Snow Sports: Slopestyle event features top females |

Snow Sports: Slopestyle event features top females

Kristi Leskinen, a pioneer in women’s free-skiing, returns to Seven Springs this weekend for her second annual invitational — an “all-girls” slopestyle event — featuring some of the top female skiers in the country.

“We have an amazing group of athletes coming and Seven Springs is pulling out all the stops to make this event a huge success,” the Uniontown native said.

Leskinen, 29, the first female freeskier to compete in the US Open in Vail, Colo., in 1999, took second place in slopestyle last year in Aspen, Colo.

Seven Springs spokeswoman Anna Weltz said the invitational “will be an opportunity for the girls to push themselves, progress the sport and raise awareness and interest in the sport among young girls and women.”

Weltz said the course has been created specifically for the purpose of “showcasing the girls’ abilities and the sport. The event will be a rider-judged jam format [to] encourage the girls to go for their biggest tricks.”

The first rounds of today’s competition will be at 12:45 and 1:30 p.m. The finals will be at 2:30 p.m. The homecoming crowns will be awarded at 4:30 p.m. on the Foggy Goggle deck.

There will be a free amateur rail jam from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday in the Foggy Goggle Bowl adjacent to the popular apres snowsports bar.

For more information on the invitational and a complete schedule of events, go to or call 1-800-452-2223.

Special Olympics

More than 300 athletes and 135 coaches will gather Sunday for the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Special Olympics Pennsylvania Winter Games in the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh in Johnstown.

The games, which continue through Tuesday, feature competition in downhill skiing at Hidden Valley, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at Blue Knob, figure skating at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena and speed skating at Planet Ice in Richland.

Special Olympics spokeswoman Nicole Jones said the competition will include individual, relay and team events. Athletes from Beaver, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Clearfield, Erie, Somerset and Westmoreland counties will compete against their central and Eastern Pennsylvania counterparts.

Special Olympics Pennsylvania provides year-round training and competition in 22 Olympic-type sports for more than 22,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities or closely related developmental disabilities.

For more information, go to www.specialolympics,org

It’s s-n-o-w-g-o-o-d

Ski — downhill or cross country — snowboard, snow tube or snowshoe?

You’ll find more than enough snow to enjoy any or all of the above sports for the foreseeable future in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Western Maryland and Western New York.

And, thanks to hundreds of hard-working municipal and private snowplow operators in those states, the roads to reach all that snow are in good shape.

Yes, I know some of those snowplow drivers blocked your driveway — and mine — more times than we’d like this winter, but what else could they do with all of those flakes?

As of Friday, Seven Springs has received more than 15 feet of snow. More than 16 feet of snow has descended on Snowshoe, W.Va., and Wisp, Md. Holiday Valley, N.Y., has had 11 feet.

“We haven’t had as much snow as the others, but we’ve been getting a few inches every day or so,” said Jane Eshbaugh, spokeswoman for Holiday Valley. “And the below-freezing temperatures have kept it in good shape.”

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Posted on: February 20, 2010