Former NFL and NHL players to join a diverse group of athletes in Vail at the annual GoPro Mountain Games


The GoPro Mountain Games will return from June 9 to 13 after being canceled in 2020.
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Tom Boyd, organizer of the Vail Valley Foundation’s GoPro Mountain Games, said this year could redefine what Mountain Games mean for people looking for outdoor recreation.

Former NFL player Orlando Franklin; former NHL player Brooks Laich; former mixed martial artist Mark Weir; professional skier Chris Benchetler; eighth world champion Joseph Gray; four-time mountain bike world champion Brian Lopes; and Arielle Shipe, star yoga teacher, are just some of the participants the 2021 GoPro Mountain Games drew.

Boyd said the diverse group of athletes showing interest in this year’s mountain games reflected a collective desire among people to spend time together outdoors.

“We’re the only thing happening in the country,” in terms of big outdoor recreation events, Boyd said.

The GoPro Mountain Games, celebrating music and the arts in addition to the outdoors, are scheduled for June 9-13.

“There are races that come back, but nothing as big and globally recognized as it is on the radar,” Boyd said. “It could turn out to be the most star-studded mountain games of all time.”

As a diverse group of athletes continue to register, Boyd is keen to stress that the event is for anyone looking to take advantage of the kick-off of the outdoor recreation season at Vail.

“We want to make sure the ‘pro and joe’ athletes can get back to the water, the trails and the competition after nearly a year of limited adventure sports competitive opportunities,” Boyd said.

Extended coverage

The Vail Valley Foundation has also assembled a larger-than-usual reporting team to provide coverage of the events.

Hosts Selema Masekela, Max Rantz-McDonal, Wade Holland and producer / talent Ariel Tweto will join Outside Television hosts Pat Parnell and Chris Davenport this year.

With Outside Television which recently merged with Pocket Outdoor Media – joining SKI magazine, Yoga Journal, Women’s Running, Triathlete, Backpacker, Climbing, Clean Eating, VeloNews, Trail Runner, FinisherPix and Warren Miller Entertainment – Boyd said the event of this year was about to reach the farthest corners of the newly expanded network from the outside.

“We’ll have viewers all day, and then we’ll do four nights live from the GoPro Mountain Games,” Boyd said. “They’re going to create a super cool multimedia environment for anyone who wants to do it but can’t.”

In addition to daily “SportCenter-style” coverage, Boyd says the event will also include three nights of GoPro Mountains of Music headlining concerts (in person and live) from the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater.

The Wolf Bros – Bob Weir, Don Was and Jay Lane – will be joined by Jeff Chimenti and Greg Leisz with The Wolfpack: Alex Kelly, Brian Switzer, Adam Theis, Mads Tolling and Sheldon Brown, for the Friday night concert. The remaining concerts have yet to be announced.

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