Ted Ligety, Bode MIller prepare for Birds of Prey World Cup Race Week

By Tom Kelly

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Dec. 2 2010 12:16 a.m. MST

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — World-class skiers will compete at the Audi Birds of Prey World Cup Race Week Dec. 3-5, including Park City's own Olympic Gold Medalist Ted Ligety. Other elite skiers include Olympic Gold Medalist Bode Miller and world champion Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway.

The event is the only U.S. venue on the men's World Cup tour and features downhill, super G and giant slalom. NBC will feature the downhill at 12 p.m. MST on Dec. 5. Cable sports network Versus will also carry a full broadcast package beginning Dec. 11 with the downhill and super G at 4 and 5 p.m. EST respectively. The giant slalom airs on Versus Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. MST.

The International Ski Federation (FIS) recently confirmed Beaver Creek and Vail for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. A men's World Cup stop since 1997, the U.S. Ski Team has a history of success in Beaver Creek, including three by Miller. Miller was looking forward to the competition.

"Birds of Prey is a world class hill," he said. "The same guys who were competing at the Olympics will be there and they always put on a great show."

Ligety, won the gold medal in the 2006 Olympics was the overall World Cup Giant Slalom champion in 2008 and 2010, is a six-time U.S. national champions. On the world stage, Beaver Creek produced numerous historic moments in ski racing. Austrian legend Hermann Maier owns an impressive eight wins on Birds of Prey including a victory in 1999 in front of a record-breaking crowd estimated at 20,000. U.S. Ski Team Head Coach Sasha Rearick is also excited about the event.

"We love going home to Beaver Creek. It's an awesome hill with every element of modern downhill," Rearick said. "We're also super stoked to have a super G back at Beaver Creek."

The Birds of Prey (World Cup) is always a special time for all of us," said Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation. "The event takes on even greater significance now that Vail and Beaver Creek have secured the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships."

Fans can participate in all the action at Beaver Creek throughout the race week via the Audi Birds of Prey fan page on Facebook and through Twitter at Audi Birds of Prey.

2010 Audi Birds of Prey Schedule Friday, Dec. 3 11 a.m. — Downhill Saturday, Dec. 4 11 a.m. — Super G Sunday, Dec. 5 9:45 a.m. — Giant Slalom first run 12:45 a.m. — Giant Slalom second run

For more information on the Audi Birds of Prey Race Week, check out www.bcworldcup.com

Tom Kelly oversees all public relations, corporate communications and image development for USSA. He is a longtime ski journalist and lives with his family in Park City, Utah.

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