Ten years ago, at age 13, Simon Dumont left western Maine to chase big air on his skis.

At 23, he’s made a major name for himself in the action sports world, logging seven X-Games titles while competing worldwide and starring in ski movies.

This weekend he will return to his roots at Sunday River to host the second annual Dumont Cup, a freeski competition that will combine some 150 amateur and pros from around the world to compete for $20,000 in prizes.

“It will be really impressive,” said Dumont. “We have a really deep field. There will be a lot of double flips. That’s always appealing to someone who can’t comprehend all the technical aspects. It will be big rails, big air.”

Dumont will be joined by top professionals Peter Olenik, Jossi Wells, Henrik Harlaut, Joss Christian, Tom Wallisch, Mike Riddle, Gus Kenworthy and Justin Dorey.

The amateur division will compete today. Twenty winners will earn the right to compete against the pros on Saturday in semifinals and finals. Finals are set for 1:30 p.m. on Rocking Chair, a trail that ends in front of Barker Lodge.

The format for the event is slopestyle — a course with two rail features, and jumps measuring 50 and 90 feet.

“He’s really one of the most recognizable freeskiers in the world,” said Nick Lambert, Sunday River’s marketing manager. “He grew up living here and we had been thinking about how we could build our relationship with him. And he came to us with this.”

Dumont said he’s stoked about a unique feature in his particular event: two jam sessions that linger for three hours today.

“It will be nice to give back to the community a bit. There’s a lot of talent here on the East Coast and it’s harder to get noticed,” said Dumont.

The Dumont Cup doled out $10,000 in prizes last year, and in 2008 Dumont first returned for a public event at Sunday River.

He launched 35 feet into the air to set a world record for highest air on a quarterpipe in the Guinness Book of World Records. The previous record was 32 feet, 6 inches.

Dumont grew up in Bethel and graduated from Telstar High. There he played soccer, baseball, golf — anything, he said, he could get his hands on.

His parents, who still live in the area, first put him in a harness on skis at age 3 and the rest was history.

“I’ve come pretty far,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll leave my impact on skiing forever. That’s my goal. I want to excel at everything I do. If I’m doing something I like to do it as well as I can. I live everything by that principal.”

Lambert said finishing touches would be made overnight, and the forecast was for blue skies.

“The pros were out practicing (Thursday) and letting our park crew know how they wanted everything finished,” said Lambert.

 

Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at:

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