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Update: U.S. Ski & Snowboard and Collegiate Skiing

By Chip Knight
March, 18 2021
Paula Moltzan
2017 NCAA slalom champion Paula Moltzan, who has had a banner year on the FIS Ski World Cup, trains in Toblach prior to the final World Cup races. (Ryan Mooney - U.S. Ski Team)

In early March, U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Tiger Shaw, Alpine Director Jesse Hunt, and Alpine Development Director Chip Knight hosted a video conference call with the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) and Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA) college coaches to further discuss initiatives that are being taken to build bridges between the U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Ski & Snowboard, and collegiate ski racing programs.

Among the key points was to describe how the uniquely American college skiing system fits into the national alpine program as a way for athletes to remain competitively engaged in the sport into their early 20s, and to continue to further their elite development through exposure to the NorAm and Europa Cup levels of competition. 

Additional items discussed included improving channels of communication, advance planning to avoid FIS-UNI and NorAm calendar conflicts, preparation period training opportunities, more transparent World Cup qualification pathways and support, modifications to USST criteriai.e. NCAA Champion is now an included objective benchmark in U.S. Ski Team criteria, and some of the notable success stories from the year of collegiate athletes achieving higher-level results in Europe, including Paula Moltzan (University of Vermont), Katie Hensien (University of Denver), Erik Arvidsson (Middlebury College), Alex Leever (University of Denver), Jett Seymour (University of Denver), and Andrew Miller (Dartmouth College).