With participation in snow sports stagnant for the past three decades, US Ski and Snowboard Association president Tiger Shaw looked to the East, where large segments of the population are interested in winter sports.
New England was a focal point for Shaw, who hails from Stowe, Vermont. First, he greenlighted the association’s involvement in Big Air at Fenway, an X Games-style ski and snowboard jumping event. Then he helped organize the first World Cup ski race in New England in 25 years, at Vermont’s Killington Mountain. Events like these, Shaw says, will help “lure more participants into [our sport] and excite and engage” people who already care about it.
The rewards were immediate. More than 27,000 attended two days of ski and snowboard jumping at Fenway, getting a first look at a sport that will make its Olympic debut in 2018. And approximately 30,000 attended two days of women’s ski racing at Killington, a crowd World Cup overall champion Mikaela Shiffrin compared favorably to those in ski racing-infatuated Europe. The World Cup should be back in November.