KILLINGTON, Vermont Killington Resort and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association are proud to announce that Killington's Bear Mountain will host the 2006 Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships March 23-26.

More than 200 of the top freestyle and new school athletes from across the country will compete in moguls, aerials and for the first time ever at a national championship event superpipe. The event will also mark the first U.S. appearance of freestyle members of the U.S. Olympic Team following the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy.

"We are extremely excited to set the stage and showcase these Olympians along with the top freestyle and new school athletes from across the country," said Allen Wilson, managing director of Killington Resort. "With the talent and depth of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team, there is a strong possibility that a number of athletes will arrive at Killington as Olympic medallists and Olympic Champions."

"We expect to be welcoming home skiers bearing Olympics medals," added Annette Royle, USSA vice president of events. "This will undoubtedly add to the buzz and excitement for us, the athletes and spectators."

The four-day event will kick off on Thursday, March 23 with superpipe competition, followed by single moguls on March 24, aerials on March 25 and dual moguls on March 26. All events will take place at Bear Mountain with Outer Limits, the steepest, longest mogul run in the east, as the venue for both moguls and aerials. Aside from the athletic competition, live music and a product expo and festival will take place in and around the Bear Mountain Lodge.

"This event is a perfect fit as we increase our offering to the youth segment," said Nick Polumbus, marketing manager for Killington Resort. "Last year we debuted our new terrain parks and Superpipe, along with an athlete lounge in the loft at the Bear Mountain Lodge, and this event only reinforces our commitment to kids and the type of activities they participate in throughout the winter."

The addition of superpipe to the U.S. Freestyle Championships format will open the doors for new athletes to compete at a national championship level. In addition, new school big air athletes will once again compete head-to-head with traditional aerialists on Saturday at Bear Mountain.

"The interest from USSA clubs and programs has grown over the last few years and the addition of Superpipe in the national championship program is an exciting opportunity for those athletes to show off their skills at the next level," said USSA Freestyle Program Director Polly-Jo Clark.

In addition to the athletes and their friends and family, fans from across New England and beyond are expected to attend the spectator-friendly event, which will also feature an opening ceremony and numerous opportunities for supporters to seek autographs from their favorite athletes.

"We're really looking forward to working with the entire community and Killington Region to welcome these athletes and create a festive national championship event," Polumbus added.



The Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships
Killington Resort's Bear Mountain
March 23 Superpipe
March 24 Moguls
March 25 Aerials
March 26 Dual Moguls