Vail’s Teva Mountain Games adds new season |

Vail’s Teva Mountain Games adds new season

Special to the Daily | Arn MenconiMike Imhoff of the Vail Valley Foundation and Joel Heath of Teva celebrate at the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow after the announcement of the first Teva Winter Mountain Games.

VAIL, Colorado – The Teva Mountain Games will add a winter edition next season, the Vail Valley Foundation announced Friday.

The new Winter Teva Mountain Games are scheduled for Feb. 9-12, 2012.

“The Winter Teva Mountain Games is something we have talked about for several years,” said Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation.

The Winter Teva Mountain Games will be similar to the spring event created in 2002. That spring event features human-powered challenges ranging from kayaking and fly-fishing to climbing and running through the mud.

The Winter Teva Mountain Games will also run four days. It will include ice climbing, on-snow biking, telemark skiing, Nordic competitions, running, dog events and an Ultimate Mountain Man/Woman combination event.

“I think it’s great. It’ll encourage people to get out there, and anything that does that is a good idea,” said Max Post with the Apex Mountain School. “It’s a great way to give exposure to the sports and athletes around here.”

Last year, the spring Teva event attracted more then 2,500 athletes and 40,000 spectators over four days.

“It’s events that everyone can relate to,” said Ken Hoeve, who has been competing since before the Teva Mountain Games began. “I can’t see it being anything but good, especially given the success of the summer event. I’d rather see it here than anywhere else.”

“It’s free, it’s gravity fed. What could be better?”

Like its spring counterpart, the Winter Teva Mountain Games will allow amateur athletes to compete against some of the world’s best professional winter competitors. Those professionals will be competing for a $60,000 purse in next winter’s inaugural event.

As with the summer edition, the Winter Teva Mountain Games will include art and music with snow and ice sculpture contests, free concerts, films and mountain lifestyle parties. All events will be held in Vail.

Joel Heath founded the original Mountain Games, and is now Teva’s global marketing director. He’s happy about all this.

“We wanted to support a platform where winter athletes could showcase their skills in front of the masses. Vail is the best place in the world to do that,” Heath said. “This is a natural evolution for Teva, the event and frankly the entire outdoor industry.”

The Winter Teva Mountain Games is presented by Eddie Bauer.

“Eddie Bauer has seen great returns from our sponsorship of the summer Mountain Games,” said Kristen Elliott, director of marketing programs at Eddie Bauer. “The winter event will allow us to reach a passionate outdoors audience that not only enjoys seeing the pros compete year-round, but enjoys the challenge and excitement of participating themselves.”

The spring Teva Mountain Games return to Vail June 2-5.

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