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U.S. Ski Team Gets Head Start With New Course At Copper Mountain

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A skier training on the course at Copper Mountain on Tuesday (credit: CBS)

A skier training on the course at Copper Mountain on Tuesday (credit: CBS)

COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. (CBS4) – Copper Mountain is the new place for the U.S. Ski Team to train. The $5 million facility opened on Tuesday.

Right now most resorts only have about five runs open. But the new ski team course is one of the few places in the world where skiers can train on a full-length course at this time of year.

For more than a decade the ski team has been looking for something like the new course. Late this summer an agreement was reached with Copper Mountain. In just about 2 months a world-class ski course was made.

“I just can’t imagine what it would have been like to have a facility like this to get myself ready for my seasons,” Olympic gold medalist Picabo Street said.

It took $4.3 million just to get the run ready.

“A big chunk of that is in a new top-to-bottom automated snow making system,” Copper Mountain resident Gary Rodgers said.

The other money was spent on brand new high-tech safety netting.

“The thing that’s really cool about this is that we can train and learn to ski downhill, which is a very dangerous sport, in a controlled, safe environment,” a ski team official said.

“It’s going to just get better and better. So long term I think it’s going to just catapult us into the early season races,” a ski team member said. “At a time when everyone else is scrambling for training, we’ll have world-class training.”

There’s a 20-year commitment from the ski team to train at Copper Mountain. Next year they’re hoping to start training right after Halloween.

The course is closed to the public until Dec. 10.

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