Joel Reichenberger: Steamboat sports paradise |

Joel Reichenberger: Steamboat sports paradise

— I didn’t get the short end of the stick. I’m going to win, actually. I’m going home for Christmas, leaving Monday for a week. Who could complain about that?

But, wow, what a week to miss.

I may go a little overboard in this space in labeling Steamboat events as my “favorite.”

I know I’ve called the Ste­­amboat Pentathlon as much, and maybe the Steamboat Marathon. I’ve thought about it every time I’m covering something on Mount Werner or at a big high school event.

The sporting events that stretch across the first part of this week, however, offer unrivaled options for winter sports fans in Steamboat Springs.

It started Saturday with the first of four days of competition in the Holiday Classic, an Alpine skiing competition pitting some of the region’s best older high school and college-aged skiers.

That event continues today with men and women competing in slalom races starting at 3 p.m. at Howelsen Hill.

That event will shift to Steam­boat Ski Area on Mon­day and Tuesday for women’s giant slalom races.

Many of the nation’s best mogul skiers will be competing this week starting today, as well.

The U.S. Freestyle Ski Team selections begin today at 9:15 a.m. at Steamboat Ski Area.

The men and women, com­­­peting for a few precious spots on the U.S. Ski Team, will compete in singles moguls competitions today and Tuesday and then a dual moguls competition Wednesday.

Finally, the Race for the Cup snowboard event will settle into Howelsen Hill on Monday and Tuesday for snowboarding parallel giant slalom and parallel slalom races.

This is a good year for top-tier winter sports viewing in Steamboat. We’ve already had a Continental Cup Nordic combined event, the first since 2006. A big ski and snowboard cross event awaits in January, too.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have it rough. I’m going to see family and friends and eat at the world’s best hamburger place, So Long Saloon in Man­­hat­­tan, Kan.

Still, there’s going to be a lot of great stuff going on here, too. It may be my favorite time of year.

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