Mar 5, 2014 11:46 PM by Posted by Alyse Rzemek
VAIL - As the Para-Olympic Games get ready to start in Russia, halfpipe and slopestyle athletes who took part in the 2014 Olympics Games are in Colorado for their first major contest since the Winter Games.
At the base of Vail, Karen Ruben is watching something she's never seen before.
"It's exciting. The speed and how high they are getting in the air," Ruben said.
High-flying slopestyle and halfpipe athletes area at the Burton U.S. Open; the first major event for athletes after 2014 Winter Olympics, which Burton Director of Events Ian Warda says will give this crowd a taste of the Winter Games.
"There are over 50 Olympic athletes here that competed in Sochi two weeks ago. Gold medalist, silver, bronze, all here as well," Warda said.
Like slopestyle snowboarder Jamie Anderson.
"I personally had a great experience in Sochi," Anderson said.
She managed to grab Olympic gold in Russia, despite all that warm Sochi slush.
"The Sochi course was challenging," She said.
Steamboat snowboarder Arielle Gold wasn't as lucky.
"When I was in Russia, I dislocated my shoulder," Gold said.
She ended up like many other athletes injured after crashing in the halfpipe.
"The slush was an issue it got chopped up really fast," Gold said.
Now back on better snow she's recovering by riding. She is one of many Olympians in Vail flying over a pipe and course they say are better built than those in Sochi.
"They are happy to be here on a course that's safe and fun and allows them to do the tricks they have dialed in over the past year," Warda said.
The Burton U.S. Open runs all week with final rounds on Friday and Saturday.