With the winter competition season underway, Vail Resorts announced today the 2014-15 roster of Epic Pro Team members. Including Olympic medalists Lindsey Vonn, Nick Goepper and David Wise, and such household names as Bobby Brown, Chas Guldemond and Eric Willett, the Epic Team is a new paradigm in athlete-resort relationships, partnering the World’s greatest competitors with the World’s best resort portfolio. With the recent acquisition of Park City Mountain Resort, Vail Resorts also welcomes the 19 athletes representing the Park City All-Stars, including Olympic gold medalists Sage Kotsenberg and Joss Christensen.
“It’s an honor to be able to call such a storied place home, and Vail Mountain really is my home base,” said Olympic gold medalist and four-time World Champion Lindsey Vonn.
Vonn suffered a career-threatening knee injury last season, which caused her to miss the Sochi Games, but the most decorated ski racer in American history is back in top form after tireless rehab and training, much of it taking place in Vail, Colo.. She returned to competition last week in Lake Louise, Canada where she topped the podium in the women’s downhill, leading a historic U.S. sweep of the event, and placed an impressive second in the Super-G. Vonn hopes to continue her winning ways on her home snow in February, when she’ll headline a deep competitive field for the 2015 World Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek. The largest ski racing event outside of the Olympics, next year will mark just the fourth time the event has been held in the United States, and Vonn hopes to take home her third World Championship gold.
With Vonn and nine other Olympians, including three Olympic medalists among them, the Epic Team represents the premier athletes in disciplines ranging from downhill to moguls, slopestyle to big mountain freeskiing.
“I'm excited to represent Vail Resorts and the Epic Team,” said Nick Goepper, Olympic and Dew Tour bronze medalist in ski slopestyle. “Across the board, Vail Resorts sets the bar when it comes to both training grounds and as host venues for competitions. It was such a pleasure to be able to compete here at Breckenridge this past weekend, after training just down the road at Keystone.”
Many Epic Team athletes have enjoyed long-standing relationships with Vail Resorts. At 19-years old, Sarah Hendrickson has spent her youth training at Canyons resort in her hometown of Park City, Utah. Hendrickson, the 2013 World Champion, was among the first group of women to compete in Olympic ski jumping earlier this year. A native of Reno, Nev., David Wise has long trained in the half pipe of Northstar California resort. That training paid off when Wise took home the inaugural Olympic Ski Half Pipe gold medal from Sochi. Bobby Brown, a Winter Dew Tour gold medalist and member of the inaugural US Olympic ski slopestyle team, has called Breckenridge, Colo. home for the entirety of his professional career. He’s a regular presence in the resort’s award-winning terrain parks, often skiing and family, and is annually a favorite to take home top prize at the Breckenridge-hosted Winter Dew Tour.
"I ski Breckenridge because it's my favorite mountain anywhere,” said Bobby Brown. “The park, conditions, and people there are as good as it gets in my experience. I'm stoked to represent Breck and be part of Vail Resorts' Epic Team."
While veteran members of the team will begin a four year journey to defend their Olympic medals, also included on the Epic Team roster are some of the best young talents in action sports. Toby Miller and Red Gerard, both 14, are two of the hottest riders on both the competition and filming circuits, and each have been recognized as future stars of the sport. Both youngsters call Colorado’s Keystone Resort home. Canyons home mountain athletes Andy Partridge, 18, and Colby Stevenson, 17, are both members of the U.S. Freeskiing Rookie Team and have been making heads turn while claiming industry awards and competition podiums before earning their high school diplomas. Aspen Spora, 14, will hone his skills and style in the parks at Breckenridge Ski Resort once again this season, as he continues to climb the freeskiing ranks.
Epic Team members benefit from competing on their home snow throughout the season, including this past weekend’s Winter Dew Tour and the 2015 World Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek. The newest crop of Vail Resorts athletes, the Park City All Stars, will also help host the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix in Park City, Feb. 23 through March 1, 2015.
Guests from around the World will be able to cheer on their favorite Epic Team athletes throughout the season at Vail Resorts. Whether fine tuning their skills training at the best on-snow facilities, competing at their home resorts or simply enjoying the company’s mountain retreats, these athletes will truly be living the Vail Resorts mission of “Experience of a Lifetime” while enjoying an epic season at all 11 mountain resorts properties.