Excitement builds in Killington for World Cup

KILLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The eyes of the skiing world will be on Vermont this weekend as the women's World Cup returns to Killington for the second year in a row.

The world's best Alpine skiers, including Olympic and World Champion, and Burke Mountain Academy alum, Mikaela Shiffrin, are here this weekend. And tens of thousands of fans are expected to be here, as well, over the next two days.

Last year, about 30,000 fans turned out for the inaugural races, the first World Cup Alpine events held in the Eastern U.S. in 25 years.

Friday evening, the bib draw took place for Saturday's giant slalom, so the excitement and anticipation is definitely building.

Fans are going to have an opportunity to take part in several events while they are here watching the races this weekend, That includes taking a picture with the trophies that the first place winners will receive. For the second straight year, Simon Pearce has provided the trophies for this year's top finishers. The trophy given to the giant slalom champion on Saturday is a 14-inch pure water vase that was handmade at the Simon Pearce factory in Windsor.

Reporter Scott Fleishman: What do you think when you look at it there?
David Nielsen/Hartford, Connecticut: It looks heavy. I don't want to touch it because I will probably break it.
Scott Fleishman: What are you going to do with the picture?
David Nielsen/Hartford, Connecticut: Post it on Facebook, social media.
Scott Fleishman: That's what everyone does these days.
David Nielsen/Hartford, Connecticut: Get it out there. I'll even tag Simon Pearce.

Taking a picture with the trophy is free, but people are asked to make a donation to Vermont Adaptive and the LoveYourBrain foundation. The LoveYourBrain foundation was founded by Adam and Kevin Pearce, the sons of Simon Pearce. Vermont Adaptive empowers people of all abilities through inclusive sports and recreational programming regardless of ability to pay.

"Simon Pearce has a close connection to supporting adaptive sports and wellness, they have family that's been directly influenced by injury and working with Simon Pearce to have the trophy here for people to come and see... the good things that they do in the community for us in the state, it's a wonderful partnership," said Erin Fernandez, the executive director of Vermont Adaptive.

If you missed out on taking your picture with the trophy Friday, don't worry. The Vermont Adaptive booth will be open from 10 to 12 both Saturday and Sunday.

We will have much more from Killington on "The Weekend," including the impact the Kelly Brush Foundation is having on this weekend's races.