Joining the Legendary Squaw Valley Freeride Team Michelle Parker, Tanner Rainville, Eric Messier, & Jake Devine [Squaw Valley USA] With extreme terrain and a competitive spirit, so deeply rooted it runs in the water, it’s no wonder why Squaw Valley is the training ground and home mountain for some of the best skiers and snowboarders in the world. Back in 1996, Squaw Valley established a small team of elite skiers and snowboarders, to form the very first mountain resort Freeride Team. Over the past 10 years the team has changed and in many ways stayed the same. This season Tanner Rainville, Michelle Parker, Eric Messier, and Jake Devine will join the ranks of snow sport legends on Squaw Valley’s Freeride Team. Michelle Parker is a 19 year-old skiing-phenom, born and bred in Squaw Valley. Michelle was on the Squaw Valley race team for nine years but it was her effortless style in the terrain park and her ability to slide rails and stomp tricks better than the boys, which gained her notoriety. For the past two seasons Michelle has been recognized in Freeskier’s “Women of Freeskiing,” an annual cover feature that has become an industry resource for spotting the next generation of women skiers. Last season, Michelle shined at major competitions including, the Winter X Games, the World Ski Invitational, and she was one of two girls included in the Jon Olson Invitational in Sweden. On being named one of the Squaw Valley Freeride Team’s newest members, Michelle says, “ I've lived in Squaw since the day I was born and have skied Squaw since I can remember. To be a part of a team that I've looked up to for so long is something I used to only imagine. I'm STOKED!” And Squaw Valley is super stoked to join K2, Orage, Anon, R.E.D., and Skullcandy as Michelle’s sponsor. Michelle will join the Squaw Valley Freeride Team’s crew of lady rippers: Ingrid Backstrom, Jenn Berg, Jamie Burge, Laurel Shanley, and Jessica Sobolowski. Another young home-town hero joining Squaw Valley’s Freeride Team is 22 year-old Eric Messier. Representing a new wave of snowboarding greats, Eric has been riding Squaw since his family moved to Tahoe in 1988. For the past three seasons he has been filming with the popular snowboard film company, F.O.D.T. Productions. Find Mr. Messier in action on the hill at Squaw or gracing the pages of all the biggest snowboard publications, think: Transworld Snowboarding, Snowboarder, and Snowboard magazines. Along with Squaw, Eric rides for Technine, Holden, Grenade, Ambiguous, and Neff. Scoring segments in reputable snowboard movies, Eric will no doubt bring some filming to Squaw. Also a Tahoe native, Jake Devine grew up in Incline Village and began riding at Squaw when he was 12. Jake credits Squaw as his original stomping ground and the place where his career as a pro snowboarder began. Last season Jake was busy annihilating rails at some big name competitions, including the Las Vegas High Roller Rail Jam and Boreal’s Jibastic Pro Rail Invitational (where he took 1st place). Jake has had segments in Neoproto’s last three movies and will have a segment in Technine’s new film, “State of Mind.” Jake’s sponsors include M4 Snowboards, Planet Earth, Technine, 32/Etines, Electric, Elm Company, Grenade, Alive, Eternal, and of course, Squaw Valley USA. Jake and Eric will join Nate Holland (2006 Olympian/X Games Gold Medalist) and Jeremy Jones (undeniably the best big mountain snowboarder known to man) as the Squaw Valley Freeride Team’s snowboarders. It’s no exaggeration to say that Squaw Valley is extremely proud to include Vermonter, Tanner Rainville on the 2006/07 Freeride Team roster. It seems like every time the sport of skiing is taken to the next level, a new school of skiers come along and take the sport even further. Following in the footsteps of Squaw Valley athletes who have come before him, Tanner can add “making a mark on his sport” to his list of accomplishments. That list, one might add, is long and impressive including, 5th in the 2005 US Open Halfpipe, 1st at the 2005 Orage Masters, 1st at the VT Open Slopestyle, and 1st at the 2005 Tigne Airwaves in Tigne, France. With bragging rights like those and a work ethic to boot, Rainville should fit in nicely with fellow Squaw Freeride Team skiers, JT Holmes, CR Johnson, Kent Kreitler, Shane McConkey, Kevin Quinn, Evan Raps, Cody Townsend, and telemark skier, Lorenzo Worster. To find out more about the mountain that all of these astonishing athletes call home, log on to Site of the VIII Winter Olympic Games, Squaw Valley USA is located five miles north of Lake Tahoe along the Truckee River on Highway 89. The year-round resort offers 4,000 acres of lift served terrain including two half pipes and three terrain parks, ice-skating, snowtubing, indoor rock climbing, an Olympic Winter Games Museum, shopping, dining and more. For more information call 530-583-6985, or visit .-end-