The North Face, an original partner of USA Freeskiing, is taking the next step in its dedication to freeskiing with a broadened focus on both elite and development direction in the sport through USA Freeskiing’s new Rookie Team.
USA Freeskiing’s new Rookie Team provides support and training with expert coaches for teen athletes looking to advance their skills and competition level in both halfpipe and slopestyle skiing with the goal of eventually making the USA Freeskiing Pro Team. The support of The North Face has been instrumental to the growth of the new Olympic sport of freeskiing, including USA Freeskiing’s elite pro team and its new development-focused USA Freeskiing Rookie Team, which both foster talent that will help the USA be Best in the World in Olympic freeskiing leading up to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games and beyond. The 10-member USA Freeskiing Rookie Team is coached by Ben Verge (halfpipe) and DJ Montigy (slopestyle).
Along with its support of USA Freeskiing’s Pro and Rookie Teams and individual athletes, the brand also continues to evolve its signature freeskiing tour. The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series (PPOS), which was founded in 2010 and is one of the few open-format series that offers amateurs and pros alike an arena for freeskiing competition. Working in conjunction with the International Ski Federation (FIS), USSA and the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP), the PPOS has become a grassroots pipeline for amateur athletes to elevate their skill level and to eventually qualify for top-tier events such as the X Games, Visa USA Freeskiing Grand Prix and the Olympic Games.
This year, two USA Freeskiing Rookie Team members, Alexander Ferreira of Aspen, Colo., and Annalisa Drew of Andover, Mass., earned top honors in the halfpipe competition at the second PPOS stop in Whistler, giving them automatic entries into the X Games a first time opportunity for both up-and-coming athletes.