Let’s face it: when it comes to winter sports, Coloradans have it made. The Rocky Mountains are home to some of the most coveted ski resorts in the world, where big-name competitions like the Dew Tour and Winter X Games have captivated millions year after year.
This year, however, is one for the books: the 2015 International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine World Ski Championships are scheduled to take place February 2-15 in Colorado’s very own Vail Valley and Beaver Creek.
According to the Vail Valley Foundation (VVF), these Championships “represent the largest and most impressive collection of ski racing talent in the world, second only to the Olympics.” This year’s event will showcase over 700 athletes from more than 70 countries across the world, including Lindsey Vonn, Ted Ligety and Bode Miller from the U.S.
Combined with the 1989 and 1999 events hosted in Vail and the 1950 World Championships in Aspen, this year marks the fourth Championships ever to be held in the U.S. (Yes, Pios, this means bragging rights).
Men’s and women’s races include Downhill, Super-G, Alpine Combined, Giant Slalom, Slalom and the Nations Team Event. While it’s free to attend competitions via foot or snowshoe, those with a valid Vail or Beaver Creek lift ticket may ski or snowboard themselves down to where the action is.
Vail Valley’s Actively Green 2015 initiative urges visitors to leave their cars parked and take full advantage of the free World Championships transportation system. Event gates open at 8 a.m. daily, and spectator buses will be taking those staying in Vail, Avon and Beaver Creek to and from all events every half hour from 7 a.m. until midnight. A full list of parking options and bus routes can be found on the Championships’ official website.
In addition to the races, these 15 days of madness offer athlete signings, an FIS gala, concerts by Ceelo Green, Phillip Phillips, Michael Franti, a John Denver Tribute by the John Adams Band and more.
To view the full calendar of events, visit the vailbevearcreek2015 website.