Upcoming Snowflex Games attracting top contestants
April 22, 2014 | Lynchburg, Va.
More than 50 skiers and snowboarders have registered for this Friday's and Saturday's Snowflex Games, the fifth annual competition formerly known as the Dew Games held at Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre (LMSC).
"It's a big event, and it will feature a much higher quality of athletes and higher quality of riding this year," said Drew Sherwood, LMSC's general manager. "This will be some of the best riding that we've seen here and some of the best riding at any of the artificial surfaces in the world."
Brian Thomas, inventor of Snowflex from England's Briton Engineering, will be on hand for the competition, offering his perspective on the development of the facility over the past five years. He visited Lynchburg for LMSC's grand-opening ceremonies in 2009.
|Former U.S. Olympic snowboarder Andy Finch (right) will return as a co-analyst for Saturday's Snowflex Games.|
For the second-straight year, former U.S. Olympic snowboarder and Amazing Race participant Andy Finch will be announcing the event live, this time with Liberty alumnus and former employee and competitor Ethan Acree. Finch recently served as a FOX Sports host for the snowboarding events at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
Most of the registered riders — from amateurs to professionals with various levels of sponsorship — are coming in from Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, with others from as far away as Vermont.
"Some of the best athletes from the East Coast will be competing," Sherwood said.
The Snowflex Games will be webcast live and televised as the Liberty Flames Sports Network "Game of the Week" from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday.
Approximately half of Liberty's men's and women's ski and snowboard team — which placed fourth in slopestyle at the March 12-15 United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association National Championships in Lake Placid, N.Y. — will be in the field.
Cody Boan, who rides on the Dew Tour, will be one of the highest profile contestants while Ryan Paul, who has competed in the Winter X-Games and won last year's snowboarding Rail Jam at LMSC, is tentatively scheduled to return.
The competition kicks off Friday from 1 to 6 p.m. with qualifying in the skiing Rail Jam (1 p.m.), women's skiing and snowboarding Rail Jam (2:15 p.m.), and skiing and snowboarding Big Air (3:45 p.m.). The first round of snowboarding Big Air qualifiers will compete again at 5 p.m. and the 10 finalists in the men's and women's skiing and snowboarding Big Air and Rail Jam events will be announced at 6 p.m.
Saturday's finals start with the skiers Rail Jam at 3:45 p.m., the snowboard Rail Jam at 4:30 p.m., and the skiing and snowboarding Big Air competition at 6 p.m.
A complete schedule is available on LMSC's website.