The 2021 GoPro Mountain Games was among the first events in the world to welcome international athletes and spectators to gather once again. The event was filled with the exuberance that can only come from a return to one of the best all-around mountain experiences available anywhere in the world, and it was punctuated by three nights of incredible concerts at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, an elevated artistic component, the return of the ever-popular DockDogs, and more. 

GoPro Mountain Games
Impact By the Numbers

estimated specators
total athletes
attended three GoPro Mountains of Music concerts
brand sponsors
marketing and PR impressions
economic impact

A return to

Just chillin'

Former NHL center Brooks Laich and his dog, Koda, were among 2,064 athletes who found much-needed joy and fresh air at the 2021 GoPro Mountain Games. Photo by JohnRyan Lockman.

In January of 2021, it was unclear what the 2021 GoPro Mountain Games would look and feel like.

After four days of athletes, art, music, and mountains, June 10-13, the feeling could be summed up in one word: celebratory.

Tens of thousands of spectators came to Vail to enjoy the event over four days, and more than 2,000 pro and amateur athletes took part. Highlights of athletic competition included the victory of seven-time adidas Terrex 10K Spring Runoff champion Joseph Gray, a spectacular Junk Brands Pepi’s Face-Off event, the ever-popular Orijen DockDogs events returning to Lionshead, a string of victories from whitewater queen Emily Jackson, nationally-ranked contenders battling it out in the TIAA Bank XC Mountain Bike races (plus a too-cute for words TIAA Bank Kids Bike event), and a spectacular year for YETI Catch Wars and YETI 2 Fly X-Stream fishing competitions, and more.

The event’s music was also a major attraction, not only with concerts at Solaris Plaza in the daytime, but also three evenings of concerts at the Vail Valley Foundation’s Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater with sold-out shows from Yonder Mountain String Band June 10, and Bob Weir & Wolf Bros June 11 and 12.

The 2021 event featured a daily live show from Outside TV, a first for the event, and an elevated digital and multi-media presence with well-known hosts, athletes, and social media influencers like Selema Masekela, Pat Parnell, Chris Davenport, Max Rantz-McDonald, Wade Holland, Abby Ruhman, Ariel Tweto, Brooks Laich, Richie Schley, Orlando Franklin, Arielle Shipe, Nick Troutman, Eagle McMahon, Wiley the Dalmation, artists Chris Benchetler & Skye Walker, and more.

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Planning for this event is always a year-round process, but this year we were exceptionally proud of our team, our long-standing partnerships with Vail Resorts and Town of Vail, and all our volunteers, partners and sponsors.

Mike Imhof
President, Vail Valley Foundation

Photos: At left, both dogs and humans were elated to be back at the GoPro Mountain Games in 2021, photo by Dan Davis. At right, Bob Weir & Wolf Bros were exceptional at GoPro Mountains of Music, photo by JohnRyan Lockman.

The best of

Kick off to summertime

There was plenty of fresh mountain air at the 2021 GoPro Mountain Games, and plenty of ways to interact with the best outdoor brands in the business, too. Photo by Zach Mahone.

Plans change, but the core values of the GoPro Mountain Games remain the same.

In 2021, however, the ever-changing nature of the pandemic meant that plans A, B, and C-through-Z were all a possibility.

In any scenario, the Vail Valley Foundation knew it would take even more teamwork than ever before to make the GoPro Mountain Games a success in 2021. Fortunately, the outdoor community and regional community came together in extraordinary ways. This included excellent communication between the Vail Valley Foundation and State of Colorado, Eagle County Public Health, Vail Health, elected officials, and an incredibly supportive local community.

And, more than any other year, the Vail Valley Foundation relied on partners and sponsors to play a key role in the success of the event, including support from GoPro, Town of Vail, Vail Resorts, U.S. Forest Service, GMC, Go RVing, L.L.Bean, Nature Valley, Outside Magazine, YETI, Bosch, TIAA Bank, Pacifico, Mountain House, adidas Terrex, Tincup, Orijen, Chewy, Lifestraw, & JUNK Brands, among many more.

Together, we moved mountains. We were able to responsibly welcome back the excitement and energy of the GoPro Mountain Games and have a tremendous positive impact on the economic vitality, and overall well-being, of the community.