Whistler, B.C., November 20, 2003 - It’s official: The Canadian Freeskiing Championships and the International Freeskiers Association (IFSA) Freeskiing World Tour will be featured at Whistler Blackcomb’s second annual Big Mountain Experience (BME). The four day event includes the North American qualifiers on January 7 and 8, and those who advance or have been pre-qualified to the Freeskiing World Tour event will compete on January 9 and 10. “We are very excited to hold the Canadian Freeskiing Championships (CFC) at Whistler Blackcomb,� said Dave Swanwick (aka Swany), President of the IFSA. “It’s a great venue, and the deep talent pool and progressive freeskiing in the Whistler area will make for an incredible event.� Athletes from all over the world, including Canada, the US, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, France, Switzerland, and Sweden will travel to Whistler to take part in the event. Numerous local athletes will also compete, including superstars like Jen Ashton, who has won the CFCs three times in a row, and the IFSA Freeskiing World Tour twice. “Of course I’m coming out to compete!,� Ashton said. “I don’t want to jinx myself, but a four-peat would be awesome, and there’s nothing better than competing at home.� Whistler’s Jonny Law, who placed third in the overall IFSA World Tour standings last year, was also asked if he would compete in the CFCs this year. He responded with an unequivocal, “Hell yes, I am. I’m super stoked. I’ve been visualizing a lot and really working on my conditioning this summer to get ready for the world tour.� Jonny is considered one of the strongest hopes for returning the overall male title to North America. Rumour has it that last year’s male CFC champion and overall IFSA World Tour points champion, Manu Gaidet, will also return to defend his title. The Canadian Freeskiing Championships are an International Freeskiing Association approved event. Athletes will be judged on the following criteria: 1) difficulty of line; 2) control; 3) technique - style and use of ski equipment; 4) fluidity - use of falline; and 5) aggressiveness. Michel Beaudry, acclaimed ski industry writer and an authority on big mountain skiing, will act as Head Judge of the events. The Big Mountain Experience takes place at Whistler Blackcomb from January 7 to 11. In its second year, the celebration of big mountain culture should be an even greater success, with a slew of new events including a ‘Big Mountain Shoot Out.’ The BME’s culminating party, the ‘Big Shivoo’ will take place at the newly remodeled Whistler Conference Centre and will host up to 1,000 guests. Check out the Whistler Blackcomb website for information on backcountry and telemark clinics, the Life-link Dynafit Randonee Rally, mid-week parties, and everything else happening at this season’s BME. To register for the Canadian Freeskiing Championships, athletes should visit http://www.freeskiingworldtour.com or http://www.freeskiers.org. For pre-event registration, please contact Barb Hamblett at bhamblett@mtsports.com. To register for the Life-link Dynafit Randonee Rally, please visit http://www.life-link.com. To learn more about this year’s Big Mountain Experience, please visit http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com.