48STRAIGHT, Squaw Valley USA

8-11 February 08, Squaw Valley, USA

Wintertime's Largest Sports and Entertainment Event to Include Live Concerts, Street Parties, Fashion Shows, Film Festivals and Ski and Snowboard Halfpipe Competition

The world’s top ski cross and snowboard cross racers are preparing to head to Squaw Valley, Calif., on Feb. 8-11 for the next JeepĂ’ King of the Mountain leg of 48STRAIGHT wintertime’s largest sports and entertainment event. Numerous plotlines surround the event, ranging from the unveiling of a new name and Shaun Palmer’s resurgence to the Americans strong overall performance at the first race and the ability to unseat the foreigner contingent resting atop the ski cross standings.

For starters, what exactly is 48STRAIGHT?

Billed as the “Loudest Show on Snow,” 48STRAIGHT is a jam-packed weekend of on-snow and off-snow activities designed to celebrate the mountain culture, including ski and snowboard cross racing and halfpipe competitions, over a dozen live concerts, street parties, fashion shows, film festivals and environmental expos. The event emerged from the 2007 consolidation of the Jeep King of the Mountain Series, one of the most renowned professional race programs over the past 15 years and The Ski Tour, an event which in its first year combined the highest level of racing with unmatched musical offerings.

What is the impact of Shaun Palmer’s stunning win in Telluride?

Given the lengthy, incomparable resume of the South Lake Tahoe, Calif., extreme sport legend, it seems almost unthinkable that Palmer could go nine years between stops on top step of the podium. A five-time snowboarding world champion, X Games skiing champion, mountain biking world champion and super-cross motorcycle racer, Palmer led the pack from wall-to-wall at the first race in Telluride, Colo, and left countless elite athletes in his wake on the racecourse he helped design. Afterward, he was named to the U.S. Snowboard Team roster and odds are good that his net win will not take nearly a long. However he’ll have the full attention of the loaded roster of racers scheduled to descend on Squaw Valley.

Do the men’s snowboard cross rankings bode well for Vancouver 2010?

Given the accomplishments of the field at the first Jeep King of the Mountain competition, including No. 1 ranked and defending champion Drew Neilson of Canada, Olympic bronze medalist Paul Henri Delerue and 46 other Olympians, World Champions and National Champions, the efforts of the Stars and Stripes did not go unnoticed. In addition to Palmer’s heroics, Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott of Farmington, Maine, finished second, Olympian Graham Watanabe of Park City, Utah, finished third, and Nate Holland of Squaw Valley, Calif., the No. 2 ranked racer in the world and two-time X Games gold medalist, finished fourth. To say the least, the American’s men’s squad is loaded and ready to maintain their dominance in Squaw Valley.

Speaking of boardercross, is anyone on the same level as Lindsey Jacobellis?

The standout from Stratton Mountain, Vt., has had an exceptional run, including a silver medal at the Olympics, a silver medal at the 2007 X Games and the Jeep King of the Mountain championship. She’s now tied for first in the world rankings with the Canadian duo of Dominique Maltais, the 2006 Olympic bronze medalist and Maelle Ricker, a bronze medalist at the 2007 X Games. She finished ahead of the pair in Telluride and looks to maintain her impressive four-race win streak since joining the Jeep King of the Mountain competition.

What will be happening on the halfpipe in Squaw Valley?

The halfpipe competition at 48STRAIGHT may be led by none other than Shaun White, known as “The Flying Tomato.” The Olympic gold medalist with seven X Games gold medals under his belt is expected to battle a deep group of challengers including Ross Powers, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and J.J. Thomas, an Olympic bronze medalist and X Games gold medal winner. The women’s side is equally potent, featuring Gretchen Bleiler, an Olympic silver medalist and two-time X Games gold medalist, Kelly Clark, an Olympic gold medalist, and Hannah Teter, an Olympic gold medalist and X Games gold medalist. A strong ski halfpipe field will be introduced once the field is fully registered.

Not all of the action will take place on the snow. Complementing the world-class ski and snowboard racing and halfpipe action will be the heart of the event, the 48STRAIGHT Music Festival. Highlights include an abundance of diverse live performances featuring some of the top acts in the industry, spread across town at popular hot spots and the enormous Basecamp Pavilion. A sampling of the entertainers signed on for Squaw Valley include The Roots, Dinosaur Jr., The Crystal Method DJ Set, Rock Kills Kid, Pato Banton & Mystic Roots, Pepper, Devil Makes Three, DJ Logic, Rose Hill Drive and Bedouin Soundclash. Full event information, including dates, times, locations and ticket information for 48STRAIGHT concerts, street parties, fashion shows, film festivals and environmental expos can be found online at www.48straight.com. Tickets may be purchased for concert events at www.ticketweb.com.

Coverage of the action from Squaw Valley will be televised to a national broadcast audience on February 23 and 24 on CBS Sports and on nationally syndicated television beginning February 23. Check local listings for specific air dates and times.

Squaw Valley, USA

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