PARK CITY, Utah — Masters alpine ski racing in Park City used to be synonymous with the Town Series. Park City Ski and Snowboard (PCSS) is linking those two entities once again.
Last year, PCSS brought back the beloved Town Series, a weekly, drop-in, evening fun-race for all the fast, grown-up locals in town. The series is now being held at the Utah Olympic Park on the new ski runs. This year, of the 1,100 PCSS athletes, 46 are rostered in the Masters program.
The traditional term ‘masters’ can be a bit of a misnomer in that it merely refers to anyone 18 and up. Some sports’ National Governing Body (NGB) refer to their predominately Olympics-aged athletes as ‘seniors’, whereby the ‘Jr. National Team’ is, by comparison, younger. In some cases ‘senior’ athletes are older than ‘masters’ athletes.
PCSS Masters welcomes ski skills from beginners through former Olympians and offers training in Slalom, G.S., and Super G. all coached by Thunder Jalili.
Tommy Eckfeldt the PCSS Alpine Director, which includes not only Masters but also a newly expanded programming for Youth Development, said, “The whole scene is quite social and we are seeing different generations enjoy getting together, working out, having fun and being challenged a little bit. Lot’s of parents of PCSS athletes who may have moved on to college are joining Masters as they’re still passionate about the sport.”
Ski instructors, ski patrollers and lift operators make up part of the roster.
The PCSS program at the UOP is a dissolution and evolution of the Summit Masters Ski Team.
Their training schedule is as follows:
- Monday middays
- Wednesday evenings
- Saturday or Sunday middays
Approximately one quarter of the team consists of women including one family of a mom, dad and daughter. Many commute from the Salt Lake Valley. Some participants are into their 70s. There are several parents of current PCSS athletes of many disciplines.
Along with the new Master’s program, and just in time for the holidays, PCSS has, for the first time, opened an online apparel store with team logo swag.
15-20 US Masters racers will travel to compete on the international circuit this winter, including eight Americans who competed in Argentina in September.
Spectators can watch these racers at a U.S. Masters race being hosted at Park City Mountain on February 10 -12. Athletes will hope to clinch a spot to race in the U.S. Ski Team’s event in Beaver Creek, CO in March where 80 USA racers will compete. Beyond that, there will be opportunities to represent the US in the 2024 International Ski Federation (FIS) World Masters Winter Games in Italy.