Photo: Agence Zoom

2022 Xfinity Birds of Prey will feature two downhills, one super G

It will be one of the speediest weekends in Beaver Creek history when the men’s Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS Ski World Cup makes its return Dec. 2-4, 2022.

The Birds of Prey weekend has been an iconic part of the North American ski racing circuit since 1997, but this year’s event has an exciting twist: two downhills and a super G are on the race calendar for Beaver Creek. Beaver Creek has hosted World Cup events in downhill, super G, giant slalom, slalom, and combined events since the first races were held here in 1997, and typically hosts a downhill, a super G, and a giant slalom each December. However, this is the first time that two downhills and a super G are on the planned race calendar.

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup men’s downhill Dec. 4, 2021 in Beaver Creek. Photo by Francis Bompard/Agence Zoom.

“We look forward to welcoming the Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS Ski World Cup back to Beaver Creek and the iconic Birds of Prey course Dec. 2-4, and we are thrilled to be hosting two downhills and a super G on what will be a tremendous weekend of speed event racing,” said Mike Imhof, President of the nonprofit Vail Valley Foundation, which organizes the event each year. “We are grateful to our partners at U.S. Ski & Snowboard, Beaver Creek Mountain, Beaver Creek Resort Company, US Forest Service, FIS, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, and the very enthusiastic ski racing community and our incredible volunteers who help make this amazing event happen each year.”

Four events on U.S. soil

The announcement of the race schedule from the International Ski Federation (FIS) also included big news for American ski racing: The United States will host four FIS Alpine Ski World Cup events in the 2022-23 season, doubling the amount of alpine World Cups in the U.S. in recent years. 

For the last five years, the U.S. has hosted two alpine World Cup events: The women’s Killington Cup in Killington, Vermont and the men’s Xfinity Birds of Prey at Beaver Creek. The 2022-23 winter marks the expansion of the domestic World Cup footprint as U.S. Ski & Snowboard is also bringing alpine ski racing to Palisades Tahoe in California and Aspen Mountain in Colorado, marking the most World Cups on American soil since the 1996-97 season.

“We are thrilled to bring four World Cups to U.S. venues this season and provide our country’s ski racing fans with more opportunities to see the best skiers across the globe compete on our home turf,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard President & CEO Sophie Goldschmidt in a May 17 press release. “This is a pivotal move in our organization and within FIS to grow the sport within the United States and make events more accessible to attend. The expansion gives us a signature opportunity to bring more attention to the sport domestically and inspire the next generation of U.S. athletes.”

In December, 2021, the Xfinity Birds of Prey calendar included a downhill and two super G races. Later, a replacement downhill was added to the calendar to make two downhills and two super G races. However, the second downhill was canceled due to high winds.

2022-23 U.S. ALPINE WORLD CUP SCHEDULE 

Nov. 26-26: Killington Cup, Killington, Vermont; women’s slalom/giant slalom
Dec. 2-4: Xfinity Birds of Prey, Beaver Creek, Colorado; men’s super-G/downhill/downhill
Feb. 24-26: Palisades Tahoe, California; men’s slalom/giant slalom
March 3-5: Americas Downhill, Aspen, Colorado; men’s super-G/downhill

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