Rockstar returns to slopes of Blue Mountain 0
THE BLUE MOUNTAINS - Next month a horde of athletes will descend on Blue Mountain looking to be the next Rockstar.
The Rockstar Ski-Cross Grand Prix is bringing the world back to Blue Mountain Resort, Feb. 10-11. The World Cup, that is.
It's the second year for the race, which is Ontario's only fully-sanctioned International Ski Federation World Cup event.
The races will "showcase the world's best ski cross racers," organizers said Tuesday at a media conference at Blue Mountain. Canadian Olympic gold medalist Ashleigh McIvor and teammate Chris Delbosco - a three-time World Cup winner - will headline the field.
Ski-cross is a relatively new form of racing that combines elements of skiing and moto-cross. Four skiers at a time plunge down the specially-designed course in a multiple-participant race reminiscent of short-track speed skating or roller derby on skis.
Retired alpine skier and "Crazy Canuck" Brian Stemmle, who hosted the media conference, confessed he's now an addict for the sport.
"I got into a bit of trouble when I said I liked it better than alpine skiing," the legend said to laughter from the audience.
"We have the hottest winter sport in Canada," added Dave Ellis, the Executive Director of the Canadian Ski Cross Team. "Our team is more amped than ever to showcase what they're made of at this year's event."
The event is being organized by local ski enthusiasts Mark Kristofic and Chris Robinson through the World Snowsports Events Group.
"We will deliver a top-notch event that first and foremost challenges the athletes," said Robinson.
The group will recruit and train more than 200 volunteers for the races, which will also be televised to more than 20 countries via Rogers Sportsnet.
"Blue Mountain is thrilled to host the Rockstar Grand Prix World Cup Ski Cross for the second time," said Blue Mountain Resort Marketing Director Paul Pinchbeck. "Last year's event drew thousands of onlookers, who witnessed first-hand one of Canada's newest and most exciting spectator events."
There's been a dearth of World Cup events in eastern North America because the slopes here aren't generally suitable to meet the technical requirements demanded by the association. Locally, only Georgian Peaks is capable of hosting even a qualifying race for prospective World Cup racers, but can't host a World Cup race itself.
Rockstar Energy Drink is the main sponsor of the race.