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Franconia slope now a US ski training venue

FRANCONIA — The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association has designated the Mittersill race and training venue at Cannon Mountain Ski Area an official training site.

As part of the plan, the USSA said, the NCAA slalom and giant slalom championships will be held at Mittersill in 2017.

USSA's goal is to have a top training location for Eastern-based skiers.

“The Mittersill training site is a unique opportunity for grass-roots and elite developing USSA athletes to have access to a high-caliber, dedicated training site located in the east,” said Chip Knight, the USSA's Alpine development director.

The USSA said in a news release that the first phase of the new Alpine ski racing training venue is under construction and limited on-snow training may be complete for this ski season. The venue is made up of two legendary Mittersill trails: Baron's Run, which will be the speed venue for super G and giant slalom, and the Taft Slope, which will have an adjacent T-Bar and offer high-efficiency slalom and giant slalom training.

Tiger Shaw, president and CEO of USSA, credited the state, Holderness School and Franconia Ski Club with helping the project come toegther.

“Cannon Mountain and Mittersill have such a rich legacy in New England skiing and racing,” Shaw said. “The Mittersill training site is an outstanding example of how the USSA can partner with local clubs and academies to bring added value to athletic programs that will impact a broad range of athletes.”

The Franconia Ski Club, which dates to 1933, boasts as alumni Olympians Joan Hannah, Julia Ford and Bode Miller. The club organized the first World Cup held in North America in 1967. One of the most prominent academies in the USSA system, Holderness School has had ski racing programs since the 1920s.

The state helped revive Mittersill, which was founded in 1945 and went dormant in 1984. The area re-opened in 2009 with a chairlift added in 2010.

Ford, a U.S. Olympian in 2014 at Sochi, endorsed the plan.

“To me, Mittersill is an ideal place for diehard ski racers,” she said. “A place to improve, unite teams and athletes, push development forward, and spread the love of ski racing in a region that is deep in legacy but has never had this level of a training opportunity.


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