Strong, Keith Gabel and Mike Shea — are all scheduled to compete, as is Sochi women's Para Snowboardcross bronze medalist Amy Purdy of the U.S.

Streetstyle

This open jam format event, one where the world's best urban skiers and riders showcase themselves under the lights, returns to downtown Breckenridge on Friday, Dec. 15, at 6 p.m. The snowboard competition is up for grabs this year as four-time winner Darcy Sharpe of Canada is solely focusing on slopestyle at this year's Dew Tour. Last year's ski winner and Sharpe's fellow Canadian Alex Bellemare will compete again. The streetstyle course will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday after Friday's competition.

Team Challenge

This year's three-part Team Challenge course will feature a slopestyle course with a jib and a jump section, and the halfpipe will house the pipe section. Each team will have a captain and three athletes: one each for the jib, jump and pipe sections. Snowboard companies Burton, Nitro, Salomon, Rome, Ride and DC will all field teams for the Team Challenge, as will ski companies Faction, Armada, Head, Atomic, Volkl and K2.

Burton and Atomic defend their titles after last year's inaugural event.

All competitions and fan zones — both on and off-mountain — are free and open to the public. This year's concert, featuring The Floozies and Anomalie, and Dew Tour VIP packages are ticketed.

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