U.S. Ski and Snowboard to host Freestyle Moguls Team fundraiser in Wolcott
If Vail Valley isn’t officially Mogul Town USA on a permanent basis it can at least claim the moniker for this Friday.
The third annual U.S. Ski and Snowboard’s Freestyle Moguls Team fundraiser will return to Red Sky Ranch in Wolcott Aug. 26 from 5-7:30 p.m. The Jeffy and Jim Benedict-hosted event features a star-studded lineup of athletes for fans and supporters to meet and mingle with, including 2022 Olympic silver medalist Jaelin Kauf. The Steamboat Winter Sports Club athlete, who was born in Vail, will join Olympic teammates and valley locals Kai Owens and Tess Johnson as well as the entire moguls team.
“We are all very excited to spend time with our supporters from the Vail Valley,” stated Kai Owens, who finished 10th in the 2022 Beijing Olympics heroically battling through a shoulder and head injury incurred the week of the event.
“It would mean the world to see some of you there!” she stated.
“The Vail Valley has been on this journey with me ever since I started skiing at 2-years old,” Johnson said.
“This community is the reason I began skiing, joined ‘Beavo,’ started competing with Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, made the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team, and competed at the Olympics, where the community raised money so my family could come watch.”
The event will include autograph signings, trivia and a silent auction for bidding on team gear and items such as golfing at Red Sky Ranch with athletes, guided fly fishing with athletes, lunch at Bachelor Gulch Club with athletes and local mountain biking and hiking with athletes. All funds go directly to the moguls team. More information regarding bidding on items can be found at one.bidpal.net/usmoguls22/welcome.
Johnson said she’s excited to mountain bike on Aug. 27 with her teammates and the winner of that particular silent auction item.
“It’s going to be a great weekend,” she said, adding that the team’s goal is to raise $100,000 to support athlete and team expenses for the 2022-23 season.
Johnson also talked about the valley’s rich mogul tradition.
“Vail has a deep moguls history with countless bump dogs and Pro Mogul Tour events on ‘Look Ma’ back in the day,” she stated.
“That history continues today with a big part of the mogul community residing in Vail. I couldn’t think of a better place to host our annual U.S. Freestyle Moguls Ski Team fundraiser.”
Attendees will also have a chance to meet freestyle team alumni athletes Jeremy Bloom, Hannah Kearney and Brad Wilson as well as special guests Billy Kidd and Dorothy Hamill.
Bloom is a a two-time Olympian, world champion and 10-time World Cup gold medalist. He’s most known for winning a then-record six straight World Cup events in the 2006 season and becoming the only athlete in history to ski in the Winter Olympics and be drafted into the NFL. The University of Colorado All-American was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2006 draft and also was a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, though he did not play in a game for either team.
Kearney won the 2010 Olympic gold medal and also claimed a bronze in the moguls event in 2014. Wilson, the younger brother of Olympic bronze medalist Bryon Wilson, competed at the 2014 Olympics as well, and was the 2019 World Champion silver medalist in the dual moguls event.
Kidd and Hamill hardly need an introduction. Hamill was the 1976 Olympic champion and 1976 World Champion in ladies’ singles figure skating. Kidd, alongside Jimmie Heuga, became the first American men to win Olympic medals in Alpine skiing when they took the silver and bronze, respectively. As the director of skiing for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation, he’s enjoyed legendary status with his iconic Stetson cowboy hat.
Owens and Johnson expressed gratitude to the community support which has helped propel their careers.
“Our individual success on the hill would not be possible without all of you. Thank you,” Owens stated.
“From the bottom of my heart, thank you to the Benedict family, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team and the entire Vail Valley,” Johnson added.
“Through triumph and defeat, this community has been right beside me.”