- Associated Press - Sunday, January 8, 2012

TRUCKEE, CALIF. (AP) - Having an Olympic champion call your local ski resort home has its privileges.

A 22-foot-high high, 500-foot-long halfpipe co-designed by snowboarder Shaun White was opened to the public last week near Truckee at Northstar California, one of Vail Resorts Inc.’s properties formerly called Northstar-at-Tahoe.

The red-haired, two-time Olympic gold medal winner known as the “Flying Tomato” had the superpipe built at the Sierra resort for use in training for upcoming events.

The Verdi, Nev.-based Snow Park Technologies helped design the superpipe, and the resort’s crews put in 700 hours in making it.

White claimed gold medals at the Winter Olympics in 2006 and 2010. He signed a deal with Vail in August to represent all of the ski company’s resorts in Colorado and California, and announced he was making Northstar his home mountain and primary training resort.

___

Information from: Truckee Sierra Sun.